All posts tagged: St Patrick’s Day

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Make Saint Patrick’s Day even better: pour a mug of Guinness…cake!

Your friends are about to come over for your annual Saint Patty’s Day bash. They’re expecting the corned beef and cabbage, the glittery green shamrocks on walls and hats alike. They’re even expecting frosty mugs of beer. But they might not be expecting a cake they can “drink.” We’ve been down this road before: ultra moist Guinness Chocolate Cake with Bailey’s Buttercream. But this year I gave the recipe a festive spin by serving it in a frosty beer mug. Not to worry — this isn’t about smooshing cake into a cup – the trick is easier, classier, and more beautiful than you might imagine. The only special equipment required? A few clean, dry 15-ounce cans. In winter, this problem is easily solved by having soup for dinner. Grease and flour the cans (baking spray makes quick work of the job). Then line the sides with a strip of parchment paper (make sure the parchment sticks up 11/2-2 inches above the rim and covers the complete circumference – no need to cover the bottom). Fill …

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Cream & Current Scones

The first time I had a scone – a real British scone – I almost lost my mind. The small disc had a tender crumb and tasted of lightly sweetened cream. A speckling of currants brightened the flavor, giving it just a hint of color, too. The giving texture of the scone is worth further mention. I think much of the lightness stems from the fact that  real scones are made with good quality European butter. European butter is richer (averaging 85% fat instead of just 81%), so there’s less water, which means a more delicate crumb. It also helped that the scone was made with a light touch: there was nothing overworked about the recipe ( a baking crime which can quickly turn a featherweight scone into a hockey puck). With such delicious ingredients, a true scone needs very little accouterments. Still, I did as the British do, and split my scone and added a spoonful of homemade strawberry preserves. The garnet colored preserves filled the craggy crevice so completely, the sticky goodness nearly spilled …

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Irish Brown n’ Oat Soda Bread

Makes 1 loaf I like a bread that can stick to my ribs, but not necessarily to my hips. I don’t think I’m asking too much, and I think I just may have found the answer to my prayers with this Irish Brown n’ Oat Soda Bread. It’s healthy (75% whole wheat) and hearty (thanks to a happy sprinkle of oats). This dense, savory, crusty quickbread is best eaten warm, slathered with butter, even though the butter will definitely stick to your ribs and your hips. It’s worth it, though. Feel free to thank Ireland. Ingredients: 3 cups wheat pastry flour 1 cup white pastry flour 1/2 cup steel cut Irish oats (I used the 3 min oats by McCain’s) 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 2 cups buttermilk (a bit more or less, as needed to get a sticky texture) butter, for brushing top of loaf (optional) Method: This recipe is as easy as 1, 2, 3….4. 1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Whisk together the dry ingredients: whole wheat and regular pastry flour, …

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Boxty Pancakes

Makes 5.5 cups batter I like a good excuse to dance in the morning. Preferably while in my fuzzy bathrobe, with spatula in hand (for a microphone, of course), while singing 100% off-key. Boxty pancakes are just the ticket. They look like a thick crêpe, but taste more like the love-child of tangy mashed potatoes and hash browns. These filling, stick-to-your-ribs pancakes are often used to wrap up food, from meat and gravy, to scrambled eggs. Best of all, cooks everywhere dance a little jig when they make them. NOTE: This batter does not store well (the potatoes turn black when they oxidize), so scale the recipe down if you don’t have a small army coming over for breakfast. Adapted from the recipe in The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews. Ingredients: 2 lbs russet potatoes, chopped 1 1/2 cups buttermilk salt 1 cup flour butter, for cooking Accompaniments: green onions, scrambled eggs, meat, etc. Method: First step, get in the mood with a little  Irish folk rhyme and dancing. Boxty on the griddle, And Boxty on the …

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Cashel Blue & Caramelized Onion Pizza

There’s no quicker way to beat the blues than to dig into a slice of pizza. Irish pizza. I know what you’re thinking. I thought the same thing. But, trust me – while pizza may not sound very Irish, it is, in fact, much beloved on the Emerald Isle. They simply add a little something special, to make it their own. Let’s zoom in for a close up, shall we? Did you see the secret ingredient? When you bite in, it’ll be tingly. Creamy. Almost spicy. For cheese lover’s everywhere it is oh-so-familiar. Blue cheese. Cashel blue, to be exact. This cheese has been winning awards, pretty much since the first batch, and I can see why. It’s fabulous. When its young, it is firm and crumbly (and more mild); and when it’s aged, it’s soft and creamy (and extra stinky). The one pictured above was definitely soft and creamy. And extra stinky. So, next time you want to make a pizza Irish, simply crumble on Cashel blue cheese and bake as normal. You can find it …

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Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake with Bailey’s Buttercream

Makes an 8″ layered cake So here we are, cooking the world A-Z… and I come across this epic Irish cake. I make this adaptation and… just like that – my life is complete. I don’t have time to do my hair or makeup, but – I promise you – I’ll always have time for this cake. It’s rich and dark, like an Irish sky at midnight… brightened by sweet, sweet Bailey’s buttercream, which gilds everything like moonlight. The perfect pair. The perfect balance. Especially for breakfast.  In my slippers. When no one is looking. (Possibly with a big cup of Irish coffee). Don’t worry – the alcohol cooks off, and the Bailey’s frosting? It simply contains the same amount of alcohol as you’d find in vanilla extract. So, go for it, take a bite of Irish nighttime. NOTE: You may find it easiest to bake the cake and do the frosting “crumb coat” one day, then the next day decorate it with the final layer of frosting.  Update, March 2013: I added more powdered …

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Fijian Curried Corned Beef

Serves 6-8 I’ll be honest – I’ve spent the better part of my life avoiding corned beef. It seemed messy, unwieldy, and way too, well,… meaty. Global Table has a way of taking me out of my comfort zone, though. Turns out this one pot dish is super easy and wickedly tasty. Today we’re making a Fijian version. Their special twist is a hearty helping of curry powder. If you’d like to make it even more Fijian, try swapping the potatoes with taro root and/or chunks of yucca. Also, Fijians would typically make this dish with canned corned beef – but I wanted to go the extra mile for Saint Patrick’s Day! Thanks Fiji. Ingredients: 4 lb piece of corned beef 1-2 Tbsp Homemade Curry Powder water, to cover 2 onions, cut in large chunks 2 large carrots, cut into 1.5 inch pieces 6 medium potatoes (yukon gold), quartered Method: Get a pot large enough to hold your meat (and, eventually, all your veggies). If I had a big cast iron pot, that’s what I …

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