Category: St. Patrick’s Day

Friday Fish:  St. Patrick’s Day One-Pan Salmon on Kale with Lemon and Thyme

Friday Fish: St. Patrick’s Day One-Pan Salmon on Kale with Lemon and Thyme

It just happens that a lenten Friday Fish and St. Patrick’s occur on the same day this year. This is no lie:  if you live in Chicago (and several surrounding areas) and are Catholic, you have special dispensation from the archbishop to eat corned beef instead of fish:

Ours is a merciful God. Chicagoland Catholics may enjoy the traditional corned beef and cabbage this Friday, despite the church’s practice of avoiding meat on Fridays during Lent. Cardinal Blase Cupich, leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago, has granted a dispensation. So have the bishops of the Joliet, Rockford and Gary dioceses.

Chicago Trib 3/15/17

Continue reading “Friday Fish: St. Patrick’s Day One-Pan Salmon on Kale with Lemon and Thyme”

St. Patrick’s Day–Traditional Kerry Apple Cake

St. Patrick’s Day–Traditional Kerry Apple Cake

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According to Darina Allen, the doyenne of Irish cooking, apple cake is the quintessential or at least the most traditional Irish dessert. And because it is made everywhere, each baker makes it just a bit differently than the baker next door.

Continue reading “St. Patrick’s Day–Traditional Kerry Apple Cake”

Quick Salmon-Irish Cheddar Chowder for St. Patrick’s Day

Quick Salmon-Irish Cheddar Chowder for St. Patrick’s Day

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A little Irish music to set you up for a bit of cooking: click here.  And, in the Irish, as they say, “La fheile padraig!”  

I’ve been making Salmon Chowder for a good long while; there’s a really easy and light version in my soup cookbook, SOUPS & SIDES FOR EVERY SEASON.  If by chance you’ve made it, you’ll know it’s perfect spring or summertime fare for the day after you’ve grilled a big piece of salmon and don’t know what to do with the leftovers.  Likewise it’s for fall or winter if you’ve roasted a side of salmon for company and only used the big fat inner slices for the dinner table, leaving the skinny ends smelling up the fridge.  This year, though, I was into something a little different…

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            Late summer, 2014 in Dunsmore East, Ireland (the port for Waterford)

The Irish, along with my fair Scots, have some of the best salmon in the world, but more often make a mixed fish and seafood chowder such as Donal Skehan’s Howth Head Seafood Chowder.

Continue reading “Quick Salmon-Irish Cheddar Chowder for St. Patrick’s Day”

Colcannon Soup–Bacon or Vegan– for Saint Patrick’s Day

Colcannon Soup–Bacon or Vegan– for Saint Patrick’s Day

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Colcannon, that adoring Irish and Scottish mash of buttery potatoes and cabbage or kale, is the inspiration for my soup that’s feisty without being overblown. The bacon is a salty, crunchy touch that you can easily leave out for a vegetarian or vegan version. You might add some toasted, sliced almonds or crispy croutons instead.  Make sure you have a pepper grinder at the table–or a bottle of hot sauce — for those who like spicy.  Scroll down for recipe or enjoy a few of my photos from Ireland first; there are some way at the bottom, too.

Below:  At the cathedral in Down Patrick, Northern Ireland  August, 2014

IMG_1198Below: outside Waterford, Ireland

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Below:  pub in Waterford.  Dave’s first Guinness in Ireland.  Definitely not his last.

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Below:  Shredded kale (Remove kale stems and slice in 1/4-inch ribbons for soup; sauté sliced stems separately for a salad addition.) Continue reading “Colcannon Soup–Bacon or Vegan– for Saint Patrick’s Day”

Colcannon and Salmon in the Little Skillet Pot

Colcannon and Salmon in the Little Skillet Pot

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(above:  Cliffs of Moher- A. Morgan, 2003)
 
    In 2012, I blogged daily in a Lenten journal.  You can go day by day or read as you like.  For instance, today is day 9 of the 40 days; read it here.
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Most St. Patrick’s Day dinners, you’ll find a pot of potato soup and a grand loaf of Irish soda bread on my table.  I’ve been making it for as long as I’ve been responsible for the dinner. So if that’s what you fancy, you’re in for a treat; I’ve blogged it already here. One year, however, I also did a great Guinness Beef Pot Pie with Cheddar Biscuits. It’s not hard, but it takes a while to make. (Worth every minute of it.)
  
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This year I’ve a notion to create something — one meal — out of two favorite Irish dishes — colcannon (mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale and milk) and salmon, a lovely, healthy fish that thrives along Ireland’s west coastline.  While I love both colcannon and salmon, I’ve never had them together and certainly never cooked them together in one skillet.  Today’s the day, but first listen to this sweet song (click on title for link) “Colcannon,” by the Black Family– sometimes known as “The Little Skillet Pot”.  Lyrics are below.
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Continue reading “Colcannon and Salmon in the Little Skillet Pot”

38 Power Foods, Week 35 — Yogurt — Smoked Salmon Frittata with Horseradish Yogurt and Irish Scones

38 Power Foods, Week 35 — Yogurt — Smoked Salmon Frittata with Horseradish Yogurt and Irish Scones

This is also A Week of St. Pat’s Recipes, Friday…

There’s nothing like a scone.  You can pronounce it skone or skahn, as does my friend, Marie, who’s from South Africa:

“I asked the maid in dulcet tone
To order me a buttered scone
The silly girl has been and gone
And ordered me a buttered scone.”

Long or short “o,” however  you say scone, make a pot of tea while the scones bake and be sure your butter is softened–or  your cream whipped, if you like that.  My barely sweet little scones are a good foil for a savory frittata without moving all the way to sugar-high coffee cakes or Danish, which are more time-consuming at any rate.   Along with some sliced (or grilled) tomatoes or a bit of salad, they round out a gorgeous brunch or lunch.  If it’s brunch, you might stretch the occasion to include an Irish coffee for St. Patrick’s Day or another special Sunday.

Today’s frittata, laced with smoked salmon (an Irish specialty) and sautéed shallots and mushrooms, is topped with a horseradish yogurt sauce to highlight 38 Power Foods tribute to healthy, luscious yogurt:

1/4 cup Greek yogurt + 1 tablespoon grated horseradish–Lovely for an omelet or grilled salmon.

One cup of yogurt provides nearly 45% of your daily calcium needs, plenty of protein, many B vitamins, and minerals such as potassium and phosphorous.  Best of all, though, is yogurt’s rich and healthful assortment of live bacteria that may help maintain the digestive system, boost the immune system, prevent yeast infections, and lower cholesterol.  Calorie counts, as well as many other things, vary greatly between brands, but Chobani plain Greek yogurt is about 130 calories per cups and has 15 grams of protein.

 

smoked salmon frittata with horseradish yogurt
4 generous servings or 8 smaller ones

I used potatoes cooked the night before. If you need to cook potatoes, start with that.  A quick way would be to microwave for 2 minutes or so and thensauté them with the shallots and mushrooms.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch crushed rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 4 ounces thickly cut mushrooms (any)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked potatoes, sweet potatoes, or a mixture
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 1/2-inch x 1 – 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup Irish cheddar, shredded; divided (1/4 cup in the frittata and 1/4 cup for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt/ I like Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon grated horseradish
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced

In a large sauté pan (12-14 inches in diameter), heat over medium flame the butter, oil, rosemary and pepper for one minute.  Add the shallots and mushrooms; cook until softened, about three minutes.
Add cooked potatoes and cook another minute or two until potatoes are hot.

While the veg cooks:  In a medium bowl, beat or whisk eggs with salt and stir in salmon and cheese.  Pour egg mixture into pan and cook 3 minutes or until eggs are about half-set.

Meantime, in  a small ramekin, whisk together the yogurt and horseradish; top with a grind of black pepper.  Set aside.

Place pan in oven and let bake another 3-5 minutes or until eggs are set to your liking. Watch carefully at this point.  Remove to a large cutting board, by banging pan on the counter a time or two to loosen eggs, and turning over quickly with a gentle slam to get the frittata onto the board upside down.  Sprinkle with the other 1/4 cup of the cheese and let sit a minute before cutting into fourths or eighths, like a pie.  Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold with yogurt sauce and sliced or grilled tomatoes.

Just out of the oven–the top is barely firm.
Bang and turn it out upside down onto a large board.  Top with cheese.
Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm, at room temp, or cold.

 
Notes:  Frittata is an Italian word for omelet  and is usually an open-faced omelet with vegetables and/or meats.   While frittata ingredients are often cooked from scratch, it’s useful and expedient to use leftovers such as sliced ham or prosciutto, cooked shrimp,  sautéed potatoes or asparagus, etc.  Many people cook their  frittatas totally stovetop; I prefer to start them on the stove and finish them in the oven–watching carefully to make sure they’re not over-cooked.

Frittatas are lovely leftover, julienned, for snacks with drinks or on an antipasti platter.  They also make a great sandwich for someone just starved at next morning’s breakfast.
 

I spent some time once on a sheep farm in Ireland.  Lovely.  Green.

irish fruit scones   adapted for American kitchens
                                                          original recipe by Edmund Cronin, THATCH COTTAGE, County Kerry

  •  8 ounces all purpose, unbleached flour (1 3/4 cups approx.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50 g (2 ounces or 4 tablespoons) butter
  • 50 g (2 ounces or 1/3 cup) granulated sugar
  • 75 g (3 ounces or 1/2 cup) sultanas (raisins)–I used currants
  • 1/4 pint/ 125 ml (1/2 cup approx) milk       
  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (425 F/ gas mark 7)
  2. Lightly grease a small baking sheet.
  3. Mix together flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl.  Cut in butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.  Stir in sugar and raisins or currants.
  4. Add milk and mix to produce a soft dough.
  5. Turn the dough onto a floured board or counter and knead about a minute until well-combined and holding together.
  6. Roll out dough to about 3/4-inch thick.  Using a floured 2-inch cutter, cut scones into rounds and place on baking tray.
  7. Brush with milk to glaze.
  8. Bake 12 minutes or until done to your liking; I like them a bit crisp on the outside.
  9. Remove scones to a wire rack and serve warm or at room temperature with soft butter. (The Irish might serve these with whipped cream rather than butter.)

Buy a little package of Irish butter for these scones. You’ll be glad you did.  Cows in Ireland are happy, happy campers and they make transcendent butter.

Patted out dough waiting to be cut with a floured cutter or knife.

Baker’s notes:  I used a food processor fitted with a steel blade for steps 1-4, but I turned the mixture out and did the rest by hand, including working in the last of the milk.  The dried fruit would be chopped finely if you continued in the food processor much longer.  To do the whole thing by hand or with a pastry cutter would be fairly quick and simple, as well.  Some cooks would just use their hands to get the butter into the flour; I find it melts too much from the heat of my hands and prefer a metal cutting force of some sort–either the pastry cutter or the food processor blade.

Scone Song…

I made these scones Thursday for lunch (we need natural light for photography) and we –well, mostly Dave — gobbled them right up.  You could eat a lot of these; mine were small.  I’m making them again for Dave’s monthly men’s breakfast at church.  I made the dough, patted it into a round, wrapped it tightly in plastic, and refrigerated it.  My plan is to bake them and send them warm to the guys.  I’ll let you  know how it turns out.  I, however, have no butter to go with them because I stupidly left out butter on the table from having friends over.  Miss Gab ate all of it and then got into the soft cooking butter I keep on the counter in the kitchen.

aka BUTTER GIRL

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People always talk about the green in Ireland; I loved the oh-so-blue sky:

You can order smoked Irish salmon via Burren’s (North County Clare) from anywhere in the world here. or call T: +353 65 7074432.

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38 Power Foods is a Team Effort!

Stop by these other blogs and see what they’re cooking each week as we team up to bring you some of the healthiest cooking available:

Minnie Gupta from TheLady8Home.com

All sites may not blog power foods each week.

Sing a new song; listen to Rob Leveridge,
Alyce

A Week of Recipes for St. Pat’s, Thursday — Guinness Beef Pot Pie with Cheddar-Dill Biscuits

A Week of Recipes for St. Pat’s, Thursday — Guinness Beef Pot Pie with Cheddar-Dill Biscuits

Made in a deep, heavy 8 quart cast iron pot with a  lid  (Dutch oven)

Last year around this time, I made a pot roast with big pieces of butternut squash and halved onions in the oven.  A day later I took the leftovers, including the gravy, and made stew.  Stew from leftovers is definitely an improvement over freshly made stew.   There’s a deeper, fuller, and more flavorful rich quality–without question.  It’s just that there’s usually less than when you make a fresh pot. That stew made very quickly with the addition of more onions, celery, and Guinness stout, etc., was divine.   I mean it, it was an incredible stew. When my boss tasted it (and she’s a really good cook), she said, “Alyce cooks for God, you know.”

At the top of Dublin’s Guinness brewery, there’s a 2DIE4 pub…here’s one view.

No who knows totally why one time things are so scrumptious you want more and more — and another time (same ingredients and method apparently) it’s like, “This is ok. Yeah, we can eat dinner here.”  Perhaps it’s the quality of the meat (in the case of stew) or maybe it’s a little pixie dust.  Your taste buds might be on their “A” game so that you are able to season the pot in an extraordinary way.   Truly, I just don’t know.  I know when I’m tired — really exhausted– the meal prepared under those circumstances is plebian.  I just did that recently, so I know.  I know when I don’t give something my undivided attention that it’s bound to be less interesting.  (As in the kids are hungry-throw a bunch of cut-up chicken in the oven and make some rice for God’s sake.)

Despite the fact that I make several pots of stew over the winter each year, I remembered that one.  I also remembered I was determined to recreate it from scratch if possible.  Hence this pot of stew that, by the end of the cooking, morphed into one big pot pie.

We could choose between three temperatures of Guinness pints. Dubliners love their Guinness and speak highly of the company that has employed and taken care of many of them over the years.

Options:
 
**If you’d like stew only, add a cup or two more liquid, and skip the biscuits.  You could, without question, make the whole pot of stew in a pot on the stove.

**I did not try it, but I’d guess it’s possible to make the stew all day in the crock-pot–cutting down the amount of herbs–, pour it into an oven-safe pot and bake with the biscuits right at dinner time.

**Another option might be (again, I didn’t try this) to cool the stew and top it with puff pastry, brushing the pastry with a little melted butter or an egg wash–one egg beaten well with a teaspoon of water.  (If you put the puff pastry on hot stew, it’ll be melting.)  You would then need to bake in a hot oven (400 degrees F) until the puff pastry was golden.  That might appeal to some cooks more than making biscuit dough.  Here’s a method.

**Like Bisquick biscuits?  Go on; I won’t know, though I encourage you to learn to make biscuits.  I once knew a woman whose husband insisted he married her because she could make beaten biscuits in her sleep.

** I also give directions –see “Cheddar-Dill Biscuits” scrolling down — for baking and serving the biscuits separately if that suits you better.

Come cold, there’s little more satisfying than a pot of stew in the oven. I encourage you to use the oven method if you can.  Play cards.  Listen to music.  Watch “Michael” or “The Quiet Man,” if it’s St. Pat’s  One of the interesting things about this stew is it’s made without potatoes though you could add some if you’d like.  I prefer other root vegetables and stick with carrots, turnips, parsnips, as well as celery, onions, garlic, and butternut squash.  I’ve you’ve no butternut squash, use extra carrots, parsnips, or a combination.  Serve this with another couple of cold Guinness stouts or a glass of your favorite Syrah or Côtes du Rhône if you’re not a dark beer person.  (You’ll still love the stew; I promise.)

Five St. Pat’s Movies to Watch This Weekend (Washington Post)

guinness beef pot pie with cheddar-dill biscuits
a look and cook recipe
Total preparation and cooking time:  approximately 2 1/2 –  3 hours.
Serves 6-8

 ( Read through before beginning.  Scroll down for separate ingredients list and biscuit recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  To an 8 qt Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add 3 tablespoons canola oil. When hot, add 2-3  pounds beef chuck (seasoned well with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper) cut into 1 – 1 1/2 inch pieces. Brown well in two batches, removing the first batch to a plate while you cook the second.

To the second batch of browning beef, add 2 large chopped onions.  When beef is nearly brown, add four cloves chopped garlic.  Cook a minute, return first batch of beef to the pot, and stir in 2 tablespoons flour. Cook 2 minutes, stirring.

Pour in 2 cups each beef broth and Guinness stout,  and stir well to scrape up the bits at the bottom of the pot. Add 1 bay leaf,  1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, a large sprig each of fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage.* Stir in 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish or a good hard shake or two of Tabasco.
Add 4 ounces quartered button mushrooms along with one each turnip and parsnip , 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery, and 1 cup of  butternut squash, all cut into around 1/2 inch pieces.
Bring to a boil stirring occasionally.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Cover and bake in the oven 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until beef and vegetables are tender and sauce is thickened. 

 Remove from oven and take out the fresh herb sprigs.^ If stew is very, very thick, add a cup water or broth, but no more stout.  Biscuits will soak up a lot of the liquid as they bake in the stew.
Meanwhile, make cheddar-dill biscuit dough. It’s a very wet dough.  (See below for recipe.)
Spoon biscuit dough (I used a wooden spoon) onto the top of the cooked stew. Brush biscuits with a tablespoon of melted butter. Biscuits will rise and expand to nearly cover top of pie. 
Return to oven and bake uncovered another 20-30 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.

Serve hot with a crisp green salad.  Store leftovers well covered in frig 2-3 days.  Rewarm in another casserole in oven.

Ingredients List (see below for biscuit ingredients):  2-3 pounds beef chuck roast cut into 1 – 1 1/2 inch pieces; salt and pepper; 2 large onions; 4 cloves garlic; 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour; 2 cups each beef broth and Guinness stout**; 4 ounces button mushrooms; one each turnip and parsnip; 2 carrots; 1 cup cut butternut squash; 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1 bay leaf, and 1 sprig each rosemary, thyme, and sage*; 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish or Tabasco.

*You may substitute two teaspoons each dried rosemary (crumbled) and thyme with 1/2 teaspoon ground sage.

**If you don’t want to use beer, use all beef broth.

^ Leave in bay leaf.  Whoever gets it has good luck!

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cheddar-dill biscuits for pot pie

Cook’s Note:  This recipe is for the biscuits cooked in the stew.  If you want to bake a pan of these biscuits separately, decrease the milk to 2/3 of a cup and mix until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a floured board or counter and knead 10 times or so before patting or rolling out the dough until it’s about 1/2-inch thick. Cut biscuits out with a floured 2-inch round biscuit cutter.  You could also cut the biscuits into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife.  Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220C/Gas Mark 7) on a baking sheet or in a  big (10-inch) pie plate for 15 minutes or until golden. You can serve the biscuits with a pie server in the pie plate at center of the table.  They’ll stay warm a good long while and your family or friends can help themselves.

  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried dill
  • 1/2 cup (4 tablespoons) cold butter, diced–plus 1 more tablespoon, melted for tops of biscuits
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (Irish cheddar would be fun.)
  • 1 cup milk

Stir together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Add cold butter and using a pastry blender or two knives (you can use just your fingers or even do the whole thing in a food processor), cut in the butter until the butter is mostly blended and the mixture appears sandy.  Stir in cheese.  Pour in milk and mix well without over-mixing.  (Using a large spoon, divide dough fairly evenly around the top of the pot pie and brush with the tablespoon of melted butter before baking.)

Sing a new song; listen to Rob Leveridge,
Alyce
(first posted october 2012 right here on More Time)

A Week of Recipes for St. Pat’s: Tuesday — Potato Soup and Irish Soda Bread

A Week of Recipes for St. Pat’s: Tuesday — Potato Soup and Irish Soda Bread

                                            photo copyright Alyce Morgan, 2003
I had a farm in Ireland…….
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Not.  I did, however, visit once.
I wish I could go back.
I can’t go today, but I can make Potato Soup and Irish Soda Bread on
St. Patrick’s Day……
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I’ve been making this meal for a long time.  I love it, but I don’t make it any other time of the year.  I don’t know why.  Perhaps it wouldn’t be special if I made it, say, in May or September.  You, however, have no holiday strings emotionally strumming over these recipes and could make them next week or next year.  Go you.  So, here’s the soup………..and then the bread–
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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potato soup with leeks and bacon
2 slices of bacon, diced; 1/4# Canadian bacon, chopped*
2 onions (different kinds are nice), chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 leeks, chopped
3 large pototoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces, optional
6-8 cups unsalted chicken broth
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 c Greek yogurt or sour cream
parsley or dill
 
In an 8-10qt soup kettle, saute bacon until about half-done; add Canadian bacon.  Cook until well browned.  Remove meats  from pot and drain on paper towel-lined plate.  Cool and  refrigerate until you’re going to serve the soup.
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Pour out all but enough bacon grease to coat the bottom of the pan well.  Add onions, garlic and leeks and saute until almost golden, stirring often.  Add potatoes, turnip and parsnip and cook 2-3 minutes until hot.  Add chicken broth.  Bring to a  boil and lower the heat.  Simmer until all vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste. 
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Puree (you can choose not to, as well)  in food processor, with hand-held blender or by hand using potato masher.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream, a bit of the bacon and ham and a garnish of fresh parsley or dill.  Make sure there’s fresh ground pepper at the table.
*You could choose to use all bacon.  You can also stir in all of the sour cream into the pot for a creamy soup.
There isn’t much better than soup and bread anywhere.  If you’re cold.  If you’re really hungry.  Can you think of anything better? Kids eat this.  Lots.    I have a friend whose husband doesn’t like soup,  Just doesn’t like it at all.  He did, however, eat soup at my house once.  And asked for the recipe later. Such folks are few and far between.  Who doesn’t walk in a house, smell soup simmering or bread baking and go, “Wow!  It just smells so good in here.”  And, while we can’t always put our fingers on what makes us happy in life, we do know we like it when the house smells like something good to eat.  Those  “Wow”s come with big smiles and anticipatory movements that include looking around for the delighting elements.  So, here’s the bread.  More on the provenance later.
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irish soda bread, american style
                        Baker’s Note:  Irish butter is well worth the splurge.
4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
1/4 c butter
1 1/2 cup currants or raisins
1 1/3 cup buttermilk (+ 2-3 T, if at altitude)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
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Grease a 2 quart  round bowl (ovenproof), casserole or  deep cake pan. OR Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for a free-form loaf.
Preheat oven to 375F..
In food processor, or large mixing bowl, measure dry ingredients except baking soda and mix well.  Cut in with blade attachment or with knives or pastry blender, the butter.
In a large mixing cup, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs; add the currants and baking soda.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix well to form a very wet dough. (If using a food processor, add the liquid ingredients first and then stir in the currants by hand to avoid mincing the currants.)
Turn dough into the prepared baking bowl and bake for about an hour  (or a bit more)  until bread is very well-browned and firm in the center, approximately 45-55 minutes.  A wooden skewer stuck in the middle of the bread should come out clean or nearly clean.  You may have to test several times. 
Alternately you can bake a free-form loaf:  Remove the wet dough from the food processor very carefully, if using,  with well-floured hands to a floured board or counter and knead briefly, adding a bit of flour as needed to get the dough to hold together well.   Shape into a round or oval 10-12-inches in diameter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking tray. Bake about 45-55 minutes.  The bread is more easily done through in the free-form version and is just as tasty.
Let this bread sit 15-20 minutes before cutting or it will crumble.  Serve with lots of salty Irish butter, please.  Cool completely before wrapping tightly in foil and storing in the refrigerator.  Will keep 3-4 days.  Excellent leftover just as it is, but even better for toast made under the broiler.
Me and the green.
A couple of notes on the provenance of the recipes:
I began (and later changed) the potato soup years ago from a recipe called  “A Cold Winter’s Day Potato Soup” from THE EASTERN JUNIOR LEAGUE COOK BOOK, edited by Ann Serrane and published by David McKay in ??1980.
The bread recipe is one I have no idea about from whence it came.  It’s on a recipe card I’ve had for so many years.  I’d guess I copied it out of a magazine or a book at the library one day as a young wife.

originally posted march 2010

Sing a new song,
Alyce 

This Week on Dinner Place…..

Lentil-Wild Rice Soup with Kale and Chicken Sausage 

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A Week of Recipes for St. Pat’s: Monday – Darina Allen’s Soda Bread

A Week of Recipes for St. Pat’s: Monday – Darina Allen’s Soda Bread

 

(a repeat post from march 9 2012)

That’s it. I’m leaving home.  I always wondered where I’d get my cooking credentials (other than living in my kitchen) and now I know.  I’m going to the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland.  I’ll see you later.  It’s time I earned my toque… or at least an apron that says, ” Ballymaloe.”

Ireland:  Cliffs of Moher                                                                                                                         (copyright Alyce Morgan, 2003)

Ok, I’m not.  But I’d like to.   Meantime,  just in time for St. Patty’s Day, I’m baking some bread from the Cookery School’s founder and Ireland’s best chef-teacher, Darina Allen, number 38 in Gourmet Live’s list of 50 Women Game-Changers in Food:

 

(Courtesy Koster Photography
When Americans make or think about Irish Soda Bread, which they only do in March of every year, they think about the American take on the bread (think chop suey), which I adore and make as often as anyone:


Here’s my own American version.  Please have a little bread with your butter

But if you go to Ireland and stop in a hotel or restaurant for breakfast (or other meal), you find that the soda bread is whole wheat.  Dense, thick, sturdy, filling.  Perfect smothered with lots of beautiful Irish butter and jam or, even better, dipped in a deep, dark mug of tea.  And, should you not think about it, this bread is a chunky, dunky sideshow for stew or soup, as well as tasty sandwich bread.   Get ready to dirty your hands and bake up!

darina allen’s brown soda bread

400g (14oz) wholemeal flour (about 3 cups)
75g (3oz) plain white flour, (Darina specifies unbleached if you can get it) (about 3/4 cup)
1 tsp salt,  (Darina specifies dairy salt, which is finer, but I used regular old table salt.)
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda, sieved  (baking soda)
1 egg
1 tbsp sunflower oil  (I used canola oil)
1 teaspoon honey ( or treacle or soft brown sugar)
425ml (¾ pint) buttermilk  (or add 2 tbsp of lemon juice to 600 ml (1 pint) milk

Method

Grease a loaf tin (I used 9x5x3) with vegetable oil. Preheat the oven to 200°c (gas mark 6).  (about 400 degrees Fahrenheit)
Put the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and mix well.  Make a well in the centre ready for the wet ingredients.
Whisk the egg and add it to the oil, honey (or treacle or sugar), and the buttermilk (or lemon juice/milk mixture).
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and using your clean hands mix well.  The dough should be very sticky, Darina describes it as ‘soft and slightly sloppy’, if it’s not add more buttermilk. Pour into the loaf tin and bake for about 1 hour.
To test take it out of its tin and tap the bottom, if it’s cooked it will sound hollow.
Allow to cool before eating if you can manage it.

Recipe courtesy The Ordinary Cook   
My cook’s notes are in red

{printable recipe}


Use the other side of your measuring cups for this one; you need 425 ml of buttermilk.


I weighed both flours for accuracy

Full “well”


Smooth it out as best you can in a greased pan.


Very healthy wholewheat bread, but quite yummy with a little butter and jam

GOES WELL WITH POTATO SOUP!

the skinny on darina
I don’t know how she does it….

Owner of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, Co Cork, Ireland, teacher, food writer, newspaper columnist, cookbook author and television presenter. School is situated on an organically run farm.
Graduate in Hotel Management, Dublin Institute of Technology.
Member of Taste Council of Irish Food Board, Chair of Artisan Food Forum of Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Food Safety Consultative Council of Ireland, Trustee of Irish Organic Centre, Patron of Irish Seedsavers.
Cooking Teacher of the Year Award from IACP 2005, Recipient of Honorary Degree from University of Ulster 2003, Winner of Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year 2001, Waterford Wedgwood Hospitality Award 2000, Langhe Ceretto Prize 1996, Laois Person of the Year 1993…and more.
 courtesy Ballymaloe Cookery School;  County Cork, Ireland.

Watch a little video about Ballymaloe here.

Bake your own bread-no excuses now,
Alyce 

10 Pounds in 8 Weeks or Subtract 35,000 Calories

10 Pounds in 8 Weeks or Subtract 35,000 Calories

I had a little too much Christmas.  Hm.

I am going out on limb here.  I’m putting my behind (insert your favorite epithet here) on the line as well as in gear.  My current fitness goals include these objectives:

  •  lose ten pounds in eight weeks by changing/cutting back on my food intake and to….
  •  put in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 4 days a week (outdoors when possible)
  •  do a stretch routine daily
  •  weight train 3 times a week
  • blog my progress weekly

If you do the math, we’re talking about (how do I get) 10 pounds off by Saint Patrick’s Day (Sunday, March 17), which, if you’re a long-time reader, you know is when I have a houseful of potato soup and soda bread:

And it is NOT that potato soup and Irish soda bread are particularly highly caloric (they’re not), it’s just my date.  The one I chose because it’s eight weeks away.
I thought if I blogged my process, I’d be a little more accountable.  The choir will be asking me on Wednesday nights, “How’s that ten pounds going?”
Here we are at our Christmas party.
My fellow Friday bloggers (many of whom are very healthful indeed) will probably post comments about my ingredients or dance routines.   

My sisters will email, “Well?

My friends will be looking at me every week. 

My couch potato dogs will be after me to take them on more walks and play ball more often.  (It’s -14 F this morning; we’re staying home, guys.  We do play ball down the stairs on really cold days.  Your mother wouldn’t be pleased.)

Why not  a regular diet program?

I cannot seem to stick out a “regular” diet program any more or, if I do, it’s not successful.  I stayed on South Beach for months.  I think I lost five pounds, which I promptly gained as soon as I added bread back into my diet.  Dave lost nearly twenty in around 10 weeks.  I’m not saying it’s me and I’m not saying it’s the diet, but I’m JUST SAYIN’ I can’t get any of it to work.  I am a life-long Weight Watcher.  I’ve gotten to goal more than once and then fell off the wagon.  Sad.

After thinking about it for quite a while and talking to a number of friends who had worked out their own systems (one was: no snacks and cut back on serving size at dinner for a year for a total weight loss of 22 pounds), I came up with mine just because I’d like to be able to move more easily and quickly and have my clothes fit better.  If it works, I may try it for another eight weeks sooner or later.  Another ten wouldn’t hurt.

What I usually eat:  One of the things I wanted to do was to keep a portion of my meals just like they always are.  My typical day begins with a veggie/egg white omelet or Greek yogurt, fruit, with 2 T homemade, lowfat granola.  I drink coffee with milk or cream–probably 3 cups a day.  Lunch is leftovers, homemade soup, or if I’m out–soup, salad or veggie burger.  Dinner you know–it’s often on here.  I often drink wine with dinner.  I’m not a dessert person, though I like to make them. (A pie or cake could sit here and mold before I’d eat it.)   I ‘m a chocolate addict and so rarely keep chocolate in the house.  I’m not a snacker and evenings are not a problem for me.  I don’t eat much bread.

FYI:  I have no health problems and all my “numbers,” according to my recent physical reports are “optimal.”  The only number I need to change is that of my weight.

Here’s what I’m trying:

I have a total of 35,000 calories to get rid of by any means that works.  I can do the math.  I know what foods have what calories (I’m a food blogger and have cooked all my life!) and I know what calories are burned by my typical exercise routines.  If I wanted to buy a beautiful $35,000 car for cash, I’d have to bank the money monthly–right–until I had enough to walk in to the dealer and lay down my check. (I’m doing that actually–for a trip, not for a car.)  To lose weight, I use the same concept, but in reverse.  I START OUT WITH the 35,000 in my “bank” and I take some out each week until there’s nothing left.  If God is good (and I know that’s the case), I’ll have lost 10 pounds.
My way.  Still eating things I like within reason.  To make things rounded off and easy, I plan to take away, subtract, lose (whatever) 4,000 calories per week for a total of 32,000 calories.  The other 3,000 or 377  per week (53 per day) will come from less fat and dairy in my regular daily diet.

The weekly goal is to take away 4,000 calories per week for a total of 32,000 calories like this:

  1. 30 minutes of low aerobic exercise (walk/light dance w/ 2 min run) a day 4 days a week (400 cal.)
  2. No cream in my coffee 6x a week (Even God rested on Sunday.) (600 cal.)
  3. No meat -2 nights a week/Cut back a bit other nights (1,000 calories)
  4. Vegetables or fruit ONLY 4 lunches per week–the lion’s share (2,000 cal.)*

*Raw  salad, cooked vegetables, fruit salad, an apple with a little yogurt, etc.)

I’ll let you know how it’s going! I have no idea if this will work, but I’m giving it a go.  I trust my own intellect and instincts.

I’ll track my intake, exercise, and weight loss on my fitness pal--a fine, free tool you might like to explore.

I’m singing a new song and would really appreciate your support,
Alyce