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Posts Tagged ‘Irish’

postheadericon Irish Soda Bread

As St Paddy’s Day approaches, our thoughts often turn to irish foods and traditions. Soda bread is a quick bread traditionally made in a variety of cuisines in which sodium bicarbonate (otherwise known as “baking soda”, or in Ireland, “bread soda”) is used as a leavening agent instead of the traditional yeast. The buttermilk in the dough contains lactic acid, which reacts with the baking soda to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide.

According to The Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread (I’m not joking…), “All recipes for traditional soda bread contain flour, baking soda, sour milk (buttermilk) and salt.  That’s it!!!  This was a daily bread that didn’t keep long and had to be baked every few days.  It was not a festive “cake” and did not contain whisky, candied fruit, caraway seeds, raisins (add raisins and it becomes “spotted dog” not to be confused with the pudding made with suet of the same name), or any other ingredient.” The bread was traditionally baked in a cast iron skillet.

The Americanized version of soda bread that many of us are familiar with often contains sugar, raisins or currants, citrus zest, even butter.  Back in the early 1800’s, when it was introduced, soda bread was a poor man’s bread and would not have been made with those relatively luxurious ingredients.

The cross on the soda bread has several explanations, Legend has it that folks did it to bless the bread and to “let the devil out” while it’s baking for good luck, and others say that it made it easy to divide into 4 pieces. It was also a symbol for a cross during Christian holidays. It also allows the heat to permeate the thickest part of the loaf, allowing for more even baking.  (This recipe from Tish Boyle Sweet Dreams)

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cups (323 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups (185 g) cake flour * (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dark raisins
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk ** (see notes)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it lightly with cooking spray or lining it with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  3. Sift the flours, baking soda, sugar, and salt together into a large bowl.
  4. Add the raisins and caraway seeds and make a well in the center.
  5. Add the melted butter and buttermilk to the well and gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones until a dough forms.
  6. Gently knead the dough with your hands a few times and shape it into a large ball with a taut top (don’t handle the dough too much – the more you handle it, the tougher it gets).
  7. Place the dough on the baking sheet and flatten it slightly. To make the cross on top, use a sharp, serrated knife the make a cut about 1 to 1-12 inch deep.
  8. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with some flour and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until it is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  9. Wrap the bread in a tea towel when it comes out of the oven. Cool in the tea towel set on a wire rack.
  10. This bread is best eaten the day it’s made but can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap then aluminum foil and frozen for up to 2 months.

Notes

* To make your own "cake flour": Measure and add 1 cup all-purpose flour to a mixing bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons of flour. Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to the bowl. Mix to sift together the cornstarch and flour mixture. Use as needed in your recipe.

** To make your own 'buttermilk" Mix 1 T white vinegar or fresh lemon juice to 1 cuo whole milk. Stir and allow to sit for 10 - 15 minutes. Use as needed in your recipe. If you need more than a cup, just keep the ratios the same. For two cups, use two cups of milk and two tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar.

http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/03/10/irish-soda-bread/

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postheadericon Irish Potatoes (Candy)

Irish potato candy is a traditional Philadelphia confection that, despite its name, is not from Ireland, and this version does not contain any potato. The candies have a coconut cream inside and are rolled in cinnamon on the outside, resulting in an appearance reminiscent of tiny, freshly dug potatoes. The “potatoes” are about the size of a large marble and are especially popular around St. Patrick’s Day. Although they are Philly-based, they are available in many areas and are made commercially by Oh Ryan’s of Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, who claims to be the largest distributor of Irish Potatoes, shipping about 80,000 pounds to major chains and smaller candy stores, mostly in the Philadelphia area. See’s Candies, based in South San Francisco, also makes a version.  You will often find these candies featured as a seasonal product in the Philly area and elsewhere in Eastern Pa (and beyond) in supermarkets and candy shops. It is super simple to make your own with a few ingredient! Rarely does a St Paddy’s Day go by that a container of these are not in my refrigerator. Be aware – they are addicting!

NOTE: You can substitute cocoa for the cinnamon if you prefer (especially if you do not like the “bite” of cinnamon)

Irish Potatoes Candy

Irish Potatoes Candy

Irish Potatoes Candy

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces (1/2 - 8 ounce package) full fat cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted to remove lumps
  • 2 and 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon or as needed

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla and confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth.
  3. Using your hands if necessary, mix in the coconut. Roll into one or two bite sized balls then slightly elongate the ball into a potato shape.
  4. Roll in the cinnamon.
  5. Place onto a cookie sheet and chill. Store in refrigerator tightly covered.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/01/21/irish-potatoes-candy/

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postheadericon Guinness Stew

For deep, rich flavor, this stew can’t be beat.  I absolutely love it and make it often. It is delicious accompanied by a nice slice of buttered dark rye or pumpernickel to soak up the gravy. I make this the day ahead of when I plan to serve it. I believe that stews, as with many soups, improve in flavor when allowed to “age” that way before serving, but sometimes, the sight and aroma of it cooking means I have to have a dish immediately once it is done. The brown sugar in this recipe balances the flavor of the Guinness. I use red potatoes in this recipe because their moisture and starch content work perfectly and they do not turn to mush during the simmer time. This version of the stew has the potatoes added. Some people omit the potatoes from stew and serve it ladled over mashed potatoes.

Mrs. Fogg’s Guinness Stew

Mrs. Fogg’s Guinness Stew

Guinness Stew

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 pounds chuck roast or stewing beef, cut into bite size pieces (about 1 inch square)
  • 3.5 pounds red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 pounds baby carrots, cut in half or regular carrots cut into 1/4 inch slices.
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 T jarred beef bouillon (like Minor's, Orrington, Better Than Bouillon.)
  • Half a small (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed dark brown sugar
  • 1- 12 ounce bottle Guinness Draught
  • 2 tsp. garlic and herb seasoning (McCormick, etc.)
  • black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 large dried bay leaf
  • 3-1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Canola oil (for browning and as needed in the recipe)

Instructions

  1. Cut beef info bite size chunks. Pat very dry with paper towels. Prepare veggies, soak potatoes in cold water until ready to use.
  2. Heat large stew pot or dutch oven over medium high heat until hot.
  3. Add 1 T. oil to pan, add one third of well dried beef chunks to pan and cook until VERY well browned on all sides. Do not crowd pan. Do in batches to allow beef to brown rather than steam.Remove to dish, add another T oil if needed and brown next batch of beef. Repeat until all beef chunks are crusted and well browned. This step is imperative for rich flavor. Remove beef to dish with previous batches.
  4. Toss onions into pot and brown lightly. Remove onion to dish with beef.
  5. Add 3 T oil to pan then sprinkle with flour. Turn down the heat and stir oil and flour together to lightly cook flour about 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Remove pot from heat. Pour in the bottle of Guinness and stir rapidly with wooden spoon to de-glaze the pan. Scrape the pot well to loosen all bits, then add the water, the beef bouillon, tomato paste, brown sugar, seasonings, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
  7. Add the vegetables, place lid on pot and bring to boil. Turn down to simmer, cook 90 minutes or until beef and vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. If you cut the vegetables and beef into larger chunks, cooking time will have to be increased.
  8. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Notes

Note: The liquid at the beginning of cooking will likely not cover the vegetables, but the veggies will release moisture and the liquid will increase as it cooks. Keep a lid on the pot, allow the condensation from the lid to drop back into the pot when you remove the lid to stir the stew. If it is too thick for your taste, add small amounts of water and adjust seasonings if necessary. Can be made the day before serving - this reheats well. It also freezes well.

http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/26/guinness-stew/

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postheadericon Homemade Irish Cream

Note: This beverage contains alcohol. Please drink responsibly.

Creamy, luscious, and a treat for any occasion, this homemade Irish Cream makes lovely gifts for the holidays or to treat yourself! Super easy, so plan to whipping up some batches to give family and friends for the holiday season.

Homemade Irish Cream

Homemade Irish Cream

Yield: 1 quart

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
  • 1-1/4 tablespoon Hershey's chocolate syrup
  • 1 cup cream or half and half
  • 1 cup whiskey of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • For Mint Flavor if desired: 1 to 3 tablespoons white Creme de Menthe

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for at least one minute. Chill. Keeps in the refrigerator 4 - 5 months.
  2. Cook's Note: If you have concerns using the raw eggs in this recipe, you can , substitute with pasteurized eggs or egg product.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/22/homemade-irish-cream/

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postheadericon Colcannon

The Coal Region is home to many with deep Irish roots. The discovery of Anthracite and the plentiful work for miners led many Irish laborers, escaping oppression and the infamous potato famine, to the Coal Region. Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish consisting of cabbage (or kale) and onion (or leeks) fried until tender then folded into creamy mashed potatoes. Bacon may be added if desired. Every family has “their” recipe and each will be a little bit different than the others. Colcannon makes a terrific side dish with ham or corned beef, but it can be a meal in itself. Simple, down-to-earth comfort food that’s easy on the budget and sure to please your taste buds. HINT: Form refrigerated leftovers into patties and fry in a pan in some melted butter until browned on both sides.

Colcannon

Colcannon

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 small head cabbage, chopped (or substitute with kale)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
  2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserving drippings, crumble and set aside. In the reserved drippings, saute the cabbage and onion until soft and translucent.
  3. Drain the cooked potatoes, mash with milk and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the bacon, cabbage, and onions, then transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the melted butter. Serve immediately.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/09/20/colcannon/

 

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