St. Patrick's Day

Irish Cream Truffles

March 15, 2012

Irish Cream Truffles

These Irish Cream Truffles are easy to make and worth every bite. They make a nice homemade gift or keep them for yourself.

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Whipping Cream

1 Pound High Quality Real Bittersweet Chocolate Broken Into 1 Inch Pieces

4 Ounces High Quality Real Milk Chocolate Broken Into 1 Inch Pieces

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

¼ Cups Butter

3 Tablespoons Irish Cream Liqueur

2/3 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa

In a 2 quart saucepan place the whipping cream, bittersweet chocolate and milk chocolate. Cook over a low heat for 4 minutes. Stir occasionally. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and Irish Cream Liqueur. When the butter has melted pour the truffle mixture into a medium size bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. You want the mixture to be firm. Remove from the fridge and set on the counter for a few minutes. In a medium size shallow bowl sift the cocoa. With a tablespoon scoop out rounded tablespoonfuls of the chocolate mixture. Drop each one into the cocoa and roll to coat. Shape into balls and roll in the cocoa again. Gently place onto a tray and refrigerate them for 45 minutes until firm. Store refrigerated. Makes 36 truffles.

Irish Stew

March 14, 2012

Irish Stew

I have been making Irish Stew for years. The worst stew that I have ever had was when I went to Stonehenge a few years ago. There was this food cart outside of Stonehenge and I was super hungry. It was cold outside and I needed something to warm my tummy. I plunked down my money and got a paper bowl full of I don’t know what. I honestly didn’t know that someone could make stew that bad. At any rate, here is my recipe for Irish Stew that I am sure that you will love.

INGREDIENTS

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 Pound Cubed Lamb

1 ½ Teaspoons Kosher Salt

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

2 Cups Peeled & Cubed Potatoes

1 Chopped Onion

1 Cup Diced Carrot

1 Diced Leek

4 Chopped Garlic Cloves

1 Cup Beer

1 Cup Tomato Juice

15 Ounces Beef Broth

1 Bay Leaf

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon Thyme

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the lamb and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook and stir for 7 minutes. Remove the meat to a plate and set aside. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pan. Add the potatoes, onion, leeks, carrots and garlic. Cook and stir for 5 minutes. Return the lamb to the pan and add the remaining salt, pepper and the other remaining ingredients. Continue to cook for 10 minutes until the stew comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Put the lid on and cook for 2 hours. Ladle into bowls and serve hot. Serves 6

Shamrock Cut Out Cookies

March 13, 2012

Shamrock Cut Out Cookies

On St. Patrick’s Day everyone is Irish! These cookies are so cute they just might bring you a wee bit o’ luck!

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Softened Butter

3 Ounces Softened Cream Cheese

¾ Cup Sugar

1 Large Egg

1 ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3 Cups Unbleached Flour

Frosting:

2 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar

2 Tablespoons Water

1 Tablespoon Softened Butter

1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup

½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

2 Drops Green Food Coloring

In a large size bowl combine the butter, cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat at a medium speed for 2 minutes until creamy. Scrape the bowl often. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour. Beat for 1 minute. Divide the dough in half and wrap each in plastic wrap and flatten slightly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours because you want the dough to be firm. Preheat your oven to 375° F. Remove the dough from the fridge. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface one half at a time. Keep the remaining dough in the fridge. Roll out to ¼ inch thickness. Cut with a 2 ½ inch shamrock cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely on wire racks. When cool frost. Makes 3 ½ dozen cookies.

Frosting: In a small size bowl combine the powdered sugar, water, 1 tablespoon butter, corn syrup and vanilla. Beat at a medium speed until the powdered sugar is moistened. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth. Add additional water if you need to. Tint with the food coloring and beat for 30 seconds. Frost the cooled cookies.

Brown Sugar Corned Beef

March 5, 2012

Brown Sugar Corned Beef

Most people boil corned beef. I tried baking mine encrusted in mustard and brown sugar. Slow cooking it in the oven really

seals in the flavor. I like this corned beef hot, but also makes great leftover sandwiches.

INGREDIENTS

5 Pound Corned Beef Brisket

1 Cup Dijon Mustard

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Minced Garlic Clove

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Rinse the corned beef and throw away the spice package if it comes

with the brisket. Cover a baking sheet with a large piece of aluminum foil. Spread the mustard on the corned beef. Sprinkle with the minced garlic and then the brown sugar. Tightly wrap the brisket in the foil. Put the wrapped corned beef on the baking sheet and put in the oven. Cook for 3 hours. After 3 hours of cooking turn on the broiler and unwrap the top of the foil. You will want to broil the top of the corned beef just long enough for the crust to brown. Remove from the oven and serve. Makes great sandwiches too! Serves 4

Split Pea & Ham Soup

October 15, 2011

Split Pea & Ham Soup

Ever since I was a kid I have love Split Pea & Ham Soup. I always looked for the chunks of ham and carrots. Here is my recipe that I think that you will like.

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Chopped Onion

1 Teaspoon Olive Oil

1 Pound Dried Split Peas

1 Pound Diced Ham

3 Diced Carrots

1 Chopped Garlic Clove

½ Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

In a medium pot, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil on medium heat. Add the split peas, ham and 6 cups of water to cover the ingredients. Add the carrots. Season with the salt and pepper. Cook covered on medium low for 2 ½ hours until it is just green liquid and no peas left. You may need to add more water as the soup continues to cook. When the soup is done turn off the heat and let stand for 20 minutes so that it will thicken. When you are ready to serve heat through so that you will be serving warm soup. Serves 4

Irish Soda Bread

September 8, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

Many people think that St. Patrick was holding a slice of Irish Soda Bread in one hand while driving the snakes out of Ireland with the other hand, but Soda Bread actually came long after St. Patrick. Soda Bread was introduced in the mid 1840’s when bicarbonate soda was used in Ireland as a leavening agent to work with the native soft wheat. Irish Soda Bread became popular extremely popular in Ireland after the Famine years. Traditional Irish Soda Bread is made with flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk or sour milk. This recipe is not a strict traditional recipe, but rather one that you can play around with. If you want to leave out the currants or caraway seeds you can. It is up to you. I love this Irish Soda Bread and think that you will too.

INGREDIENTS

4 Cups Unbleached Flour

3 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 ¼ Teaspoons Baking Soda

1 ¼ Teaspoons Salt

2 ½ Tablespoons Sugar

9 Tablespoons Butter

1 Cup Currants

3 Tablespoons Caraway Seeds

2 Eggs

1 1/3 Cups Buttermilk or Sour Milk

½ Cup Milk For Brushing Top Of Bread

Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, caraway seeds and currants. Cut the butter into quarters and add to the dry mixture. Blend the eggs and buttermilk in a separate bowl and then add them to the flour mixture. Incorporate all of the dry and wet ingredients together and this will form your dough. Briefly knead the dough. Grease an 8 inch round pan and add the dough to the pan. Cut a bold cross into the top of the dough to avoid splitting. Brush the top of the bread with milk and bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Make 1 loaf

Guinness Chocolate Cake

April 6, 2011

Guinness Chocolate Cake

Thank you Arthur Guinness!

INGREDIENTS

CAKE

1 Cup Guinness Stout

2 Cups Sugar

½ Cup Butter

2 Tablespoons Butter

½ Cup Cocoa

1 Cup Sour Cream

2 Large Eggs

2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

2 Cups Unbleached Flour

2 ½ Teaspoons Baking Soda

FROSTING

½ Cup Heavy Cream

8 Ounces Cream Cheese

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 ¼ Cups Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 350° F.  You will need a 9 inch cake pan.  Grease and line with parchment paper.  In a medium sized saucepan pour the Guinness and add ½ cup of butter.  On medium-low heat until the butter is melted.  Remove and whisk in the cocoa and sugar.  Set aside.  In medium sized bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla and sour cream until it is combined.  Next add the sour cream mixture to the Guinness mixture in the saucepan.  Finally, beat in the flour and baking soda.  Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes or until done (toothpick comes out clean).  When done remove from oven and cool completely (in the pan) on a wire rack.  Remove from pan and frost.  Serves 8

Frosting: Beat the cream cheese, vanilla and powdered sugar together until creamy.  Slowly add the heavy cream and beat until well combined.  The frosting should be spreadable at this point.

Corned Beef & Cabbage

March 17, 2011

Corned Beef & Cabbage

INGREDIENTS

1 ¾ Pounds Onions – Divided

2 ½ Pounds Carrots – Divided

6 Pounds Corned Beef Brisket

1 Cup Malt Vinegar

8 Ounces Stout Beer

1 Tablespoon Mustard Seed

1 Tablespoon Coriander Seed

½ Tablespoon Black Peppercorns

½ Tablespoon Dill Seed

½ Tablespoon Whole Allspice

2 Bay Leaves

3 Pounds Cabbage

2 ½ Pounds Small Red Potatoes

½ Cup Coarse Grain Mustard

½ Cup Dijon Mustard

Divide onions and carrots and chop enough to fill 1 cup of each, reserving the rest.  In a heavy duty 4 gallon pot, place the corned beef, chopped onions, carrots, malt vinegar, stout beer, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, dill seeds, whole allspice and bay leaves.  Add enough water to cover the corned beef and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 3 hours or until meat if fork tender.  While the corned beef is cooking, cut the reserved onions into eight wedges and the carrots into 2 inch chunks.  Slice each head of cabbage into 8 wedges.  Add onions, carrots and red potatoes to the cooked corned beef, with the cabbage on top. Cover and return to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes and cabbage are fork tender. 

To serve, cut corned beef against the grain into thin slices and accompany with the cooked vegetables.  Dijon mustard and coarse grained mustard complement the corned beef as optional condiments.  Serves 12

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