Friday, March 31, 2017

Irish Cornbread

I thought I'd finished up all my St. Patrick's Day recipes, but I forgot one! Irish cornbread. This was an interesting recipe, and it turned out to be really tasty. It is unlike any cornbread I've ever made or tasted. Give it a read, and maybe try it out soon!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place iron skillet in oven to heat. Place four cups of milk in a large saucepan and bring nearly to a boil. There will be steam coming off it and have lots of little bubbles around the edges. 

Remove from heat and add two cups of yellow cornmeal mix, four tablespoons of butter and one teaspoon salt. 

Mix well using a whisk. Allow this to sit off the heat for about 10 minutes to thicken.

Meanwhile, separate three eggs and beat the whites until you have medium peaks.

By now the cornmeal mixture will have cooled some. Add egg yolks and stir well.

Mix thoroughly.

Just before baking, add about 1/3 of the egg whites and mix with the whisk to lighten the mix.

Fold in the rest of the egg whites carefully to keep them from deflating.

It's OK if you can still see a few streaks of white.

Remove skillet from oven and add one teaspoon EVOO. I used a pastry brush to get the oil up the sides.

Pour in batter. You will hear it sizzle!

Bake for about 30 minutes or until brown on top.

We topped this with Kerry Gold butter, of course. It was St. Patrick's Day after all! The texture of this cornbread was much different than what I am used to, but I liked it a lot. It was much denser, but it wasn't heavy. It was more like a spoon bread. It was delicious!

This finally wraps up St. Patrick's Day (seriously!) and March for that matter. I'm working on my Easter decorations this weekend. See you in April!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Triple Chocolate Mint Delights

I'm finishing up my St. Patrick's Day recipes just in time for the weekend. These cookies...y'all, you MUST make them. But do it at your own risk. I'm not really big on sweets, but I could NOT stop eating these. Yum. Jewell named these. Can't decide whether the name is a stroke of genius or just the best description ever. Maybe both.

Triple Chocolate Mint Delights

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
2 large eggs, plus one large yolk
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
green food coloring
3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces mini chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
4 ounces dark chocolate chips
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

You could use just one kind of chocolate chips. The recipe just called for semi-sweet. But this is what I had on hand. And to be honest, I would suggest doing at least half semi-sweet and half dark. I think all milk chocolate or all semi-sweet would be to sweet. The dark chocolate balances things nicely.

Begin by creaming softened butter and granulated sugar. Mix until light and fluffy.

Meanwhile, mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Use a whisk for easy sifting. 

Measure out chocolate chips.

Add eggs, one at a time, to creamed butter/sugar. Add peppermint extract and 8-10 drops green food coloring. Mix well.

Gradually add in flour, mixing until just combined.

Scoop out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

They should be just set and a little brown around the edges.

These are amazing warm.

And just as good three days later. Assuming there are any left!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Roasted Cabbage Steaks

We're wrapping up our St. Patrick's Day main course today with these roasted cabbage steaks. I saw these on pinterest, and of course, they looked amazing. I decided to give them a try because they didn't require a lot of hands on time or last minute minding. 

I began by removing the top two or three leaves.

Then I placed it on it's side (core out at 9:00), and sliced it into steaks or rings about 1/2" thick.

Be careful as you cut. They want to unravel. Place on a sheet pan.

Brush with oil. I grabbed for my EVOO bottle, but picked up the canola. Either is fine.

Flip carefully and oil the other side.

Salt and pepper liberally. Cabbage can handle it. Put in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes. Watch it and don't let it burn. You do want brown crunchy edges, though.

This really tastes just like stir fried cabbage that gets a little crispy. It was easy to do and let me focus on finishing my soup while this cooked in the oven!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Creamy Irish Potato Soup

Due to our busy schedule, we celebrated St. Patrick's Day a day early last week. Today I'm starting to roll out the recipes, and we start with what we started with - Creamy Irish Potato Soup. 

I worked with leeks a few weeks ago when I made my homemade chicken noodle soup. As I stated then, you have to wash these really good before you use them. This one was dirtier than usual. You will need TWO leeks for this soup. (They usually come in groups of three.) 

Begin by cutting off the dark green part of the leaves and then removing the outer layer.

Next, cut in half lengthwise.

Cut into half inch half moons and submerge in cold water. Swish around a lot and let them sit.

Meanwhile, melt a stick of butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.

Here you can see all the sand and grit left from the leeks. Yuck! Don't want that in our soup.

Here are the leeks after I removed them from the water and patted them dry.

Add leeks and one chopped up medium onion to the butter. Stir to coat. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally so it doesn't get brown.

While this is cooking, peel and dice three large russet potatoes. These are the large baking-sized ones.

This is what the onion and leeks should look like after the 20 minutes - soft but not brown.

Add diced potatoes and three large cloves of garlic, minced. Stir well, cover and cook another 20 minutes on low.

Here's what it looks like. Potatoes are soft and letting off their starch. Still not any color on anything.

Add four cups of chicken broth.

Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover.

After another 15 minutes, here's what you have.

Remove from heat and use a stick blender to puree soup. Once soup is smooth, add one cup of heavy cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. I did all of this that morning so all I had to do was reheat the soup for supper.

Later that night while I was cooking our cabbage and Irish cornbread, I took the last leek and using just the white part, I sliced it into thin sticks. 

Then I cleaned these in water and dried them COMPLETELY.

I added about a teaspoon or two of EVOO...

and a 1/4 cup of flour, salt, pepper and a teaspoon each of garlic powder and paprika. Mix these well by tossing.

I spread these out as much as possible and put them in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Watch them and don't let them burn. Allow them to cool on the pan. They will crisp up as they cool.

I shredded a little of our corned beef and used it as well as the leeks and some chopped chives to garnish the soup. Do this at the last minute. It will sink pretty quickly.

It was St. Patrick's Day, so to be cute, I added about 8 drops of green food coloring to the soup after I pureed it. It's subtle, but noticeable, and didn't affect the taste at all.

This was so creamy and rich. Everyone ate this soup - and asked for more!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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