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Tag Archive | "Irish"

St. Patrick’s Day Fun


Jenny HarperIt’s true – the kitchen is the heart of the home. Ever notice how people always gather there? Whether baking treats, making dinner or spending time with family and friends, the kitchen is my favorite place to be. Since my day job is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens, you can bet I love to stir things up. This column lets me pass along to you some of my best recipes, tips and baking secrets.

(Family Features)

Photo courtesy of Nestlé

Everybody’s a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, right? This year, join in the fun of celebrating all things Irish with these simple ideas:

•    For the table, have the kids make some shamrock napkin rings and Irish flag placemats out of construction paper. Sprinkle some green confetti on the table and use a potted shamrock plant as a centerpiece.

•    Have a traditional Irish dinner with Irish Stew and Soda Bread, a Shepherd’s Pie or, of course, Corned Beef and Cabbage.

•    For dessert try this festive “Lucky You” Mint Pie. The creamy combination of mint and chocolate is so good that it’s bound to become the newest tradition around your St. Patrick’s Day table.

•    Write out some traditional Irish blessings on slips of paper and tuck them into treat bags of mini shamrock cookies to send home with your guests. Here’s one that I like:
May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

For more ways to cook up some Irish fun, visit www.VeryBestBaking.com.

Photo courtesy of Nestlé

“Lucky You” Mint Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Makes 8 servings

1     cup (6 ounces) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels
1     can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk, divided
1     tablespoon butter
1     prepared 9-inch (6 ounces) chocolate crumb crust
1     pkg. (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
1/3     cup water
1    teaspoon peppermint extract
3 to 4     drops green food coloring (optional)
1     container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
Additional Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels
fresh mint sprigs (optional)
MICROWAVE 1 cup morsels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 45 seconds; stir until smooth. Stir in butter; pour into crust. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until cool to the touch.
MEANWHILE, BEAT remaining evaporated milk, pudding mix, water, peppermint extract and 3 drops food coloring in medium bowl until combined.  Gently stir in 2 cups whipped topping and additional drop of food coloring, if desired.  Spoon over chocolate layer.
REFRIGERATE for 2 hours or until set. Sprinkle with additional morsels. Spoon remaining whipped topping in center of pie. Garnish with fresh mint.
Nutrition Information per serving: 400 calories; 180 calories from fat; 21g total fat; 13g saturated fat; 1.5g trans fat; 20mg cholesterol; 280mg sodium; 50g carbohydrate; 2g fiber; 36g sugars; 5g protein; 0% DV vitamin A; 0% DV vitamin C; 10% DV calcium; 6% DV iron
Jenny Harper is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager for the Nestlé Test Kitchens and VeryBestBaking.com.

Posted in Featured, RecipesComments Off

From IRISH pastures comes a pot of gold


Family Features

Yes, there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s found in each blade of grass growing in Ireland’s lush pastures. Small herds of cows graze freely, and the milk, rich in beta-carotene from the grass, produces butter and cheeses of an exceptionally golden hue.
Thousands of years before the Irish discovered potatoes, dairy cows, milk and butter were being woven into the fabric of Irish society, according to the Cork Butter Museum in Cork City, Ireland. The Cork Butter Exchange, a market created by the merchants of Cork City in 1769, was in its time, the largest butter market in the world, exporting as far away as Europe and America.
Today, dairy products continue to play an important role in Irish cooking. Cooperatives of farmers, creameries and cheesemakers provide delicious Irish butter and cheeses throughout the U.S. under the Kerrygold label.
Here are some iconic recipes from some stars of Irish cooking, using Kerrygold cheeses and butter. To learn more about Kerrygold, and for where-to-buy information, visit www.kerrygold.com/usa.

Dubliner Shepherd's Pie

Dubliner Shepherd’s Pie

Makes 4 to 6 servings
“Our family loves a hearty shepherd’s pie after a long day working on the farm. Because our cows produce milk to make Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, we like to add some shredded Dubliner to the potato crust.”
— Donal Murphy, Kerrygold dairy farmer, Bandon, County Cork, Ireland
Potato Topping:
1 1/4     pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2     tablespoons Kerrygold Irish Butter
1/3     cup milk
1     cup shredded Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese
1/2     teaspoon salt
Filling:
1     pound lean ground beef
2     tablespoons Kerrygold Irish Butter
1     medium onion, chopped
4     small carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
2     tablespoons flour
3/4     cup Guinness Stout
3/4     cup beef stock
1     teaspoon dried thyme
1/2     teaspoon salt
1/2     cup frozen peas, thawed
Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly butter an 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Cook potatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes or until very tender; drain well. Mash with butter and milk until smooth, then stir in cheese and salt and set aside.

Crumble beef into a medium skillet and cook until no longer pink; remove from skillet and set aside. In same skillet, melt butter. Add onion and carrots; cook for 10 minutes over medium heat to soften, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute more.

Add Guinness, stock, thyme and salt; cook and stir until mixture is slightly thickened then stir in peas and cooked beef. Spoon into prepared baking dish then spread potato mixture over the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Brown Soda Bread, Roasted Root Vegetable Soup, and Cheese Toasties.

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

Serves 4 to 6
“You can substitute pumpkin, turnip or celeriac for the swede (rutabaga), or just use a mixture — this is a very flexible recipe.”
— Neven Maguire, chef/owner of the renowned MacNean House and Restaurant in Blacklion, County Cavan, Ireland; popular TV cooking star and cookbook author
1     small swede (rutabaga) cut into cubes
2     carrots, cut into cubes
1     parsnip, cut into cubes
3     tablespoons olive oil
4     tablespoons (1/4 cup) Kerrygold Irish Butter
1     onion, finely chopped
2     celery stalks, finely chopped
1     garlic clove, crushed
1     teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1     quart (4 cups) vegetable stock
1/2     cup single cream (or substitute half and half)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place swede, carrots and parsnip on baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season generously and roast for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown and tender, shaking baking sheet occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon olive oil and butter in large heavy-based pot, and add onion, celery, garlic and thyme. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes until softened but not browned, stirring occasionally.

Add roasted root vegetables to pan and then pour in stock. Bring gently to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until completely tender, stirring occasionally. Purée with a hand blender until completely smooth.

To serve, stir cream into soup. Gently heat through and season to taste, then ladle into warmed bowls.

Note: You don’t have to add the cream if you’re watching the calories, but you might need a little extra stock to thin the soup.

Cheese Toasties

Serves 4 to 6
4     tablespoons (1/4 cup) Kerrygold Irish Butter
8     slices firm, country-style white bread
1     package (7 ounces) Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese, grated
1     tablespoon snipped fresh chives
Salt and freshly ground black Pepper

Butter bread and arrange cheese over half of the slices, buttered side down. Sprinkle with chives and cover with remaining slices, buttered side up.

Preheat a griddle or large non-stick frying pan and cook sandwiches two at a time 2 minutes each side until golden brown and cheese has melted. Keep hot.
To serve, cut the cheese toasts into fingers.

Brown Soda Bread

Makes 2 loaves
“This is an all-purpose and relatively foolproof recipe based on several I collected while researching ‘The Country Cooking of Ireland.’”
— author Colman Andrews, whose Irish cookbook won the 2010 James Beard Foundation award for Best International Cookbook and Cookbook of the Year

3 1/2     cups stone-ground whole wheat flour, preferably Irish or Irish-style
1 1/2     cups unbleached white flour, preferably Irish, or pastry flour, plus more for dusting
3/4     teaspoon baking soda
1     teaspoon salt
1    teaspoon softened Kerrygold Irish Butter, plus more for greasing
1 3/4     to 2 cups room-temperature Buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix wheat flour, white flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Work butter into mixture with your fingers.

Form a well in the middle of flour mixture and pour buttermilk into the well. Form your hand into a rigid claw and stir dough slowly but steadily in a spiral motion, starting in the middle and working outwards. Dough should be soft but not too wet or sticky. (Start with 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, gradually adding, if necessary, to achieve the right consistency.)

Turn dough out onto a floured board. Flour your hands lightly, then shape dough into a flat rectangle about 2 inches high. Cut dough in half lengthwise with a wet knife, then gently push each half into a lightly greased glass or foil loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the tops of the loaves are nicely browned.

Serve this bread with plenty of Kerrygold Irish Butter.

Rhubarb Crumble

Rhubarb Crumble

Serves 6
“Crumbles are the ultimate comfort food. Vary the fruit according to the season.”

— Darina Allen, founder of the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland

Filling:
1 1/2     pounds rhubarb, cut in
1/2-inch slices
1/2     cup sugar
Crumble:

4     tablespoons (1/4 cup) Kerrygold Irish Butter
4     ounces (scant 1 cup) white flour, preferably unbleached
1/4     cup superfine sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. In bowl, mix filling ingredients; turn into a 1-quart (4 cups) capacity pie dish.

Rub butter into flour just until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, then stir in sugar.

Sprinkle this mixture over rhubarb in the pie dish. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until topping is cooked and golden. Serve with whipped cream and soft brown sugar, or try stirring a little Amaretto into your cream.

Recipe adapted from the “Ballymaloe Cookery Course Book” published by Kyle Cathie.

Posted in Featured, Recipes, SeasonalComments Off


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