Archive for April, 2009

Irish Soda Bread

I made this along with the stew. Soda bread is an acquired taste and can be quite bland. My husband found it not very interesting, but I enjoyed dipping it in the stew.

Irish Soda Bread (epicurious.com)

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I did half whole wheat!)
2 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, I skipped)
1 teaspoon baking-soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (about) buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly flour baking sheet. Mix flour, caraway seeds (skipped), if using, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Mix in enough buttermilk to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Turn out onto lightly flour surfaced and knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute. Shape dough into 6-inch-diameter by 2-inch-high round. Place on prepared baking sheet. Cut 1-inch-deep X across top of bread, extending almost to edges. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.


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Irish Stout Stew

I’m posting this a bit late, but to celebrate St. Patricks Day, I made an Irish Stout Stew and Soda bread. Both turned out pretty good, but were not that authentic in my opinion (having had lots of stew in Ireland).

Irish Beef Stew (elise.com)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces (NOT extra-lean)
6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
I cup of Guinness beer
1 cup of fine red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

You can follow the directions below if you want, but I just threw everything in a crockpot and cooked it on low for 8 hours. I added mushrooms at the end for about 15 minutes.

1 Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Lightly salt the beef pieces. Working in batches if necessary, add the beef (do not crowd the pan, or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until nicely browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over. Continue to cook in this manner until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2 While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for one hour.

3 Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)

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Cajun Style Snapper

Looking for an easy way to make red snapper? This dish only takes minutes and adds lots of flavor to an very mild fish.

Cajun Style Blackened Snapper (Modified from Allrecipes.com)

2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano

4 (6 ounce) fillets red snapper
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a small bowl, mix together paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and oregano.
2. Put olive oil in skillet and heat over medium high heat. The oil should be nice and hot.
3. Generously coat each fillet with the seasoning mixture. Place the fish fillets in the hot skillet. Cook until the coating on the underside of the fillet turns black, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the fish over. Cook for another 2 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

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Buttermilk Coffee Cake

We loved this coffee cake. Its really moist and delicious. You can easily double the recipe and make for a crowd.

Buttermilk Coffee Cake (http://www.dianaskitchen.com)

2 cups all-purpose flour, sift before measuring
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup sifted flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk (I used low fat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Stir together 2 cups flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Measure 3/4 cup of mixture and set aside for topping. To remaining flour mixture add 1/3 cup flour; blend well. Add egg, buttermilk, baking soda, and cinnamon. Mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn dough into a buttered 9-inch square pan (I used a 8 inch round). Mix together the reserved flour sugar mixture and the chopped walnuts or pecans; sprinkle over the top of the batter. Bake coffee cake in a 350° oven for 50 to 55 minutes. Let coffee cake cool in pan then cut into serving-size pieces.

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