Halloween is a tradition of the Celts in Ireland over 2000 years ago. The Irish hold this festival to scare away bad demons, usually by lighting jack-o-lanterns, which are gourds in Ireland and pumpkins in the USA. Along with these lanterns they celebrate with Colcannon and Barnbrack cake. Try one of these recipes and go back in history. Happy Halloween!

Enjoy!

 

Colcannon

Serves 4

Traditionally coins are wrapped in pieces of clean paper and slipped into children’s colcannon for them to find and keep. Sometimes people also hide a ring in the colcannon. Whoever finds the ring will be married within the year.

 

3-4 medium white potatoes peeled and quartered

3 tablespoons milk

Pinch of salt and black pepper

2 cups chopped green cabbage or kale

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup chopped onions or green onions

 

Cook potatoes in a pot of boiling water until tender. Drain, reserving water. Place hot potatoes in a large bowl.

Add chopped cabbage to the reserved potato water. Cook 6-8 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile in the butter in a skillet fry the onions until tender.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle mash potatoes with a hand masher or fork. Add the fried onions and cabbage. Add milk, salt, and pepper and mix until fluffy.

 

Bairin Breac or Barnbrack Cake

This is a traditional Irish Halloween cake which is a sweet bread with fruit through it. Treats may be added to the cooked cake. Each member of the family gets a slice and a possible prize, like a coin, ring, thimble, etc.

 

2 ½ cups chopped dried mixed fruit

1 ½ cups brewed hot tea

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 large egg, room temperature

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

¼ cup lemon or orange marmalade

1 teaspoon grated orange zest (Optional)

 

Soak the dried fruit in the hot tea for 2-hours, then drain and gently squeeze out excess tea.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch Bundt pan.

In a bowl whisk together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda; set aside.

In another bowl beat egg, sugar, marmalade, orange zest, and tea-soaked fruit until well combined. Gently fold in the flour mixture until just combined, then pour into the prepared Bundt pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1-hour or until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Allow cake to cool in pan for 2-hours before removing. Continue to cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Press the objects of choice into the cake through the bottom before serving.

 

Creamy Corn Casserole

Makes 6- one cup servings.

1 stick butter

1 small sweet onion, minced

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon ground thyme

Pinch of salt

4 cups frozen whole kernel yellow corn

1 sleeve Ritz crackers

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large 4-quart saucepan melt ¼ cup butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in flour, thyme, and salt. Whisk in heavy cream. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Stir in kernel corn.

Finely crush half of the Ritz crackers. Stir into corn mixture along with eggs and sugar. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish. Bake covered in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

In a saucepan melt remaining butter. Crush remaining Ritz cracker and add to butter. Toss to coat. Top casserole with crackers and bake, uncovered, about 35-40 minutes more or until heated through.

 

Kale with Dried Cranberries and Candied Pecans

12- one cup servings, recipe may be cut in half.

1 cup candied pecans

1 ½ pounds red or green kale, stemmed, chopped, rinsed and dried about 12-15 cups

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons orange juice

¼ cup EVOO olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

1 small sweet onion, minced

1 firm apple, cored and sliced

2/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins

3 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved

In a skillet with one tablespoon butter , 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, and one cup pecans toss to coat and cook for about 4-5 minutes over medium high heat to toast. Remove from heat, cool and set aside.

In a large salad bowl combine kale, 2-tablespoons lemon juice and 1- tablespoon orange juice. Massage kale for 3-5 minutes to tenderize.

In a screw top jar combine 1-tablespoon lemon juice, 1-tablespoon orange juice, olive oil, honey, onion, salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste. Shake well.

Toss kale with apple, pecans, cranberries, and cheese. When ready to serve add dressing and toss to coat.

 

Cranberry Bars

Jam:

1 12-ounce bag fresh or frozen cranberries

2/3 cup granulated sugar

½ cup water

¼ cup raspberry seedless jam or orange marmalade

Pastry:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup rolled oats (not quick cooking oats)

2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

¾ cup light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 stick butter, cut into small pieces at room temperature

 

In a saucepan bring cranberries, sugar and water to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Lower heat and simmer, stirring and mashing cranberries, until mixture is very thick, about 15-18 minutes. Stir in raspberry jam and cook for 2-minutes.

Cool completely, about 30-40 minutes.

Pastry:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil with the foil extending over the edge of pan, and spray with vegetable cooking spray.

In a blender or food processor pulse all ingredients except butter until well blended. Add butter and pulse until mixture begins to clump. Firmly press half of the pastry evenly in bottom of prepared pan. Spread with cranberry jam, then sprinkle on remaining pastry and gently press into an even layer.

Bake until a golden brown about 40-50 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a rack. Lift foil to remove pastry from pan and cut into bars.