Happy St. Patrick’s Day. It’s that time of the year when everyone has at least an Irish shamrock in their hearts. Here are some recipes Irish recipes and a few that I’ve been making over the years. A “pint” or a glass of Irish Cream liqueur goes very well with this selection. Even an Irish coffee goes well (Take a glass of strong, hot coffee, add a tablespoon of sugar, an ounce or two of Irish whisky, stir and add a topping of whipped cream and you’re ready to go!).
Irish Soda Bread with Blueberries
This Irish soda bread is delicious with dried blueberries, but raisins, currants, or other dried berries or chopped dried fruit work well also.
1 cup dried blueberries or raisins
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
3 tablespoons cold butter
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon melted butter
Granulated sugar or cinnamon sugar blend for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 x3 -inch loaf pan.
In a saucepan, bring blueberries and water to a boil; cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and baking soda; with a pastry cutter cut in cold butter until the mixture is like meal or small crumbles.
In another large bowl, whisk together sour cream and egg together; stir in the dry mixture just until moistened. Drain blueberries, discarding juices. Carefully fold in the berries. Transfer to the prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces cold butter, cut in pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing
1/2 cup dried blueberries, raisins or or currants
Preheat oven to 400°.
In a large bowl combine with a whisk the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add pieces of cold butter and cut in with a pastry cutter or 2 knives, until mixture looks like coarse meal.
Add buttermilk a little at a time, mixing after each addition, until the 3/4 cup buttermilk is used and mixture is clumping. Add the dried blueberries and fold them in by hand.
Transfer dough to a floured surface and pat into a round about 1/2-inch thick. Cut with a 2-inch round biscuit cutter and place on greased baking sheet or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with buttermilk then sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm with butter and jam or preserves.
Makes 10 to 12, depending on size.
Irish Lamb Stew
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into coins
2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 pound white or sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced, about 5 medium potatoes
2 pounds lamb neck pieces or shoulder chops, trimmed
Pinch of salt and black pepper
4 bay leaves
4 slices thick smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bottle of dark stout
Place the chicken broth and bay leaves into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Put all the vegetables into a slow cooker; arrange the lamb on top, sprinkle the bacon pieces over the vegetables. Pour stout over the top of the lamb.
Add boiling chicken broth and salt and pepper to taste pouring over the lamb . Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours on HIGH or 7 to 9 hours on LOW. Remove bay leaves and discard, serve hot.
Fat free ingredients may be substituted in this recipe.
2 pounds all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into ½ (one half) inch pieces
½ (one half) cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons Greek yogurt or cream cheese
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 pound lean ground beef
2 large sweet onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 large carrots, cut into small pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into small pieces
½ (one half) cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, chopped
1 ½ (one and one half) teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 10-ounce package frozen green peas, thawed
1 10-ounce package frozen kernel corn, thawed
In a covered large saucepan, place potatoes and parsnips and enough cold water to cover, heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to medium, uncover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain well and return to saucepan. Add milk, yogurt or cream cheese, melted butter, and salt and pepper to taste, mash until smooth. I use an electric mixer. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a skillet brown ground beef until cooked through, stirring. Transfer cooked meat to a large bowl, leaving drippings in skillet. Add onions, carrot, celery and salt and pepper to taste. Cool about 5-8 minutes until tender, stirring. Add wine and Worcestershire sauce to skillet, cook about 2-3 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in thyme and cooked beef with any juices.
In a 3-quart shallow baking or casserole dish spread half the mashed potatoes in an even layer. Sprinkle ½ (one half) cup grated cheddar cheese. Top with cooked beef mixture, peas and corn. Spoon remaining potatoes evenly on top, spread gently to cover filling. Sprinkle remaining grated cheddar cheese over top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes in a 425 degree oven until top is a golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
This traditional Irish dish is a mixture of buttery potatoes and cabbage and is good any time of the year.
1 ½ (one and one half) pounds red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium head of cabbage, chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
4 bay leaves
1 cup milk
5 tablespoons butter
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
In a large heavy pot place potatoes and bay leaves and cover with water. Bring water to a boil, cover and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes until potatoes are almost tender. Add the cabbage the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile in a small saucepan add chopped onion and milk and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for about 6-7 minutes until onions are soft.
Drain potato mixture, discarding bay leaves, and mash potatoes with butter, milk mixture, salt and pepper.
Guinness Stout Brownies with Vanilla Frosting
1 package brownie mix
½ (one half) cup pecan nuts, chopped
Prepare brownie batter according to package directions, substituting Guinness Stout for the liquid, add chopped pecans and bake according to directions.
To make the icing:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
¾ to 1 cup heavy cream
1 1-pound box confectioners’ sugar
In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled. Top each cupcake with a tablespoon or two of frosting and dust with powdered cocoa.
Irish Cream Fudge
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup Irish cream liqueur
1 1/2 cups chopped pecan nuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
4 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
2 tablespoons butter
16 toasted pecan halves
Butter an 8x8 inch pan.
In the top half of a double boiler melt the 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips, 1 cup white chocolate chips, and 1/4 cup butter until soft enough to stir.
Stir in the confectioner’s sugar and Irish cream until mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts. Place mixture in the prepared pan and lay a sheet of plastic wrap over top; press and smooth top down.
In the top half of a double boiler melt remaining chocolates until soft. Remove from heat and with a fork beat in the butter and Irish cream until smooth. Spread topping over cooled fudge with a knife. If a smooth top is important place plastic wrap over the top. Refrigerate until firm, 1 to 2 hours at least. This fudge can be easily frozen. Cut the fudge into 16 squares and place a toasted pecan on top of each square pushing into the candy.
Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.