Slovak Paska (Easter Bread)

April 3, 2015

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Is it really Good Friday already?!! Where has the time gone? It seems that I just finished writing about Malted Scáiltín Cupcakes on the last day of my St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-polooza. I guess my little blogging vacation is over. Time to get back in the kitchen! And on this Good Friday I’d like to tell you all about a delicious bread, Paska, which is traditionally enjoyed at Easter in many Eastern European countries.

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Baking bread around Easter is certainly not new for me. Every Good Friday you will find me in the kitchen baking up a batch of Apple & Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns. These buns are delicious and because I am always very careful to bake them on Good Friday, they have some magical powers.

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It’s true. I always save at least one bun from my yearly batch. That bun, if you hang it in your kitchen, will not only protect your household from fires but will also work as a charm to ensure all of your bread baking endeavours will be successful. Indeed, a dried bun from the previous year, also has medicinal properties. You can grate a bit of it into the liquid of your choice to make a restorative elixir that will help sick folks regain their health. This powder can also be applied directly to wounds with the same curative results. So yup, I always bake up a batch on the appointed Friday. Not to mention I Love me some Hot Cross Buns and really, to be honest, I just love bread. Pretty much all bread. The only exception I can think of is Rye bread…I’m not too keen on that. Oh yeah and Irish Soda Bread which contains caraway seeds…but I’ve already told you how much I loathe that. Otherwise, bread is always welcome at my table. A couple of Easter’s ago I tried my hand at a Russian Easter Bread called Kulich. Kulich is a sweet yeast bread filled with spices, rum drenched raisins and apricots and topped with frosting and sparkling sugar.

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Todays Easter Bread, Slovak Paska, is an egg and butter rich bread which is light, fluffy and slightly sweet. The loaves are often decorated with Christian symbolism. As I mentioned, it is enjoyed in many eastern european countries with each country’s version slightly different, some with raisins, some without, some with cheese in the bread, or sour cream. Actually I’m sure Paska recipes vary from Granny to Granny, regardless of country borders. The recipe I chose is a Slovak Paska. I am not of Slovak descent, but did run the recipe by my friend John, who is and he definitely remembers his Granny making just such loaves of bread for Easter.

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Slovak Paska was easy to make. I couldn’t believe how high it rose! It really looks amazing and if you can believe it, it tastes even better! And while it is delicious all on its own, really you don’t even need to butter it….but hey – I will never pass up butter…

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we’re already drooling just thinking about it wrapped around a few slices of Easter ham. Not to mention the Easter morning Paska French toast! There’s still time for you to get in on this action. Bake up a loaf for your Easter table today.

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Slovak Paska (Easter Bread)

  • Servings: 20
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe slightly adapted from: King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup luke warm (98° – 105° F /36.5° -40.5° C) water
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 5 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks

For the Topping:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon cold water
  • coarse white sparkling sugar, optional

Directions:

**The King Arthur Flour site, where I first saw this recipe, simply instructs one to “Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients – by hand, mixer, or bread machine – to make a soft, smooth dough.” This sounds very easy and straightforward to me. However, although everything I have ever made from a King Arthur recipe has been a success, that is not how I make the dough for yeast bread. I proceeded to make it how I am accustomed to doing it, which takes a few more steps. I have written them out below. Feel free to proceed with whichever method you prefer to arrive at a soft, smooth dough.**

Heat the milk, butter sugar and salt in a sauce pan over low heat until the butter and sugar are melted. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to luke warm.

Place the lukewarm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Leave for 5 minutes or so until the yeast is foamy.

Add approximately 2 cups of flour to the bloomed yeast mixture and mix on low-speed until combined. Add the lukewarm milk mixture, eggs and the remaining flour. Mix until combined.  The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the mixer bowl. If the dough seems too “loose” slowly (1 tablespoon at a time) add flour until you see it pulling away from the sides and bottom of the bowl and adhering to the beater.

Switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 -8 minutes until you have a soft smooth dough which springs back slowly when you poke your finger into it.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s noticeably puffy.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; divide it into two pieces, one twice as large as the other. Take the larger piece, roll into a ball, and place it into a well-greased 9″ x 2″ round pan.

Divide the other piece of dough into three equal pieces, and roll each out into a 20″ strand; use the three strands to create one long braid.

Place the braid around the inside edge of the pan, or use it to form a cross over the top of the larger piece of dough.

Cover the loaf and let it rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F, with a rack in the center.

To make the topping: In a small bowl, beat the egg with the water. Brush the mixture gently over the top of the risen loaf, and sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired.

Bake the bread for 35 to 45 minutes, or until it’s a rich golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool before cutting.

Enjoy!

Slovak Paska brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 


Malted Scáiltín Cupcakes

March 17, 2015

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Woohoo! Today’s the day and I’ve got a great St. Patrick’s Day recipe all ready for you…Malted Scáiltín Cupcakes. For those of you who have been following along with me for any time now know that I simply adore cupcakes. So for St. Patrick’s Day I decided to make a cupcake version of Scáiltín (Irish Milk Punch), which is a drink made with hot milk, Irish whiskey and spices.

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It has been taking the chill off folks in Ireland since the middle ages. I told you all about it a couple of years ago and if there was ever a winter to inspire one to imbibe a few of these, it was the one we just had and are hopefully now seeing the back of!

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I adapted a Hot Milk Cake recipe for the cake bit of these cupcakes, seeings how hot milk plays such an important role in Scáiltín and added a bit of Irish Whiskey into the mix. The frosting is a delightful combination of marshmallow creme, butter, whiskey, Baileys and spices. And just as you do with the drink, I have garnished the cupcakes with a bit of freshly ground nutmeg.

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The result is one fantastic boozy cupcake! The cake is moist and tender, sweet but not too sweet. Oh and that frosting…creamy and addictive I tell you! Cupcake perfection for St. Patrick’s Day!

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So I guess that’s it. I have managed somehow to once again complete my St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-thon. I wasn’t sure there a couple of times, but there you go, that’s seventeen…count ’em…SEVENTEEN… tasty Irish-y recipes done and dusted! I may have to take a bit of a break from the old blog now for a few days to recover, but rest assured, I’ll be back. In the meantime, I hope you get out there and enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day festivities, after you make up a big batch of these Malted Scáiltín Cupcakes of course! Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daiobh! (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)

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  • Servings: 18 cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipes adapted from: The Cupcakes from: King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion, The Frosting from: F&B Department

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) milk
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Irish Whiskey
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Frosting:

  • 1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons Marshmallow Creme
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 1/2 Tablespoons malted milk powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons Irish Whiskey
  • 3 teaspoons Baileys
  • freshly ground nutmeg to sprinkle on top

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease or line two 12 cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until very thick; the batter should fall from the beaters in a thick ribbon. Beat in the vanilla.

While you’re beating the eggs and sugar, heat the milk, butter, Irish Whiskey and honey in a small saucepan to just simmering. Add the hot milk to the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream as  you continue beating.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Don’t overmix!

Fill the cupcake wells using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes from oven and cool completely on wire rack.

For the Frosting:

Cream together the marshmallow creme and butter until smooth and fluffy.

Sift the confectioner’s sugar, malted milk powder, salt and cinnamon together. Turn stand mixer on low and add the sugar/malt mixture to the marshmallow by the tablespoon, waiting until sugar is completely incorporated before adding the next tablespoon full. Add the Irish Whiskey and Baileys and mix until smooth.

Fill pastry bag with frosting and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Just prior to serving, garnish with fresh ground nutmeg.

Enjoy!

Malted Scáiltín Cupcakes brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Spicy Irish Beef Brisket Tacos

March 16, 2015

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It’s almost here! Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day! Are you getting all your plans sorted for the day’s celebrations? I’ve got a great recipe for you to add into the mix, Spicy Irish Beef Brisket Tacos! Now I bet you’re not surprized to hear me say that these Spicy Irish Beef Brisket Tacos are not a traditional Irish meal. No, Irish cuisine is not really known to be hot and spicy. But all of my Irish friends seem to love spicy dishes, as much as the husband and I do. So I decided to have a bit of fun and make up a batch of what I thought would be perfect “Irish Tacos”. First thing I had to figure out was the meat. I thought about using corned beef brisket, but decided to go with with beef brisket, cooked slow in Guinness with some spicy chipotle peppers and adobo sauce thrown into the mix. Again with an eye to Corned Beef & Cabbage dinners, I thought these Irish tacos would definitely need to be topped with cabbage. But rather than boiled cabbage, I went with a crispy spicy Cilantro Lime Slaw. And how could it be an Irish Taco if it didn’t have potatoes on it? My solution was to make a thin crispy potato pancake which would sit right on top of the flour tortilla and under the spicy beef and tangy slaw.

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Then there was nothing to do but pile on the toppings, fresh cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, shredded Dubliner Cheese and sour cream all drizzled with a bit of that spicy Guinness/Chipotle sauce in which the brisket was cooked. Wow! As it turns out Spicy Irish Beef Brisket Tacos are fantastic! Definitely not traditional Irish fare but perhaps it is time to start a new tradition. These devils will certainly give your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations a spicy twist!

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Spicy Irish Beef Brisket Tacos

  • Servings: 8 - 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe adapted from: The Tasty Bite

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs beef brisket
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups Guinness extra stout 
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1 Tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 tsps cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 8 -10 small corn or flour tortillas
  • Spicy Crispy Potato Pancakes (recipe noted below)
  • Cilantro Lime Slaw (recipe noted below)
  • Dubliner Cheese, shredded, for topping along with fresh diced tomatoes, fresh avocado fresh cilantro and sour cream

Directions:

Season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat a dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat just until beginning to smoke. Add the meat and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.

Add garlic and onion to the pot, and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add cider vinegar, stout, crushed tomatoes, molasses, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, chili powder, cumin, bay leaves, and brown sugar, and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, add the meat, and cook covered on medium low until the meat is tender, about 2 hours.

Remove the meat and discard the bay leaves. Using two forks, shred the meat along the grain. Pour the liquid and vegetables into a blender and puree until smooth. Add the sauce and shredded meat back into the pot, and allow it to simmer on low until the sauce has thickened up, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, warm tortillas. Lay one spicy crispy potato pancake on top of a tortilla and then pile on the brisket, shredded cheese, lime cilantro slaw, tomatoes, fresh avocado, fresh cilantro and sour cream.

Spicy Crispy Potato Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups grated potatoes
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Smoked Spanish Paprika
  • 1 tsp. fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • flaky sea salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons (+ more as needed) oil for frying

Directions:

Squeeze grated potatoes to extract as much water as possible. Place potatoes in bowl and par cook in microwave for 2 minutes.

Remove bowl from microwave and mix chili powder, smoked paprika and cilantro into grated potatoes.

Heat oil in frying pan over medium high. Add about 1/4 cup of potato mixture and flatten with  a spatula. You want about a 5″ diameter pancake. Reduce heat to medium low. Season with salt and pepper. Now here comes the hard part, don’t touch it! Let the pancake cook for about 3 -4 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown. Gently flip the potato pancake over. Increase the heat to medium high again and cook for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.  Then lower the heat to medium low to finish cooking.

Place finished pancakes on paper towel covered plate and keep warm until ready to serve.

Cilantro Lime Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups shredded Cabbage or slaw mix
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • The juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

Directions:

Place shredded Cabbage is large bowl.

In small bowl, place diced jalapeno, olive oil, cilantro, rice vinegar, lime juice, garlic salt, onion powder and cumin. Whisk to combine.

Pour jalapeno/oil mixture over cabbage and toss to coat.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Spicy Irish Beef Brisket Tacos brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


Baileys Chocolate Mud Cake

March 15, 2015

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Ummmm…did someone say Baileys and Chocolate? Sign me up! Oh how I love that combination…which you might have noticed back when I told you about those sinfully delicious Baileys & Coffee Pots de Crème.

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Well, here’s another great recipe in which Baileys and Chocolate have the starring roles, Baileys Chocolate Mud Cake.

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You might be wondering what a “mud cake” is. A mud cake is a cake that has a dense tight crumb. These cakes are usually made by melting the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan and then adding the eggs and dry ingredients to the wet ones in that same pan. A mud cake has a bit of a brownie vibe to it but still is quite definitely a cake.

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A moist, rich, decadent cake which in this case is covered with a silky smooth Baileys Chocolate ganache. Chocoholic’s bliss! Oh my….it is quite possibly a cake that could tempt St. Patrick himself!

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Baileys Chocolate Mud Cake

  • Servings: 10 - 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Citrus and Candy

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 150 grams unsalted butter, chopped
  • 100 grams dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100 grams caster sugar (can substitute granulated sugar)
  • 100 grams brown sugar
  • 50 grams Dutch cocoa powder, sifted
  • 180ml Baileys Irish Cream Whiskey
  • 170 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature

For the Baileys Ganache

  • 200 grams good quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 200ml Baileys Irish Cream (you can do 100ml cream and 100ml Baileys if you’d rather not have some much Baileys…but I gotta ask…”What are you like?!! Of course you want it to be all Baileys!)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

Directions:

For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 325° F (160°C). In a pan over low heat, add the butter, chocolate, sugars, cocoa powder and Baileys. When chocolate and butter has melted, whisk together to combine making sure to get rid of any lumps of sugar or cocoa powder. Remove from heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, grease and line an 8″ (20-21cm) round cake tin.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. Add the eggs to the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Gently fold in the sifted flour mix until free of lumps.

Scrape into cake tin then bake for about 30 -35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean (ideally you want to see some moist crumbs stuck to it. This is one cake you don’t want to over-bake so better to be a little under than over). The top of the cake will be a little cracked but no worries, this is normal for a mud cake and you will be covering it with a lovely and oh so concealing ganache.

Remove from oven and cool in tin for 10 minutes before unmoulding and cooling completely on wire rack. Trim the tops of the cake to level (if you wish – I did not).

For the Baileys Ganache:

Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. Bring the cream, Baileys and the salt to a simmer in a pan. Pour over the chocolate and sit for a minute. Gently stir to combine then beat in the butter.

Set aside at room temperature and cool until it is thick enough to spread over your cooled cake. Gently stir the ganache occasionally as it cools to keep the temperature even and the ganache smooth. You can just add the ganache on the top of your cake or spread it over the sides as well. Your choice.

Enjoy!

Baileys Mud Cake Brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 

 

 


Corned Beef & Irish Cheddar Potato Nests with Spicy Horseradish Cream & Guinness Mustard

March 14, 2015

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Alright, alright, alright….I told you all about that Corned Beef Hash leftover recipe yesterday, as well as burst your “Corned Beef is an oh so Irish dish” balloon. Today I’d like to let you in on another recipe you can turn to after your big Corned Beef and Cabbage St. Patrick’s Day Feast or as a bit of a teaser appetizer before hand. Are you ready? Corned Beef & Irish Cheddar Potato Nests with Spicy Horseradish and Guinness Mustard.

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These little devils are delicious. Kind of like that big St. Patrick’s Day feast all compacted into a tiny little appetizer. The “potato nests” used here are amazing. I mean, who doesn’t love hash browns? And that is basically what you’ve got here except they’re better. Yup…I’m just going to go ahead and declare it…These nests are better than hash browns. Why you might ask. Well, let me tell you, these nest have the crisp factor over regular hash browns. Hash browns are really difficult to do well. Often they turn out way too soggy and greasy. But these little potato nests cooked in muffin tins have a lot of crispy crunchiness going for them. Literally all the edges are sporting it, yet they are still tender on the inside of the cup, which makes for a wonderfully satisfying bite. And once you’ve got those potato nests ready to go, it’s pretty easy to stuff them with some leftover corned beef, shredded Irish Cheddar, chives and the choice of two wonderful sauces; Spicy Horseradish or Guinness Mustard. I must say, these condiments steal the show. You probably should have them on hand for your big Corned Beef Feast as well, because they really enhance the flavor of that meat.

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This dish comes together pretty quickly, especially if you use the Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash browns which can be found in the refrigerated section of your local grocery store. If you are going old school and grating your own potatoes, make sure you wring them out well to get rid of that extra moisture so that they will cook up nice and crispy. But if you can take the shortcut of pre-made hash browns, you should definitely go there. Don’t feel guilty, it is so worth it. Your time is valuable. And if you take advantage of this timesaver, you’ll be tucking in to these adorable tasty Corned Beef & Irish Cheddar Potato Cups before you know it. And I think that is a great thing!

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Corned Beef & Irish Cheddar Potato Nests with Spicy Horseradish Cream & Guinness Mustard

  • Servings: 12 Potato Nests
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the potato nests:

  • 1 – 20 ounce bag of Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns (if you can’t find these you can substitute in 3 1/2 cups shredded Russet potato which has been rinsed, and squeezed dry in a towel.)
  • 1 cup Irish cheddar, shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (if you like a little kick!)

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups diced or sliced corn beef
  • 1 cup Irish Cheddar, shredded
  • chives, to sprinkle over the top

Serve with Horseradish Cream and Guinness Mustard (recipes listed below)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F and thoroughly spray a 12 cup cupcake tin with baking spray or grease with butter or oil.

Place shredded Hash Browns and cheddar cheese in medium-sized mixing bowl. Add spices and mix. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and then toss until mixture is coated.

Using 1/4 cup ice cream scoop, fill each well of the cupcake tin with the hash brown mixture.

Using the back of a spoon and your fingers press the hash brown mixture into the sides and bottom of the pan. I actually used a 1/4 cup measuring cup with tapered sides to assist me in making the correct shape for these nests.

Bake potato nests in lower third of the oven for about 60 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. The inside of the potato cup will not appear as dark as the bottom, so actually check the bottoms from time to time.

Remove nests from the oven and let cool for a minute or two. At this point you will probably need to reshape your “nest” a bit. Gently do so with the back of a spoon and then let them cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack.

Once cool, run a knife around the edges of the nests and very carefully remove them from the cupcake tin.

Reheat the leftover diced corned beef  in the microwave. Spoon it into the waiting potato nests. Sprinkle with a bit more shredded cheddar and top with chives.

Serve the Corned Beef & Cheddar Potato Nests with Horseradish Cream and Guinness Mustard on the side.

Horseradish Cream Sauce

Recipe from: Bon Appetit

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons prepared white horseradish (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or green onion tops

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Guinness Mustard

Recipe from: Bon Appetit

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coarse-grained Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons regular Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Guinness stout or other stout or porter
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon golden brown sugar

Directions:

Whisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Enjoy!

Corned Beef & Irish Cheddar Potato Nests with  Spicy Horseradish Cream Sauce & Guinness Mustard brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)


Corned Beef Hash

March 13, 2015

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Corned Beef and cabbage! What would St. Patrick’s Day be without it? The quintessential Irish dish, or is it? Well, I’m sure all of my Irish friends (the ones that actually live in Ireland, not the Irish American ones to be specific) are saying…”What would it be without it? What would it be with it is a better question!” That’s right folks…Corned Beef and Cabbage is not considered “Irish” by the Irish themselves. They don’t really eat it there on St. Patrick’s Day or likely any other day of the year. “Hey….”I can just hear some of you saying…”I visited there last St. Patrick’s Day and I was served up a big old plate of the stuff”. I don’t doubt that you were. The Irish, being as accommodating as they are, made it up just because they knew hoards of Irish American tourists were going to turn up and be expecting it. It is not traditional for them whatsoever! But, that being said…it IS traditional St. Patrick’s Day fare for all the Irish Americans out there, who are the ones that really got that St. Patrick’s Day party going. And the recipe for today, Corned Beef Hash, doesn’t have so much to do with how to cook that big old hunk of corned beef and vegetables (hint….you boil the bejesus out of it….Just kidding :) You simmer it all day, ever so gently… ), but what you do with the leftovers. I love recipes for leftovers. So much so that I’m giving you the one today and another one tomorrow. (bit of a spoiler, but it is for a corned beef appetizer, so stay tuned!). The husband swears that this Corned Beef Hash is fantastic. Indeed he preferred it to the original Corned Beef Feast we’d had the night before.

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But I’m sure some of you folks are still reeling from me letting the old “Corned Beef isn’t really Irish” cat out of the bag. So let me explain a little bit. Corned Beef, as I’m sure ya’ll know, has nothing to do with corn. The “corn” part of the title refers to the fact that large grain rock salt (salt kind of the same size as a grain of corn) was traditionally used to cure it. Back in the day, before reliable refrigeration, this “corning” was done to preserve meat. That vibrant pink color that corned beef is sporting is due to the pink salt that was used to cure it. Now this isn’t the fancy pants pink Himalayan salt that you may have read about, nope this is salt with good old sodium nitrate mixed in, which has been dyed a bright pink so that it is easily distinguishable from regular salt. It is the same reason why hot dogs have that rosy pink hue. Saltpetre, or potassium nitrate has also been used to preserve meat since the Middle Ages. Interestingly enough, it is also one of the main ingredients in gun powder. Saltpetre inhibits the germination of C. botulinum endospores as well as softens tough meat. Seventeenth century Ireland was the largest supplier of corned beef  in the world. That was because beef was very plentiful in the country and the salt tax in Ireland was 1/ 10 of what is was in England which meant the Anglo-Irish could import high quality salt at a lower price, cure that plentiful beef that they had in abundance and ready it for export. Which they did so much so that Irish Corned Beef was regarded as the best on the market from the 1600’s until about 1825.  However, although the Irish were exporting a lot of beef, they were not eating it. The Irish traditionally ate pork and beef was too expensive. After the potato famine in the mid 1800’s, many Irish immigrated to the United States. Once they arrived, many settling in New York, and living next to the many other immigrants of that time, they found that pork was very expensive, but that beef , which had previously been unaffordable, was plentiful. Their fellow immigrant Jewish butcher neighbors often sold an inexpensive cut of cured or corned beef brisket, which had started out quite tough but had been transformed by the curing process into a tender flavourful cut of beef. The Irish, being very adaptable, substituted this Jewish Corned Beef for the more expensive joint of bacon in their familiar boiled cabbage and potato recipe, thereby transforming and reinterpreting  the dish.

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So there you have it, not an Irish dish per se, but an exceedingly Irish American dish. I hope this recipe will inspire you to cast your eye not only to the big St. Patrick’s Day feast, but also to the days after. The leftovers days. St. Patrick’s Day is only four days away, so plan ahead! Buy that bigger cut of brisket and cook up a bit extra, so that you’ll have plenty of leftovers to work with. I promise you, you won’t regret it. This Corned Beef Hash is phenomenal. Just what the doctor called for to perk you up the day after the many St. Patrick’s Day parades, festivities and undoubtedly excessive green beer guzzling.

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Corned Beef Hash

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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recipe slightly adapted from: BonAppetit

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups leftover shredded Corned Beef
  • 1 medium onion, left over from Corned Beef feast
  • 1 large russet potato, left over from Corned Beef feast
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup Irish Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 4 large eggs
  • Chopped fresh chives (for serving)

Directions:

This recipe assumes that you’ve already made your St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef Feast and have managed to set aside a few leftovers, namely 2 cups of shredded corned beef, 1 medium onion and one large russet potato. I had used baby red potatoes when I made my corned beef dinner, so I just used a big handful of those.

Preheat oven to 200° F. Thinly slice cooked onion and potato into 1/2″ pieces; toss in a large bowl with corned beef, 1/4 cup parsley, and 1 cup Irish Cheddar. Moisten with some reserved cooking liquid if mixture seems dry. If you don’t have cooking liquid, just use a splash or two of Guinness; season with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 of the corned beef mixture and press down to form a pancake. Cook undisturbed until the underside is golden brown and crisp, about 6 – 8 minutes. Set a plate over the pan and carefully invert the pancake onto it; then slide it back into the pan, uncooked side down. Press it back into pancake shape again and then once again…do not touch it! Let it cook for 6 – 8 minutes again. Then carefully transfer it to a baking sheet, tent with foil and pace in the oven to keep warm until you are ready to serve. Repeat with the remaining butter and corned beef mixture.

Meanwhile, bring 2″ of water to boil in a large saucepan or frying pan. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and add vinegar.

Crack an egg into a small bowl and once the water has reached a temperature of 190°F, slide the egg into the water. Repeat with the remaining eggs, waiting until the egg whites are opaque before adding the next egg. Poach for about 4 minutes to 4 1/2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a paper towel. Trim away any whispy egg whites if you desire. Eggs can be poached 2 hours ahead of time; place in a bowl of ice water and chill. If you are planning on doing eggs ahead and will need to reheat, you may want to reduce initial cooking time to 3 – 3 1/2 minutes so that they are not overdone after reheating. Reheat in simmering water for 1 minute prior to serving.

Serve eggs over hash, seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with chives, more cheddar and more parsley.

Enjoy!

Corned Beef Hash brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


Irish Cheddar and Bacon Soda Bread

March 12, 2015

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Here it is, only five days away from the big day…St. Patrick’s Day. So I figure that it’s time for some more Soda Bread folks! And today the Soda Bread I’m talking about is made even more fabulous…if that is possible, by the addition of some scallions, chunks of tangy Irish cheddar and wonderful, glorious Bacon! You can’t go wrong with bacon!

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Way back on the mere second day of this years St. Patrick’s Day blog-a-thon, I told you about Irish Soda Bread Muffins. Those slightly sweet, currant filled muffins are great for breakfast or perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon. This savory soda bread is different. I don’t really see it as a tea time snack, but more of a tasty accompaniment to Irish Stews or Corned Beef and Cabbage. But it would make for a brilliant breakfast. Imagine a thick craggy slice of this bacon and cheese filled bread, slathered with butter and topped with a fried egg! Are you getting the picture! As with all soda bread, it is quick and easy to make. And yes, I admit, this Irish Cheddar and Bacon Soda Bread, like my Irish Soda Bread Muffins is not traditional. But I don’t think you’ll give one fig about that while you’re devouring slice after slice…

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Irish Cheddar and Bacon Soda Bread

  • Servings: 1 loaf of bread
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Jessica Gavin

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup King Arthur Irish Wholemeal flour (can sub. in Wholemeal Flour)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces sharp Irish cheddar, cut into ¼ inch cubes
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 green onions, washed and cut into thin slices green part only
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • melted butter to paint top of bread, Maldon smoked flaky sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, sprinkle a small amount of flour onto the sheet where you will be placing the bread.

Cook the bacon over medium heat in a sauté pan until crispy on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Cool, chop and reserve the bacon.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, black pepper and sugar, whisk together until combined. Add to the dry mixture the cheddar, bacon and green onions, combine together. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture, mixing until combined. Knead for 1-2 minutes, until the dough is hydrated and holds together.

Form dough into a round loaf and transfer to the floured parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cut a cross into the top of the dough, about ½ inch deep. Brush the top of dough with melted butter and sprinkle with Maldon flaky sea salt. (use the smoked sea salt if you can find it.) Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until the soda bread is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of the loaf. Serve warm!

Enjoy!

Irish Cheddar and Bacon Soda Bread brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 


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