Irish Ale Potato Cheddar Soup with Beer Battered Leeks

March 15, 2019

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Yummmmmmmm! Irish Ale Potato Cheddar Soup with Beer Battered Leeks! Comfort food at its finest!  This potato ale soup is so creamy and flavorful on its own with that gorgeous sharp Kerry Gold Cheddar swirled into the mix, it is sheer bliss. It is then topped with a sprinkle of fresh thyme and just a bit of red pepper flakes to give it a little kick.

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I would’ve said it couldn’t have gotten any better….but that was before I got a taste of those beer battered leeks. SQUEEEEE!!! Those fried leeks are so crispy with a lovely delicate flavor – they just melt in your mouth! I know deep frying stuff can be a bit of a pain in the neck, but seriously….you’ve just got to do it for these leeks. Sooooooo worth it!

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I must admit, I was a bit nervous when I was making this soup. You see, several years ago when the Husband and I were on holiday in Newfoundland, we went into a local brewery and ordered some cheddar ale soup to go along with our pints. We were expecting a little cup, but then big ole honking bowls of soup came out. It was pretty tasty I must say, so foolishly we gobbled it all up. We finished our pints somewhere along the way and ordered seconds. When we got up to leave we couldn’t believe it. It felt as though that soup had tripled in size or that I had somehow eaten all of St. Johns. I have never been that full in my life. We could barely move. I thought someone was going to have to roll us back to our hotel. When we finally did make it back there, we just laid about the place for hours moaning about our bellies. Good times right?

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But this Irish Ale Potato Cheddar Soup was thankfully nothing like that. Although it is hearty and filling, it isn’t heavy at all. I would recommend that you use a lighter ale or lager with this recipe to avoid weighing it and yourself down! Goodness knows there are parties & parades you’ve got to get to. And green beer to guzzle…

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Or maybe you stay in this year. Seen one parade, you’ve seen them all? You could just cozy up with a nice warming bowl of this lovely soup all topped with those glorious little leeks and enjoy some quality me time. Everyone knows beer has no business being green anyway!

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Irish Ale Potato Cheddar Soup with Beer Battered Leeks

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy - but a bit messy what with the frying of the leeks. SO worth it though!
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recipe from: How Sweet Eats

Ingredients:

For the Soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 12 ounces irish ale or your favorite beer
  • 8 ounces Kerry Gold sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated, plus more for topping
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cream, for drizzling
  • fresh herbs for garnish, like thyme, oregano or basil
  • red pepper flakes for garnish

For the Beer Battered Leeks:

  • 1 cup sliced leeks
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 12 ounces irish ale or your favorite beer
  • vegetable or canola oil for frying

Directions:

For the Soup:

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Stir in the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft and even begin to caramelize slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add in the potatoes, stock and ale. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to medium-low and let it simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Carefully pour the contents in a high-powered blender (if needed, you can do it in two batches). Blend until smooth. Pour the soup back into the pot. Or alternatively, you can use an immersion blender and just keep the soup in the pot. Once blended, heat it over low heat, stirring well. Stir in the grated cheese, one handful at a time, until it completely melts. Make sure you add the cheese SLOWLY over low heat, so it melts right into the soup. Taste and season additionally if desired – you may want a little more salt and pepper depending on the saltiness of your cheese!
To serve the soup, drizzle 1 tablespoon of cream over top. Top with a handful of the beer battered leeks, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, some fresh herbs and pepper. Serve immediately.
For the Beer Battered Leeks:
Cover a large plate with a paper towel or two.
Heat about 2 to 3 inches of oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Heat the oil to be about 350° F. In this instance, Use a candy/deep fry thermometer to ensure it reaches and remains at the correct temperature.
Whisk together 1 cup of flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Whisk in the beer until the batter is smooth. Place the other cup of flour in a plate. Add the leeks to the beer batter in batches, covering them completely. Remove them from the beer batter and place them in the flour on the plate, tossing to coat. Shake off any excess flour. Add the coated leeks to the oil and fry until the batter is golden brown and flakey. Remove the leeks with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to drain and excess grease.
Enjoy!
Irish Ale Potato Cheddar Soup with Beer Battered Leeks brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)
Useful links for Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Irish Ale Potato Cheddar Soup with Beer Battered Leeks:
Le Creuset 5 1/2 qt. dutch oven
Breville Immersion Blender
Candy/Deep Fry Stainless Steel Thermometer
Stainless Steel Spider Strainer
KerryGold Aged Cheddar Cheese
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Irish Pizza with Corned Beef, Leeks, Crispy Potato & Irish Cheddar

March 11, 2016

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I don’t know about you, but around here, we love pizza, especially Neapolitan style thin-crust pizzas. And we have definitely gotten into making our own pies here at home. We’ve slowly collected all the gear to use on Pizza Night; the pizza stone for baking, pizza paddles for transferring it to the oven, and quite a few of the pizza specialty flours from King Arthur Flour. We love experimenting with different toppings as well as crusts. So finding myself with a bit of left over corned beef and taking some inspiration from an Irish Pizza I saw over at Lexi Bites blog, we decided to make our own version of an Irish Pizza. This Hibernian gem has a thin Guinness infused pizza crust which is topped with shredded corned beef, leeks, crispy potatoes, thyme and Irish Cheddar. Rather than a red sauce, I used leftover Horseradish Cream Sauce which I usually serve with my annual St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef feast. What a tasty pie!

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I will take this opportunity to give you a wee bit of advice on the making of a thin crust pizza though. The absolute most difficult thing we’ve encountered in all our pizza making endeavors is simply not overloading the crust. Man is that hard! I mean, you’ve got all these delicious toppings just sitting there right? If a little is good, more has to be better…Not true! Tons of toppings will quickly weigh down a thing crust pizza, making it nearly impossible to transfer from the pizza paddle onto the stone and will often make the crust soggy. So you must exercise restraint here! And if you really don’t think you’d be into making your own pizza dough, I get it. You can run out and get a store-bought crust and proceed with the Irish-y toppings. It’s a great way to use up some leftovers. Pour a few pints and get busy…bet you’ll have some fun and have a tasty meal to boot!

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Irish Pizza with Corned Beef, Leeks, Crispy Potatoes & Irish Cheddar

  • Servings: makes 2 - 10 inch pizzas
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipes adapted from: King Arthur Flour (for the Guinness Pizza Crust), & Lexi Bites (pizza topping inspiration)

Ingredients:

For the Ultra-Thin Guinness Pizza Crust:

  • 3 Cups (372 grams) King Arthur Flour Perfect Pizza Blend flour ( or can substitute in 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup semolina flour & 1/2 cup durum flour)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 – 1 1/4 cups warm (98° – 110° F, 37°C) Guinness Stout (you can substitute water in place of the Guinness if you wish, though I’m not sure why you would…)

For the Pizza Toppings:

  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups leftover corned beef, shredded or cut into smaller pieces
  • 4 leeks, thinly sliced and sautéed in butter until softened
  • 1/3 cup Horseradish Cream Sauce (recipe to follow) if you don’t like horseradish, substitute plain sour cream
  • 1 cup hash browns, cooked until crispy
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 cup Irish Cheddar, shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chives, chopped

Directions:

Combine the dry ingredients, oil, and 1 cup of Guinness, mixing and kneading everything together by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle until you’ve made a soft, smooth dough. The dough should be soft and supple; adjust with additional Guinness or flour if needed. If you’re kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 4 to 5 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom.

Place the dough in a dough rising bucket, or large bowl, lightly covered with plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature for 60 to 90 minutes, or until it begins to look puffy. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425°F. If you are using a baking stone to bake the pizza on, place it into the oven at this time.

While the dough is rising, prepare all of your toppings; chop the leftover corned beef, sauté the leeks and set them aside to cool, cook the hash browns until crispy and set aside to cool, grate the cheese, chop the thyme and chives, mix up the Horseradish Cream Sauce. (recipe noted below).

Once the dough has risen, divide it into two equal portions and place each on a lightly oiled 12″ pizza pan, or on parchment paper lightly spritzed with cooking spray. 

Use your fingers to press the dough outward from the center to make a very thin, flat circle about 12″ across. 

Spread the toppings over the dough, keeping in mind not to overload the thin crust. Hold the chives aside to sprinkle over the pizzas once they are out of the oven

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is hot and bubbly.

Top with chives and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Horseradish Cream Sauce

This recipe will make far more sauce than you need for your pizza’s. However, it is delicious to have on hand to eat with any leftover corned beef and/or potatoes. It is also great on the Colcannon Skillet Cakes.

Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 6 tablespoons prepared white horseradish (about 4 ounces)
  • 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.

Irish Pizza brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

Helpful Links to Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Irish Pizza:

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

Thermoworks Super-Fast Thermapen Cooking Thermometer

6 Quart Dough Rising Bucket

SAF Instant Yeast

Emile Henry Flame Top Pizza Stone

King Arthur Flour Perfect Pizza Blend Flour

 

 

 


Irish Leek & Cheddar Tart

March 9, 2014

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There’s more than one day to a weekend. At least that’s what I’ve been told, even though it often feels like the weekend only spans a couple of hours, whereas the work week seems to go on for a bit shy of eternity. Well yesterday, I gave you a great brunch recipe for that Caramel Apple & Irish Whiskey Clafoutis, but I’ve got another great one all lined up for today and since the weekend seems to still be lingering around a bit, maybe you could jump on into the kitchen and whip up this Irish Leek & Cheddar Tart.

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Though this delicious tart should not be relegated to the breakfast/brunch time slot by any means. Truth be told though, we’ve added a simple green salad and eaten this tart for lunch or dinner just as many times as it has appeared in the morning. We are big leek fans around here and will gobble them up in no time flat even when they are just simply sautéed in butter, but once you add some stout beer, nutmeg, and thyme into the mix. Look out!

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The stout adds a real depth of flavour to those leeks. And the sharp Irish cheddar perfectly completed the dish, turning a tart with very simple ingredients into an indulgent delight. Categorize this recipe under “eat anytime” and often!

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Irish Leek & Cheddar Tart

recipe adapted from: Wee Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 of Perfect Flaky Pie Crust recipe (recipe found below…or use store-bought if pressed for time)
  • 1 1/2 lbs. leeks, white and pale green parts, washed and chopped
  • 4 oz. ( 1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup Guinness or Murphy’s Stout beer
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3-4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 1/2 ounces mature Irish Cheddar Cheese ( I used Kerrygold)

Directions:

Make batch of shortcrust pastry, or open box if using store-bought. Roll out shortcrust pastry on lightly floured work surface. Line 9″ tart pan with the dough. Cover the dough with a piece of aluminum foil and freeze for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place dough-lined pan on a baking sheet with aluminum foil in place. Fill foil with beans or pie weights. Bake dough for 20 minutes, or until dough is beginning to turn golden.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In large saucepan melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook until tender, about 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir the flour into the leeks and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute more. Add the stout beer, stirring continuously until combined. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and thyme. Let mixture simmer until beer is reduced and a thick sauce remains. Remove from heat and set aside.

In bowl, whisk milk and egg together.

Set tart pan on a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle half of grated cheddar over the pastry dough. Add the leek mixture and top with remaining cheddar cheese. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the tart pan over the leek/cheese filling. Return tart pan to oven and bake for 25 – 30 minutes until filling is puffed and golden brown.

Perfect Flaky Pie Crust

Originally adapted from: Inspired Taste but also appears in my Mushroom, Onion & Thyme Galette

Ingredients:

(this recipe makes dough for two pie crusts – you will only need 1 for this tart recipe)

  • 2 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 6 tablespoons vodka (chilled)
  • 2 Tablespoons ice water

Directions:

This recipe will make enough dough for two pie crusts. You will only need one for this tart recipe. You can either half the recipe or go ahead and make the whole thing and freeze half so you’ll be ahead of the game next time you need shortcrust pastry.

Mix 6 tablespoons of vodka and 2 tablespoons of water. Put in fridge or freezer (don’t forget it) to chill.

Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.

Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).

Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).

Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water/vodka over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra water/vodka and continue to press until dough comes together.

Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).

Enjoy!


Grilled Irish Whiskey Steak & Leeks in Cream Mustard

March 6, 2013

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Grilled Irish Whiskey Steak & Leeks with Cream Mustard go so well together I couldn’t just give you one recipe without divulging the other. So here they both are. Add a small side salad and you’ll be set for a great St. Patricks Day dinner.

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Now let me give you a few tips on the steak preparation and grilling method. In the marinade, I used Jameson Irish Whiskey, as I so often do, I seem to have a clear bias. You can marinade your steaks for as little as 1 hour, but I usually try to let them marinade in the refrigerator overnight. You can use any cut of steak you prefer such as flat iron, ribeye, new york strip etc. but make sure you check grilling times depending on how thick your steaks are and how well you like them cooked. The directions for grilling the steaks assume you are using a gas grill. I think steaks grilled over charcoal are better, but I just can’t be bothered messing with a charcoal grill. A gas grill is so much more convenient, I will actually use it more frequently. And the ability to more easily control the temperature of the flame gives us much more consistent results.

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What a second, who am I kidding here?! I never do the actual grilling. I think that is “man’s work” , what with all that lighting the grill manually when the supposed “automatic lighter” inevitably doesn’t work (hey…I once lost a good portion of my lovely fringe to a temperamental gas oven, so I admit I have some baggage here), and the braving of the hoards of mosquitos (alright, not so much in winter, but most of grilling season in Virginia they are hanging around just waiting for you to set foot outside your door so that they can pounce and drain you dry!). Thank goodness my husband indulges me in this and does a masterful job manning the grill!

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The Leeks in Cream Mustard are really yummy as well. I’m sure ya’ll have figured out how we are about leeks around here by now. I cooked these up in little individual gratins, but you could make this in a larger casserole dish if you wished.

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And I must admit, the bit where I cut the leeks into perfectly sized bits to go into my ramekin and tied it up with kitchen twine…

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well, I was being a bit artsy here. I thought it might look nice in the photos of the finished dish. There is no reason to do this if you don’t want to. It would be far easier to just pre-cut the leeks, par-boil them, place them into ramekins and then spoon the sauce over them. I’ll let you decide how fiddle-y you wish to be on this one.

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There is actually a story about St. Patrick and leeks. It seems there was a dying woman that St. Patrick was tending to. She told the Saint that she had seen a vision of an herb and that she thought that unless she could find it and eat it, she would surely die. She described this healing herb to Saint Patrick as something that looked like rushes. The Saint then went outside and blessed the rushes so that they became leeks. He fed them to the woman who became healthy once again! I told you leeks were good for you!

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Grilled Irish Whiskey Steak

recipe adapted from: allrecipes

serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Irish Whiskey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced green onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
  • 4 (8 oz.) steaks

Directions:

Combine the olive oil, whiskey, soy sauce, green onion, garlic, pepper, parsley, thyme and rosemary in a large Ziplock bag. Seal and shake bag to combine ingredients. Add the steaks to the marinade. Seal the bag. Refrigerate for 1 hour minimum, but overnight is preferable. One hour before grilling, remove steaks from marinade and allow them to come to room temperature.

Preheat the grill to as hot as you can get it. Clean and then lightly oil the cooking grate.

Place steaks on to grill only when the grill has reached its hottest temperature. Sear the steaks, approximately 2 minutes on each side and then turn the grill down to medium heat to finish cooking. Check internal temperature of the steaks after they have cooked for 8 – 10 minutes per side for a 3/4″ – 1″ piece of meat. The internal temperature for a steak cooked to medium is 140° F.

Remove steaks from grill and cover with two layers of aluminum foil. Allow the meat to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes prior to serving.

Enjoy!

Leeks in Cream Mustard

recipe from: Le Creuset’s Mini Cocotte cookbook

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 leeks – about 1.5″ (3 cm) diameter
  • 3/4 cup (200 ml) chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup (200 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F (190°C)

Wash the leeks. Use only the white part. Cut the white stalks in half and carefully rinse with cold running water. Cut each stalk into 5 pieces. Tie the individual peieces together with kitchen twine, so that they don’t fall apart during the par-boil. Or if you don’t want to be too fussy, just slice the leeks into smaller pieces and don’t worry with the twine.

Bring the chicken stock to a boil then let it cool. Whisk in the cream, mustard, nutmeg and parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Par-boil the leeks for 3 minutes in salted water. Stop the cooking by rinsing them under cold water.

Divide the leeks between 4 mini cocottes or ramekins. Pour several spoonfuls of the mustard and cream mixture over the top of each one. (until leeks are mostly covered) Bake for 20 minutes or until top is just starting to brown a bit. Serve hot and bubbly!

Enjoy!

 


Roasted Potato Leek Soup

March 4, 2013

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Now what you’ve got here is a big, hearty bowl of comfort! Roasted Potato Leek Soup will really warm you up this winter. And yes…it is still winter. It snowed yesterday and I hear it will be snowing again this Wednesday. And we haven’t had any cool snow at all this winter. You know the scenario where there is just enough snow to make everything look pretty and get work cancelled yet  a small enough amount that it’s completely melted in a couple of days? No, all that has shown up this winter are trifling little wet flakes that don’t amount to anything and are just plain annoying. Having a big old pot of this rustic, delicious soup goes a long way toward soothing those winter frayed nerves. I have eaten many a bowl of it in Ireland and thought it would be great to add to my St. Patrick’s Day countdown.

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But this soup is a little different from many of those which I consumed in various pubs across Ireland. In this creation, the potatoes and leeks are roasted before being added to the soup, which really enhances their flavours. And this lovely soup also has a surprise ingredient in it, Arugula or Rocket as it is often called in Europe. ( I think Rocket sounds better than Arugula, so I’m going to go with that for the rest of this post). When I first came across this recipe, I must admit, I was a bit skeptical about the addition of Rocket, but decided to go ahead and give it a try. I’m so glad I did because that peppery taste of that herb really adds that extra something to this vibrant, fresh tasting Potato & Leek soup. Oh and white wine, cream and parmesan cheese also show up in the list of ingredients, so you know this soup has to be unbelievably tasty!

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As it turns out, this soup not only tastes fantastic, but it is also good for you. Right now I’m sure you’re thinking, “yeah right…a cream based soup is good for me”. But I’m telling you it is. This soup has leeks, which everyone knows we love in this house. Leeks are part of the Alliaceae family along with garlic and onions. But leeks have a much more delicate, sweet flavour to them than their better known cousins. They are actually one of the most nutritious winter vegetables to be had. They are high in fiber, a good source of antioxidants, folate, vitamin C, B6, K, manganese and iron. I can tell your eyes are glazing over a bit now, but hang in there for just a second. Some of the health benefits of all those things I just rattled off are, lowering and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure and risk of Coronary Artery Disease and lowering the risk of low-level inflammatory  states like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Pretty impressive list huh?  But besides leeks, this soup also has a bunch of Rocket mixed in. Now Rocket has been grown as an edible herb since Roman times and was rumoured to be an aphrodisiac! Virgil states that “rocket excites the sexual desire of drowsy people”. It was likely this belief that lead to the prohibition of its cultivation in monastic gardens in the Middle Ages. Rocket has a rich peppery taste and is often eaten raw in salads, and it is actually a much more nutritious choice than most other salad greens. For instance, when you compare it to iceberg lettuce, you will find that Rocket has 8X more calcium, 5X more vitamin A, C and K and 4X the iron! Wowza! And although most folks do think of it as a salad green, it is actually classified as a cruciferous vegetable such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. These type of vegetables aid in the regulation of your immune system functions, which can protect you against cancers. Not to mention, like Kale, it is a good source of antioxidants. So there you have it! Healthy, Delicious and comforting! A combination not often found. You can serve this soup sprinkled with chives and accompanied with a lovely piece of butter slathered Cheddar & Chive Guinness Bread as I did. Or you could garnish it with some nice crispy crumbled bacon or pancetta. The possibilities are endless. I think I’ll just throw another log on the fire now and tuck in a big bowl of that divine Roasted Potato Leek Soup. Surely Spring is just around the corner!

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Roasted Potato Leek Soup

recipe from: Dough-Eyed Girls

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 4 cups chopped leeks, cleaned (about 4-5 large leeks)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cups baby arugula (rocket), lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6-7 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup parmesan

Directions:

Roast potatoes and leeks in olive oil and pepper at 400° F for 40-45 minutes, or until tender. Add Arugula/Rocket and roast for 5 more minutes.

Transfer vegetables to a bowl, adding the wine and 5 cups of the chicken broth. Be sure to scrape the pan clean of all the crispy bits – these add tons of flavor!

Puree the vegetables and stock until smooth in a food processor or blender. Transfer to large pot. I actually transferred my roasted vegetables directly to a large pot, added the broth and then used an immersion blender to puree.

Add stock until the consistency reaches a thick soup, and add cream and parmesan. Heat, covered until ready to serve.

Enjoy!


Caramelized Leek, Basil & Black Pepper Biscuits

February 28, 2013

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I’m so excited today! For a couple of reasons actually. The first of which is that I’m able to give you the recipe for these Caramelized Leek, Basil & Black Pepper Biscuits. These delicious little morsels have been in heavy rotation in my house this winter. They are amazing with soups and stews, are a superb savoury breakfast biscuit when stuffed full of scrambled egg, cheese and bacon. Not to mention, they hold up fine all on their own with or without a pat of butter. I’ve wanted to share this winner of a recipe with you for some time, but have never been able to snap a quick picture of them. Nope. We literally gobble them up that fast. But this last time, I did manage to click a shot or two before nothing more than a crumb or two remained to indicate they had ever been there at all. These biscuits have it all going on! Their buttery, flaky layers rise oh so high. The savoury flavours of the caramelized leeks, basil and black pepper combine to really grab your attention. You know you’re not dealing with just any run of the mill biscuit. (not that I’ve really ever met a biscuit I didn’t like…), these fellows are special. My husband is quite partial to them because of the leeks. He LOVES leeks. And I’ve actually got quite a few recipes headed your way in which leeks feature prominently.

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Which brings me to the next reason for my somewhat excited state today. Tomorrow is March 1st and every year on March 1st I endeavour to post one Irish influenced recipe a day up to March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day! This undertaking is quite a feat for me, I’m not a once a day blogger type person. I consider myself very accomplished if I manage to get two blogs in per week. (I know all you daily bloggers are rolling your eyes about now. I give you props. Can’t imagine how you do it.)Soooo…..wish me the luck of the Irish as I psyche myself up for this blog-a-thon once again! Here are a few of my favourite recipes from last year’s St. Patrick’s Day extravaganza:

Bailey's Irish Creme & Pistachio Fudge

Bailey’s Irish Creme & Pistachio Fudge

Irish Whiskey Cake with a Butter Whiskey Glaze

Irish Whiskey Cake with a Butter Whiskey Glaze

Guinness Chocolate Chip Cookies

Guinness Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Guinness Beef Stew

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Irish Beer & Cheese Chicken Pot Pies

And that was just a few of the St. Patrick’s Day food gems I whipped up. If you’d like to see all seventeen from last year, click on “Runcible Eats/ Recipes” in my top navigation bar and scroll down to St. Patrick’s Day. There you’ll find all sorts of Irish-y dishes from the past two years. And don’t forget to check in with me every day starting tomorrow through March 17th for this year’s additions. I’ve got a lot of mouth-watering recipes all queued up for the show. As I mentioned, leeks will be putting in an appearance, as will meat pies, sweet pies, various treats with Guinness and Bailey’s and Jameson...Oh My! Keep tuned and you will be totally set for making your own delicious St. Patrick’s Day feast! Not to mention, it will be interesting to see if I can actually pull off seventeen days of dishes in a row. That excitement I mentioned  before is perhaps more of the nervous, nail bite-y type that the happy, dance-y type. Though I will be dancing a jig on St. Patrick’s Day, regardless of the outcome, you can be sure. So raise a glass with me to “challenges”. It all starts tomorrow. In the meantime, make up a batch of these lovely Caramelized Leek, Basil & Black Pepper biscuits!

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Caramelized Leek, Basil & Black Pepper Biscuits

recipe from: Pastry Affair

yield: 10-12 biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium leek, finely sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons or 57 grams) cold butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup (78 ml) milk

Directions:

In a small frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the finely sliced leeks, sauteing until the leeks are golden in color and caramelized. Remove from pan and allow leeks to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 425°F (220° C).

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles a coarse sand. Mix in the fresh minced basil and cooled leeks. Gradually pour in the heavy cream and milk, mixing until just combined.

Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and bring together until it forms a ball. If you need to knead the dough to bring it together, do so but no more than 10-12 times. Flatten the dough ball into roughly a 1-inch thick square (or rectangle) and, using a knife dipped in flour, cut the dough into evenly sized squares. Place biscuits on a baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until tops of biscuits are lightly browned.

Serve warm, with a pat of butter if desired.

Enjoy!


Cock-a-leekie

January 24, 2013

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Some hae meat and canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it;

But we hae meat, and we can eat,

And sae let the Lord be thankit.

*The Selkirk Grace *

as delivered by Robert Burns

This Friday, January 25th, is Robert Burns’ birthday. Throughout the world, though especially in Scotland, folks will be celebrating with a Burns Night Supper to mark the occasion. Robert Burns was born in 1759 and is regarded as the National Poet of Scotland. I’m quite a Burns fan myself and will certainly be raising my glass to The Bard this weekend. I wanted to give you a nice Scottish recipe in case you were planning on holding such a celebration as well. My first inclination was to make Haggis, that great chieftain o’ the puddin-race, as Burns put it.  But I quickly realized that it would likely be difficult to come across the ingredients. Since I couldn’t even find lard around here, I think sourcing out a sheep’s heart, lungs and stomach would be quite the challenge! So, I decided on Cock-a-leekie soup, a standard starter at many a Burn’s Night Supper. And an easy choice for me because my husband is absolutely mad for anything with a leek in it. (Must be that Welsh blood in him.)

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This soup is very easy to make and delicious to boot! The first time that I made it, I was a bit nervous about adding in the prunes. I thought a fruit would taste quite odd in a chicken soup. But although you see bits of prunes in the mix, you don’t get a sweet, fruit taste when you eat them. They add to the overall flavour of the dish and I think they would definitely be missed if they were omitted. You’ll have to trust me on that. I served my Cock-a-leekie soup up with some toasted Struan bread.

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Struan, also known as Celtic Harvest Bread, is thought to have taken its name from a town in Western Scotland called Struanmoor, on the Isle of Skye. It was originally enjoyed once a year as a harvest bread, using whatever grains were available from the previous day’s harvest. This is my absolute favourite bread, so it is almost always available in my house. It toasts up particularly brilliantly. Click here for the Struan recipe that I use. If you are looking for some other dishes to serve at your Burns Supper, take a look at my Scotch Eggs, ( a hard boiled egg encased in sausage and then deep fried.)

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Deviled Scotch Eggs (the eggs as described above, but with the yolk part “deviled”.)

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and Chranachan for dessert. (My Chranachan recipe has a more Irish bent, but that is easy to change. Just use a good Scottish Malt Whiskey rather than the Jamesons and skip the Bailey’s drizzle. This dessert is typically served in a tall glass, though I served it in little chocolate cordial glasses topped with raspberries once, which was quite fun.)

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I hope I’ve managed to inspire you with these lovely Scottish dishes. If so, whip some of them up and raise a wee dram and drink a toast to Scotland’s Favourite Son this Friday.

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Cock-a-leekie

recipe from: Martha Stewart

yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless chicken thighs (on the bone; 4 pieces)
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless chicken breast halves (on the bone; 3 pieces)
  • Four 14 1/2-ounce cans low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
  • 2 cups white wine or water
  • 2 large celery ribs, halved crosswise
  • 1 large carrot, peeled
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 leeks, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 12 pitted prunes, quartered (2/3 cup packed)
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Heat a 6-quart Dutch oven on medium-high until hot. Add thighs; cook until browned, turning once, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with breasts.

Add broth, wine, celery, carrot, and garlic to Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; scrape any browned bits from pot; return chicken to pot, reduce heat, and simmer, skimming as necessary, for 1 hour. Transfer chicken to a plate; let cool. Transfer vegetables to another plate; reserve.

Add leeks, prunes, and barley to broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until thick, about 40 minutes more. Once chicken has cooled, shred meat. Finely dice carrot and celery. Stir chicken, carrot, celery, and parsley into soup, heat through, and serve.

Enjoy!

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