St. Patrick's Day is only 5 days away and that means that it is time to start planning your St. Patrick's Day menu. I always enjoy planning my St. Patrick's Day meal as the dishes are always interesting and "Oh so Tasty"! It is a great time to cook with some alcohol such as an Irish beer, stout or ale or an Irish whiskey or even some Irish cream. Corned Beef and Cabbage is of course a favorite for a main but there are plenty of options and lets not forget that there are some really delicious desserts...list and links below. If you do make some corned beef, be sure to make a lot because the leftovers for a Reuben sandwich can be even better than the dish that they came from.
Since many of us do not know the history of Irish soda bread, I thought I would give you a little history, before diving into the delicious recipe.
Soda bread has four basic ingredients: flour, buttermilk, baking soda and salt. The reaction between the buttermilk and baking soda produces bubbles of carbon dioxide, causing the dough to rise. The breads are fairly dense, moist and hearty (and satisfying for a cold and damp climate!). Moving beyond the basic elements, they can be flavored in any number of ways. Today, the breads often contain additional ingredients, like sugar, butter, raisins or caraway seeds to enhance the flavor and texture of the bread. It is best served the day that it is made, when the crust is crisp from the oven, with plenty of salted Irish butter.
Irish Soda Bread
1/2 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 c. currants (I like currants, but you can use raisins)
1 T. caraway seeds
3/4 c. buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Using a food processor, put the oatmeal in and pulse until finely ground. Add the flour, sugar, baking soda, buttermilk, and salt, pulse to blend together. Then add the currants and caraway seeds, just pulse a few times to just blend in.
Shape the dough into a round and put onto a baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes. If you tap the top of the bread, it will give a hollow sound, when done.
Remove from oven and let it cool. Serve with pure Irish Butter...mmmmmm
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Pork Shepard's Pie
Sarah's Pulled Pork Bruschetta or sliders
I put this thinking you could substitute Guiness beer for the 1 cup of chicken broth giving this delicious dish an Irish spin!!
Irish Coffee Caramel Mousse
A St.Patrick's table
If you are going to a St. Patrick's Day celebration at a friends home, take the hostess something homemade. I like to wrap a embroidered towel around a nice bottle wine. Or .....make one for your powder room!