What better way to celebrate the Irish in all of us than with a cooking class based on some Irish favorites? Saturday I taught at the Cook’s Warehouse in Decatur for the first time, my “Profiles in Flavor – Ireland” class. A great time was had by all, and the food was pronounced delicious all around. Best comment of the day from one of the students while I was stirring the Guinness Stew: “It smells just like an Irish pub in here!” Can’t get any better than that 🙂
Here are just a few recipes that we covered!
4-6 medium to large potatoes
1 lb. kale
½ head green cabbage
½ – ¾ cup milk or cream
2 sticks butter
salt and pepper
½ cup chopped scallions/leeks/onions/chives (optional)
1 bunch parsley
Peel and rough chop the potatoes. Add them to salted boiling water until they are tender. Pour the water out and return the potatoes to the pan. Cook over heat until the last of the water is evaporated.
Shred or dice the kale and cabbage. Place in a steamer and steam until tender, 10 – 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the water under the steamer so it doesn’t boil dry.
Slice any of the alliums that you choose to use and sauté them in butter until translucent.
Remove parsley leaves from stems and mince.
Mash the potatoes, adding cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add steamed cabbage and sautéed alliums. Adjust final seasoning. Add parsley and stir.
Place in serving bowl. Make dimples in the surface and place pats of butter all around the top, pressing them down into the mass.
Dulse is a purple sea vegetable, sold in bags in most grocery stores along with the packages of other sea vegetables like nori and kelp. It is very tasty as a dried snack, and adds a subtle, salty flavor to this slaw.
1 oz dried dulse
½ cup raisins
¼ head white cabbage (shredded)
1 medium carrot (grated)
2 shallots (finely chopped)
4 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp apple juice
Salt and Pepper
Soak dulse for 5 – 10 mins in a bowl of water.
Put raisins in a small bowl with warm water for 5 mins, to allow to plump.
Put shredded cabbage, grated carrot and finely chopped shallots into a large mixing bowl.
Drain raisins and add to bowl.
Drain dulse, chop and also add to bowl.
In a small bowl mix the dressing ingredients together and then pour over and coat the salad thoroughly.
Season and mix again and serve.
The word “Fool” is believed to have originated from the French word “fouler” which means “to mash” or “to press”.
1 cup fruit puree (fresh or frozen fruit, sugar)
1 cup whipping cream
A Fruit Fool begins with making a puree from either fresh or frozen fruit.
The amount of sugar used will depend on the fruit. Blend the fruit up with the sugar up to a day in advance for the flavors to meld. Wait until just before service to mix with the cream.
Whip the cream to soft peak stage and lightly blend it with the fruit puree. Make sure there are streaks of both visible, do not overmix.
Use glass serving dishes such as a parfait or champagne glass.
Garnish with a few pieces of fresh fruit or a cookie.
We also made Guinness Lamb Stew, Irish Spotted Dick (a sweet soda bread version of the English pudding), and Whiskey Braised Winter Vegetables with a Whiskey Sauce! (One comment that I loved: “Rutabega with Whiskey Sauce is my new favorite food!”) I created a Braised Leek and Applewood Smoked Bacon spread to go on some fabulous Potato, Cheddar and Onion Bread that I found at the Dekalb Farmer’s Market. We had Irish Breakfast Tea for starters and a nice porter for tasting. Everyone was happy and the room was full of plenty of good craic!
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!