Hope everyone had a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Other than wearing green, we typically celebrate the holiday by having a festive meal. 🙂
This year, instead of making a new soda bread, I made this Irish version of beer bread. I loved the caraway seeds (which I also love in soda bread) and the flecks of green from the fresh herbs in the dough.
We ate it for dinner with shepherd’s chicken pot pie, roasted asparagus, and green salad. It would also be a perfect accompaniment to a traditional celebratory corned beef and cabbage meal.
The recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com. I modified the baking time to bake the loaf in a pullman loaf pan in a convection oven. The bread was delicious with and without salted butter.
Yield: one Pullman loaf or one 9-inch loaf
260 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
60 g (1/2 cup) cake flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 T caraway seeds, coarsely ground in a spice grinder
I served this heaping platter of fried deliciousness for our celebratory St. Patrick’s Day dinner. It was extremely well received. 🙂
I used Irish Harp beer in the fish batter, of course. As I was cooking the fish and chips, my husband realized that we hadn’t included the essential tartar sauce in our menu. He was thankfully able to make sauce with a few adaptations.
The beer-battered fish recipe was adapted from Donal Skehan via today.com; I modified the cooking method. The potato chip recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit. I used gold potatoes, olive oil, and seasoned the chips with sea salt. The tartar sauce recipe was loosely adapted from inspiredtaste.net. It was a treat. We’re planning to eat the leftover fish in tacos!
For the Crispy Potato Chips:
2 pounds gold, russet, or purple potatoes
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
vegetable oil, for frying (I used 10 cups of canola oil with 3-4 cups olive oil)
For the Beer-Battered Fish:
4 skinless and boneless white fish fillets, patted dry and cut into thick strips (I used Alaskan Cod)
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more to coat the fish
1 cup cold beer (I used Harp)
coarse salt, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper
canola oil and olive oil, to fry (see above)
lemon wedges, to serve
For the Tartar Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 small dill pickle, chopped very small (3 tablespoons)(I substituted 1 tsp white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste (I used the juice of 1/2 a lemon)
1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill (I substituted fresh basil)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
To Make the Crispy Potato Chips:
Using a mandoline, slice potatoes about 1/8-inch thick.
Place slices in a large bowl, add cold water to cover, and stir to release starch; drain. Repeat until water runs clear.
Return potatoes to bowl; cover with 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar and about 6 cups water. Let sit at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. (the vinegar helps make the chips more crispy)
Drain potatoes and pat dry prior to cooking.
Fit a large heavy pot with a deep-fry thermometer; pour in oil to measure 3 to 4”. (I used a very deep “pasta pot” to reduce splattering.)
Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 300°. (frying the potatoes at a lower temperature helps to remove moisture)
Working in 4 to 6 batches and returning oil to 300° between batches, fry potatoes, turning occasionally to cook evenly, until golden brown and crisp (oil will have quit bubbling), about 5 to 7 minutes per batch.
Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined rimmed sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. While hot, season with salt.
Reserve the cooking oil to fry the fish.
Note: Potatoes can be fried 6 hours ahead. Keep at room temperature. (I kept the chips in a warming drawer while I cooked the fish.)
To Make the Beer-Battered Fish:
Top the pot with more oil, if needed, and bring it back to temperature, 300° to 340°, over a medium-high heat.
Coat the fish strips with flour, shake off the excess and set aside in a single layer on a plate.
Place 1 cup of flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the middle of it and pour in a little beer and whisk. Keep adding the beer and mixing until you have a smooth batter.
Season generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Working beside the pan, dip the fish strips in the batter one at a time and then into the hot oil. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. (I used tongs and cooked the fish in 3 batches.)
Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until golden-brown, turning halfway through the cooking time.
Remove the fish from the pot using a spider or slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel–lined rimmed sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. While hot, season with salt.
Serve with some lemon wedges, crispy chips, and tartar sauce, as desired.
To Make the Tartar Sauce:
Combine the mayonnaise, pickles (or vinegar), lemon juice, capers, dill, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a small bowl and stir until well blended and creamy.
Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste then adjust with additional lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Note: For the best flavor, cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week.
My kids ate this tender and delicious soda bread with their bowl of celebratory Lucky Charms for breakfast this morning. 😉 It was also wonderful on its own with and without a little butter and jam. It could be warmed and served with dinner as well.
The recipe was adapted from Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins and Breads by Kathleen King, the founder of Tate’s Bake Shop. I incorporated whole wheat pastry flour, unsalted butter, coarse salt and modified the baking time for a convection oven. My husband thought that it may be the best version I’ve ever made. Great.
Yield: two 7 to 8-inch round loaves
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 T granulated sugar
1 T baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
8 T (1/2 cup or 1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup raisins
2 to 3 T caraway seeds, to taste
2 cups buttermilk (I used low-fat)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, preferably on convection. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Add the raisins and caraway seeds and toss lightly.
Add buttermilk and mix with a fork until all dry ingredients are moistened. (The dough will be very soft and wet.)
Form the dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured board or counter. Knead for about 30 seconds or until the dough is smooth.
Divide the dough into two equal portions and shape into balls.
Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, cut and “X” on top of each loaf about 1/4-inch deep.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in a convection oven, or up to 50 minutes in a standard oven, or until crusty and golden. (I baked my loaves on convection for 37 minutes.)
My son and I made this dish together for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner. We’ve been keeping ourselves busy while we’re stuck at home! He is a big fan of mashed potatoes, so he made the topping himself. I loved the ridged pattern on the finished crust.
Although the recipe is streamlined to be made in one skillet, it was still a little bit time-consuming. (Thankfully, we had plenty of time!) The plus side is that it can be prepared with ingredients that are readily available in your pantry and freezer. It definitely created less dishes too. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen via The Associated Press. It was originally published in their book, Cook it in Cast Iron. I used a combination of Dutch yellow baby potatoes and red potatoes instead of russet potatoes, ground turkey instead of ground beef, increased the amount of garlic, and modified the method. Great comfort food.
Yield: Serves 6
2 pounds potatoes, Dutch yellow baby potatoes (unpeeled), red potatoes (unpeeled), or russets (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 large egg
6 T unsalted butter, divided (4 T melted)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey or 93% lean ground beef
2 T tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 T all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup frozen peas
Cover potatoes with water in large saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon salt, bring to simmer over medium-high heat, and cook until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes for unpeeled baby potatoes or 8 to 10 minutes for peeled and cut russet potatoes.
Drain potatoes and return them to saucepan. If using unpeeled baby potatoes, remove the peels at this point.
Using a potato ricer, process all of the potatoes. (Alternatively the potatoes can be mashed until smooth.)
In a measuring cup, whisk milk and egg together. Stir into potatoes along with 4 tablespoons of melted butter, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; cover and set aside.
Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in skillet.
Add carrots, onion, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add ground meat and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste, garlic, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
Slowly stir in stock and Worcestershire, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps.
Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
Off the heat, stir in peas and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Adjust oven rack 5 inches from broiler element and heat broiler.
Dollop the mashed potatoes over the top of the filling. Smooth topping with a knife or the back of a spoon, then use the tines of a fork to make ridges on the surface.
Place the skillet in the oven and broil until topping is golden brown and crusty, 5 to 10 minutes.
Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day-Eve! I hope that this post finds you healthy and able to use this self-quarantine time to bake.
I typically make a sweeter version of soda bread to serve for breakfast on St. Patrick’s Day. This savory version was a nice change. It was reminiscent of the rosemary biscuits that my husband and I enjoy at our annual anniversary dinner at Volt in Frederick, MD. I loved that it incorporated whole wheat flour.
This recipe is from Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland by Shauna Sever. I used coarse salt and decreased the baking time. We ate it with salted Irish butter. It was wonderful- very moist and tender.
Yield: One 8-inch loaf
2 cups (256 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for dusting
I made these colorful sugar cookies to bring to my friend’s St. Patrick’s Day party. She is always very festive and embraces every holiday with wonderful decorations and fun crafts.
Her 12-year old daughter even made this Leprechaun appetizer for the celebration. Amazing! 🙂
These cookies were originally called “End of the Rainbow” cookies in Martha Stewart Living. They had little candy “pots of gold” attached with icing. I preferred them plain! I added the colored sanding sugar on the outside of the cookie dough log instead. I also used a tried and true sugar cookie dough, from our birthday Number Cookies, but used the technique from the magazine to color and form the dough into rainbows.
I pre-cut the dough into semi-circles prior to baking but had to trim the bottom after baking to create a straight edge. Next time, I would bake them in full circles and cut them in half immediately after removing them from the oven instead. We did get to sample the cookies by eating all of the trimmed edges! 😉
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp coarse salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (10.6 oz)
gel food coloring (I used blue, yellow, and pink)
1 large egg, yolk and white separated
colored sanding sugar (I used yellow)
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add eggs, vanilla, and salt; mix on medium-high speed until combined.
With mixer on low speed, add flour in two batches, mixing until just incorporated.
Divide dough in half, about 1 pound each.
Divide one half into 2 pieces, about 3/4 cup each. (I used a kitchen scale to divide it evenly.) Flatten one piece into a 3-by-5-inch rectangle; wrap tightly with plastic. Roll out other piece into an 8-inch rod shape, about 1 inch thick; wrap tightly with plastic.
Divide remaining half of dough into 3 pieces, about 1/2 cup or about 5.8-6oz each. Tint each with one of the gel colors, as desired, stirring color in with a knife or spatula.
Flatten each tinted piece into a 3-by-5-inch rectangle; wrap each tightly with plastic.
Refrigerate all dough until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days (or freeze up to 1 month).
In a small bowl, whisk egg white with a fork.
Between sheets of plastic wrap, or on a lightly floured work surface, roll out the blue dough into a 4 or 5-by-8-inch rectangle, a scant 1/4 inch thick.
While still enveloped in the plastic wrap, make sure that the edges meet after wrapping the log in the tinted dough; adjust if necessary.
Unwrap and brush the top with egg white. Place dough rod on long edge of rolled-out dough, then roll rod inside it; seal at edges where dough meets by pinching and pressing gently. Freeze 10 minutes.
Repeat with remaining dough, rolling yellow dough out to 5 or 6-by-8 inches, pink dough to 6 by 8 inches (1/8 inch thick), and un-tinted dough to 7 or 8-by-8 inches.
Roll log in plastic wrap; twist ends closed. Freeze until solid, at least 4 hours and up to 1 month.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
Let log soften at room temperature about 10 minutes; remove plastic wrap.
In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk with a fork. Coat the outside of the log with the egg yolk and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice 1/4 inch thick, rotating log slightly after every slice to maintain even circles.
Place slices on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until firm and just golden around edges, about 9 to 12 minutes.
Immediately after removing the cookies from the oven, cut each cookie in half with a sharp knife to form two rainbows.
Let cool on sheet 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Irish Soda Bread is a must-have celebratory breakfast in our house. This version was delicious slathered with butter.
The recipe was adapted from Food 52, contributed by Pegeen. I incorporated whole wheat flour and golden raisins. I baked the bread in a 10-inch ceramic baking dish. It was very tender- perfect with a cup of coffee. 🙂
Yield: One 10 or 11-inch round loaf
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, cold (you may need a little less or more)
2 large eggs, cold
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups white whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, COLD, cut into smaller chunks, plus more for greasing the baking dish
1 cup dark seedless raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins
Equipment: one 10- or 11-inch round, ceramic or glass baking dish. A round, straight-sided dish is best (not a pie dish with slanted sides). You could substitute a metal cake pan but not a very dark metal non-stick pan, because the top will likely burn before the interior of the loaf is cooked.
Position oven rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 375° F, preferably on convection. Use the “extra” butter to generously grease the baking dish. Dust the baking dish with flour: scatter a small handful of flour inside the dish and shake it around so that bottom and sides are coated. Turn dish over and tap out any excess flour.
Pour buttermilk into a medium bowl or measuring cup. Break eggs into buttermilk and whisk with a fork to just combine. Add baking soda and whisk to just combine. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
Scatter 6 tablespoons of COLD butter over the flour mixture. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter or, if you don’t have one, use two table knives in a criss-cross motion from edge-to-edge of the bowl to cut in the butter. The butter should be visible in small bits throughout the flour, not completely absorbed.
Gently stir in raisins. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
Pour 1 cup of the buttermilk mixture into the well. Stir gently with wooden spoon (do not use your hands) until flour is moistened. Use a spatula to gently fold any dry flour from the sides and bottom into the wetter dough. (Fold gently, don’t whip the dough or over-stir.) Add more of the buttermilk mixture as needed, in small amounts, to create a dough that is neither too wet or too dry. You may need more or less than the 1-1/2 cups buttermilk called for. If you need more liquid, plain buttermilk is fine. The dough should look lumpy and be more wet than dry.
Dust a little flour on your hands, then shape dough quickly and roughly into a ball, without over-handling it. Transfer dough ball to the greased and floured baking dish. Use the back of the wooden spoon to spread dough in as few strokes as possible to edges of dish.
Use the handle end of the wooden spoon or your index finger to make a shallow cross (1/4 inch deep) on top of the dough, top to bottom and side to side. This is to encourage the bread to rise in quarters for easier slicing. Very lightly scatter a tiny bit of flour over the dough.
Place baking dish in oven. Baking time will be about 35 to 45 minutes. Check after 30 minutes: bread should be golden brown and look set. Test by inserting a knife in the center of the bread. If there is wet dough on the knife, bake for up to 10-15 minutes more. Do not over-bake.
Remove from oven and let bread cool in baking dish about 10 minutes. Remove from baking dish and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. (It will crumble if you try to slice when still warm.) Keeps very well for a few days, wrapped tightly in foil or plastic wrap. (I let mine cool in the baking dish.)