Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Did you remember to wear your green today? This part-Irish girl sure did! And in honor of the day Superking and I decided to make ourselves an Irish feast for dinner tonight.  Here's what was on the menu...

Bangers and Mash (or in layman's terms...sausage and potatoes, specifically mashed potatoes).  We got some fresh pork sausage from Whole Foods and some lovely organic potatoes. The sausage I began cooking as a whole link (which I think is technically how you're supposed to serve your Bangers) but its much easier to make sure they're done cooking all the way if you slice them half way through the cooking process.

The potatoes we sliced and diced and boiled until tender. Then into the KitchenAid mixer they went to be mashed up.  I added half a block of cream cheese (4oz) and maybe 1/2 cup of heavy cream (I don't really know, didn't measure, just poured til it was all wet) along with a small sprinkling of both Irish Whiskey Cheddar and Irish Stout Cheddar cheeses. Super yum! They can be a little pungent, almost like a mild blue cheese, so a little goes a long way. Mix til blended. Right before serving, while the potatoes are still hot, we sprinkled a little more of the cheeses on top for extra cheesy flavor!

We also had a slice of Irish Soda Bread with our meal, toasted and buttered.  Superking did not like it very much. Its definitely an acquired taste, I must admit.  I don't know if all or most Irish soda bread is like this (I've never had it before) but this one had caraway seeds giving it a rye flavor along with dried currants.  So it had this kinda sweet rye/sourdough taste.  It was odd but I kinda liked it.  It definitely added another dimension to the flavors of the sausage and potatoes.

For dessert, I went online to look for Irish desserts and found this one. I don't know how traditionally Irish it actually is but it was very yummy and easy to make. And we Irished it up a bit :)  Its called Caramelized Apple and Pear Stacks with Vanilla Guiness Ice Cream (we added the Guiness part). Here's the recipe following:

Its basically puff pastry thawed, rolled out, and cut into rounds.  The rounds are then brushed with a mixture of 1 egg and 1 tbsp of milk or cream beaten. Pop these babies in the 375 oven for about 15 minutes.

Then peel, core, thickly slice a couple apples and pears.  Melt some butter (1/4 cup) in large skillet.  Add apples, pears, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 2 tsp lemon juice.  Stir and cook on medium heat until fruit is tender and brown sugar mixture is melted. Remove from heat and cool.

Split pastry rounds in half horizontally and place bottom piece on a dish. Spoon fruit mixture on top, then top with remaining piece of pastry round.  Spoon more fruit mixture on top and dust with powdered sugar if desired. And serve with Guiness vanilla ice cream.

For the ice cream, I literally took a small container of store-bought vanilla ice cream and emptied it in a mixing bowl. Then I opened a bottle of Guiness beer and poured about half of it in the bowl with the ice cream. It was pretty soupy but I stirred it together until somewhat blended.  Cover the bowl and put it the freezer at least 3 hours. When I scooped it out to serve, it was a nice scooping softness with a little iciness to it, similar to sorbet.  The Guiness flavor was subtle but enough to where you could tell it wasn't just straight vanilla.  It was a nice Irish compliment to the apple and pear stacks.


  1. Josh likes Irish soda bread, I however, am not a huge fan. I think it's because there is usually some sort of dried fruit, and I hate dried fruit. How did you like Whole Foods? Seriously, it is like one of my favorite stores. I do my weekly shopping at the Fairfax location -- swoon :)

  2. mad props to the chef - was delish.

  3. I love Whole Foods! I wish there was one a little closer. :(