Seeing how today is Saint Patrick’s Day I thought I would share a recipe from a dear old friend for Irish Soda Bread. I will be making this if not tonight Saturday when I make my corned beef and cabbage that I posted earlier this month. I don’t normally like soda bread but this recipe is a sweeter version then I have EVER had before. If you’re not a fan of Irish Soda Bread suggest you try this one. If you are a fan I hope you will let me know how you like this version of it.
Irish Soda Bread
Serves 5 to 7
4 Cups four
1 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ stick butter
1-1/3 cups buttermilk
Grease 9 inch round pan.
Mix and knead all these ingredients and then add 1 cup raisins.
Friends of mine invited us (my wife and I) over for lobster bisque and wine. Being the good friends they are they opened the Estate Bottled Schweiger Vineyards Chardonnay pictured above to go with our meal.
We started with a simple salad of greens, cucumber and Italian salad dressing. I do like a good salad and this was perfect. After eating almost all of my salad, I took a sip of the Chardonnay. It was cold and delicious, a delight on my tongue. I am one of those people who believe that food does taste better when paired with the right wine. If this were not true, all the kings and queens of Europe would have never gone to such lengths to acquire so much wine. Then they would go on to eat and drink so much they would develop gout. I also believe wine tastes better when paired with the right food so how could they help themselves?!
The next course was the lobster bisque (pictured above). The bisque was wonderfully rich and creamy with lots of lobster meat and the taste of butter throughout. Truly an exceptional job of preparation. It was paired masterfully with the very same Chardonnay as the earlier salad course, as I’m sure was my hosts intent. It was this course with ever few spoonful’s, I would enjoy a nice sip of perfectly chilled wine. The wine and the bisque were both silky and enchanting. The wine had just enough acidity to cut through the rich buttery creaminess of the bisque so it would not be lost on the palate. If I just had this course alone I’d have been a very happy camper. Yet, there was more to come.
The last course was a shrimp dish over creamy brown rice. Once again, we stuck with the Schweiger Vineyards Chardonnay and I for one was so grateful for such an excellent wine. I do not like Chardonnay’s that hit you over the head with taste of oak, like a two by four across the puss as if in in a bad action adventure movie. This wine has only the slightest hint of toasted oak flavor that pairs well with delicate foods thanks to its succulent fruity notes. I also particularly love that is has just the right amount of acid for a clean crisp taste that would go great with just about any seafood from baked clams to lobster tails with drawn butter. If you have the opportunity to purchase this wine, I highly suggest getting a few bottles to have on hand to share with family and friends!
Thank you Andrew Schweiger for producing such a magnificent wine to share with my wonderful family and friends, as well as, everlasting memories of a delightful dinner! Of course unless I kill that brain cell with more alcohol.
Prime Rib is usually something I save and make for Christmas dinner. However occasionally I make it during the year for friends and family. It just goes so well with a bold Cabernet Sauvignon. I am partial to the cabernets from Caymus or St Francis.
I suppose you could make this “standing rib roast” as it was called in the past for Easter or a leg of lamb. I usually make Shrimp parmesan for this particular spring holiday. So perhaps I should make a big fat Prime Rib and open a magnum of wine to celebrate the Vernal Equinox. The point in time in which there is officially more daylight as it begins to win out over darkness.
Here is to hoping that everyone has a happy and healthy Vernal Equinox on Sunday March 20th, 2022 at 11:30 am. I will be celebrating with a huge piece of beef and wine.
Standing Rib Roast (Prime Rib)
Serves Prime Rib – 5 to 7 ribs 10 to 14 people
1 Extra Large pan*
Prime Rib – 5 to 7 ribs 10 to 14 people
1 small head Garlic peeled (for 7 ribs)
When you order your beef you can have your butcher separate the meet from the ribs and tie it back on. This makes slicing it easier later on.
At ~11:00am. (When eating at 4 or 5pm)
Pat dry the meat using paper towels. Place the meat in a large shallow pan. I use my largest broiler pan.
Mix together in a small bowl- crushed garlic and two tablespoons of olive oil. Rub this mixture all over the roast using your hand to coat it evenly with garlic and oil. Sprinkle on salt, fresh ground pepper and onion powder on top the oil and garlic on top of mixture. You can even cut slits into the beef with a paring knife and insert slivers of garlic. I do this across the whole roast about 2 inches apart.
Let the beef stand out on a large plate for two hours, until it is at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 300°. (~1:00PM)
After the beef has sat for two hours stick in the thermometer probe and Cook in a 300° oven for 3 to 4 hours until meat thermometer reads 140° – Rare. Remove the beef from the oven. Cover with tin foil and let rest/stand at least 20 minutes. Meat will continue to rise in temperature for another 5° to 10°.
After 20 minutes, carve one-inch thick slices and serve.
Metal baking dish (I can use the bottom half of a Whirlpool Broiler Pan)
3 lbs. baking (russet) Potatoes
2 tbls Olive oil and 2 tbls butter (melted) or margarine
¼ Garlic powder
¼ Onion powder
¼ White pepper
Peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into wedges. In a 9 X 13 metal baking dish add potatoes, oil, butter, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix until potatoes are coated.
Place in oven with meat during half hour of cooking time. Remove potatoes when they begin to brown. While meat is resting, finish browning potatoes under broiler if needed.
NOTES: This is one of those recipes I asked Aunt for when my mother and I used to visit her. She used to make this with a leg of Lamb and use some of the lamb drippings in the potatoes……it was so yummy.
I use a metal dish as I do not this the potatoes brown as nicely in a glass or Pyrex brand one.
Whirlpool Broiler Pan’s can be found on Amazon for $30.00
Heat peanut oil to 350 degrees in an extra-large heavy pot. I use a 7 quart Dutch oven or a large cast iron pot. Do not fill pot more than half way with oil.
Place fresh cut fries in large microwaveable bowl, toss with 1/4 cup oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high power until potatoes are partially translucent and pliable but still offer some resistance when pierced with tip of paring knife, 6 to 8 minutes, tossing them with rubber spatula halfway through cooking time. Carefully pull back plastic wrap from side farthest from you and drain potatoes into large mesh strainer set over sink. Rinse well under cold running water. Spread potatoes onto kitchen towels and pat dry. Let rest until room temperature, at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.
SLOWLY lower fries into hot oil using a mesh spider or slotted metal spoon, and fry until potatoes turn light golden or just begin to brown at corners, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer fries to thick paper bag or paper towels to drain (now cook whatever entre you are making, like fried shrimp).
Turn heat to high and raise temperature of oil to 375 degrees.
Return fries into hot oil using a large metal slotted spoon or and fry until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to fresh paper bag or paper towels to drain. Season fries with salt to taste and serve immediately with ketchup.
Bring 2 cups of water in your 4 quart sauce pot to a boil with the steamer basket in place. Prepare beans by removing both ends and cutting in half or thirds. When the water is at a rapid boil add the beans. Cook until tender.
Green Beans (boiled)
1 pound string bean (green beans)
1 small onion
1 tsp. salt
2 cups water
Bring 2 cups of water in your 4 quart sauce pot to a boil, add salt. Prepare beans by removing both ends and cutting in half or thirds. Peel one small whole onion. When the water is at a rapid boil add the beans and onion. Cook until tender.
Wash mushrooms under cold running water to remove dirt. Let drain. While the shrooms drain slice the onion. Cut small mushrooms in half and large mush into quarters.
Heat oil in a large All-Clad or similar steel pan. When hot, add onions. Fry over medium high heat until brown. Leaving the onions still for a minute or two without stirring. I think they tend to brown quicker that way. It also gives me a change to take a sip of wine.
Add the Mushrooms and stir. Cook for a two or three minutes stirring the same way.
Reduces heat and add butter and table spoon at a time until it is all incorporated.
March is a favorite month of mine. Many famous book, poetry and music all refer to March such the idiom; “In like a lion out like a lamb.” Which as many of you might know refers to the weather of March and how it is freezing in the first weeks and noticeably, “supposed to be”, warmer in the last. This however is not always true. I have seen snow in New York City just before Easter back in the seventies and again the eighties. Then there is the famous expression by some guy named Will; “beware the ides of March.” Which back then, March 15th was considered Roman tax day. I wonder why the United States chose April 15th?
I digress, March is a wonderful month filled with food. There is Saint Patrick’s Day, in which here in New York, we celebrate with and overabundance of corned beef, cabbage and boiled potatoes that is made in a very large pot. This is a recipe I will be making and sharing with you all now.
I always prepared this this meal on March 17th, regardless of it falling on a Friday during lent. As a matter of health, more so then anything else I choose to eat fish every Friday during lent. It give me a good excuse shall we say, “to make all these terribly stinky dishes that smell up my house all day.” Those are my wife’s words, she prefers me to cook fish OUTSIDE whenever possible. She would have me cook the corn beef outside if I could. Therefore, I should be posting a few fish dishes this month. Including but not limited to, fried flounder, stuffed flounder, fried shrimp, shrimp scampi, potato wrapped sea bass, and the ever-popular tuna salad, to name a few. After all, there are only like seven weeks until Easter and I am forced to stop cooking MOST fish recipes in the kitchen of my home.
Let get to the first recipe we discussed, Corned beer, I mean BEEF. (ugh a corny joke)
Saint Patty’s Day Corned Beef
Serves 4 to 6
1 Extra Large Stock Pot
2-3 thin cut corned beef brisket (I like the Freirich brand)
2-3 stalks celery
2 heads of cabbage
12 oz. Bottle Beer (Guinness Harp or Sam Adams October fest if you have it)
1 whole clove garlic (peeled)
6 – 8 pepper corns
1 tbsp. pickling spice or seasoning packet from corned beef
5 lbs. Red Bliss Potatoes or small white potatoes
Frozen corn on the cob
In an extra large stockpot, add corn beef with juice from package (and the spice packet). Add enough water to cover corned beef. Add one 12 oz. bottle of beer, preferably NOT dark, perhaps one you are serving with dinner (Sam Adams Oktoberfest I saved from the fall). Add carrots, celery, and onion that has been cut into large pieces. Add the whole clove of garlic. Cook on low 2 hours. After cooking the meat two hours you can now add potatoes and the cabbage. Turn heat to high. Return to a boil. Now lower heat and simmer one hour longer. Remove meat to cutting board to rest. Test meat for doneness to see if it is tender, meat should pull away will a fork. If it still too chewy cook it longer!
When the meat is done cover and let rest. It needs it. Turn the heat up to high on potatoes and cabbage to boil and add the corn. Cook corn in the same hot water for the recommended time on package. When corn is ready it will also be “seasoned”, slice meat and serve with cabbage, potatoes, corn.
Serving suggestion: Serve with bakery fresh rye bread, whipped butter and a nice spicy brown mustard like Guldens.
NOTES I don’t remember ever eating corned beef with my mom until I was a teenager. I don’t think anyone else in my family liked it back then. Everyone except my sister who ate with her eggs for breakfast but let’s save that recipe and story for another time. See St. Patrick’s Day Menu or SPRING
NOTES: Remember corned beef shrinks when you cook it. Why? I don’t know! It just does, so buy extra, plus I have a few recipes for that leftover corned beef that you DON’T want to miss out on!
I made turkey burgers last night. The recipe is below. I do recommend these. I’m not saying make these just as a healthy alternative, or not because ground turnkey is cheaper then beef right now but because they taste DAM good! Enjoy.
The Drunken Chef
4 Brioche hamburger buns
1 package ground turkey
1 large whole egg
1 celery stalk
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt and Pepper
Begin by heating a large pan over medium heat. Butter the inside of four hamburger buns. I prefer Brioche buns for this. Now place the buns in the HOT frying pan and cook. You are frying them like a grill cheese sandwich. This will make all the difference to the taste of your burger in the end.
Once your buns are toasted and removed to plates peel and slice an onion.
Fry the onion in 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high heat.
While the onions are cooking, mince 1 carrot, and 1 celery stalk. I use my Pampered Chef chopper for this.
Right after the onions have cooked (begin to brown) I return them to the cutting board and chop them up finely using a large chef’s knife.
Return then onion to the hot pan on medium heat. Add the carrots and celery. Cook on medium heat for two minutes. Adding more olive oil if necessary to keep them from sticking to pan.
Mince 1 clove of garilc. Add garlic to the onion mixture in pan and continue cooking one more minute.
In a medium size bowl. Place the ground turkey. Add 1 lightly beaten egg, salt and pepper to taste (but don’t taste it). Mix in the onion mixture a little bit at a time (1/8th ). Dumping all of the hot onion mixture, all at once, will cook your eggs and you will have scrambled eggs and raw turkey, ewe, you don’t want that.
Now that all the vegetables have been carefully mixed into you turkey, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the frying pan and heat it over medium heat until its hot again.
Form a meat ball and press into the pan forming a round patty using a fork or back of a spoon. Repeat with one or two more meatballs but do not over crowd your pan. The burgers will not brown but will steam. They will be good, but not perfect.
After frying burgers on one side without moving them (This is how the brown) for two to three minutes. Flip burgers over and continue to cook on the other side for two minutes. Adjust temperature under pan so the burgers cook through WITHOUT burning yet turning a nice brown like a burger should. Test the burgers with an instant read meat thermometer. They will be done at 160 degrees. They start getting dry after that.
Remove burgers to bottom bun and “dress up” you burger however you like. You can add more grilled onions (if you made extra) or lettuce, tomato and a slice of red onion or cold slaw, pickles or just ketchup or hot sauce. It all up to you. It’s your burger!
Server with a cold beer and French fries or waffle fries.