08 October 2009

Back in the Swing of Things

To make my way back to the blogosphere, I decided to make an Irish feast. I had every intention of posting this last night, but I underestimated how long it would take to cook everything I had planned. Since I didn't post last night as promised, I've decided to give you all three recipes that I used for my dinner last night.

During my lunch break yesterday, I was trying to decide what I wanted to make for dinner. Irish stout stew popped into my head, and I lamented the fact that it wasn't a very blustery day (in my world, stew equates with cold, wet weather). Much to my delight, as the afternoon wore on, a cold storm was making its way into Tulsa. I still had a few bottles of Guinness from when I made my birthday cheesecake and knew that it would finally have another use (slowly but surely, I have been drinking it, but it just isn't as good if it's not in draft form).

To keep it more traditional, I decided to make some champ and serve the stew on top of it. Instead of putting potatoes in my stew, I followed an old recipe in a tiny cookbook that is basically mashed potatoes with green onions. It really was the perfect accompaniment for the stew. I also baked my very first soda bread. It was scone like in texture but was so good with the homemade buttermilk and butter that I had made (yeah, I went a little cooking crazy in my kitchen last night, but it was worth it).

Irish Stout Stew
Recipe from All Recipes, adapted by me

2 pounds lean beef stew meat
4 slices bacon, chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 large onion, sliced into quarters
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bottle Irish stout beer (e.g., Guinness)
1 cup beef broth (enough to cover)
2 cups chopped carrot
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 TBL Worcestershire sauce
3 bay leaves
  1. Toss the beef cubes in a large Ziploc bag with the flour and cayenne and shake until all pieces are evenly coated. In a large pot, saute the bacon and then set aside. Saute the stew meat, onion, and garlic until all of the sides have been browned and set aside as well.
  2. Pour the Guinness, beef broth, and tomato paste into the pot and deglaze. Add the bacon and stew meat mixture as well as an juice on the plate back into the pot. Add the carrots, celery, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve over champ.

Irish Champ
Recipe from The Little Book of Irish Family Cooking

1 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped (you know I didn't peel mine)
6 spring onions
1 1/4 cup milk
1 tsp salt
  1. Boil the potatoes and drain.
  2. Heat the milk and onions until hot
  3. In a large bowl add all ingredients together and mash. You may or may not need all of the milk. Be sure to add enough to make the potatoes nice and creamy.

Irish White Soda Bread

Recipe from Irish Food and Cooking

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
2 Tbl butter, at room temperature
1 egg, whisked with 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 425F and grease a baking sheet. Sift dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Cut in the butter and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Make a well in the center and pour in the egg and buttermilk mixture. Mix thoroughly to make a soft dough.
  3. Turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly for a minute or two. Shape into a round and flatten slightly. Place the loaf on the baking sheet and mark with a deep cross to help it to cook evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until well risen and lightly browned. When cooked, it will sound hollow when tapped on the base.
  4. Cool on a wire rack. If a soft crust if preferred, wrap the loaf in a clean dish towel while it's cooling. Serve as soon as possible.

07 October 2009

Italy Meets the South

One night while trying to figure out what to have for dinner, I remembered seeing a new twist on an old classic. Allow me to introduce to you chicken fried steak parmesan.
If you head on over to this page on my blog, you'll find the recipe for the chicken fried steak. After you've made the steaks, you just do like you would for chicken parmesan. I'll be honest, when I made this meal, I had completely forgotten about already giving you the recipe for chicken fried steak. Since I won't be giving you a recipe for this one, I'm going to super nice and give you a second post this evening with an actual recipe (how's that for coming back to the blogging world?).
This meal was pretty good and definitely different. I'll certainly make it again, but next time I'll use a different sauce. The marinara that we usually buy is no longer being sold at any grocery stores near me, and the one I bought in place of it just wasn't as good as I had hoped. To mix things up just a little, I also covered two of the steaks with alfredo instead of marinara (my sister doesn't care for red sauce so I tried to make some special just for her). Those ones were really fantastic! Who would have guessed that chicken fried steak and alfredo would go so well together?