Sunday, March 17, 2013

Boxty (Irish Potato Pancake)

Boxty are traditional Irish pancakes, different than American style pancakes in that they are half hash brown, half mashed potato. I prefer them to traditional potato pancakes; something about the mixture helps make them a bit less greasy.

The Irish saying goes, "Boxty in the griddle, boxty in the pan, if you can't make boxty, you'll never get a man!"  Sexism and cooking; a great combination!  Happy St Paddy's Day!

Yield: 4-6 servings

3 cups grated raw potatoes or frozen shredded hash browns
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups mashed potatoes
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
Vegetable or olive oil, for frying

Prepare mashed potatoes as you usually would and set aside to cool (can be made the night before, or used from leftovers). Toss the grated potatoes with flour in a bowl.  Stir in the mashed potatoes.  In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and milk, then add to the potato mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil on a griddle or pan, then drop the potato mixture in large tablespoons onto the hot surface, pressing down slightly to form patties.  Fry on both sides until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes per side.  Drain on paper towels and serve while warm.

Note: I turned these into "loaded boxty" pancakes; with sour cream, crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese and green onions. There are a lot of variations on boxty, search online for more ideas.  In Ireland, these are traditionally served with breakfast or dinner, so there are a ton of ways to use this recipe.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Irish Recipes for St Patrick's Day

In honor of St Patrick's day coming up, which might as well be Chicago day, I have compiled some of my favorite sort-of-Irish recipes (at the very least, these are recipes that incorporate Irish liquor).  Enjoy and don't overdose on green dye!

Irish Soda Bread

Guinness Battered Onion Rings

Beer and Cheddar Soup 

Guinness Braised Chuck Roast and Onions

Jameson Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting 

Irish Car Bomb Jello Shots

Chocolate Irish Cream Pudding Shots

Guinness Battered Onion Rings

I have a deep fryer, but if you don't have one you can fry these in a large pot.
Yield:  What will seem like a lot until you start eating and finish them all yourself.  Or, 2-4 servings

2 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced 1/4" to 1/2" thick
1 package onion ring coating mix
1 14.9 ounce can of Guinness
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 eggs
Vegetable oil for frying
Sea salt, as desired
Slice and peel onions and separate slices into rings.  Whisk 2 cups of the onion ring coating mix with the beer and egg until smooth.  In a separate bowl, mix the cornmeal with the remaining coating mix.

Preheat oil in a deep fryer or pot.

Dip the onion rings in the beer batter, then in the coating mix, then drop into hot oil.  Cook for 3-4 minutes or until lightly brown, then lay on paper towels to drain.  Repeat in batches until finished.

Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Mini Herbed Goat Cheese and Veggie Frittatas

I love making these baked egg dishes; they are easy, look elegant, and can be customized based on whatever ingredients you have around.  And you can easily make this even more low calorie by omitting the butter.
Yield4-6 mini frittatas

8 ounces mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1/4 cup melted butter, plus 1 tbsp for cooking
8 eggs, whipped
1/2 cup milk or cream
1/2 cup herbed goat cheese (or goat cheese + chopped fresh herbs)

1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 350.  Use one tablespoon of the butter to oil a skillet; cook peppers, garlic and mushrooms until soft.  Reserve, drain if desired (I find the mixture left in the pan enhances the flavor of the frittata, but it does make it a bit more watery, so discard if you want the eggs super firm).
Spray 6 ounce ramekins or muffin tins with nonstick spray or pat with butter.  Whisk eggs, milk, remaining melted butter, and seasonings until blended.  Fill baking containers about halfway with the egg mixture, then sprinkle with goat cheese and reserved vegetables.  Repeat, leaving a bit of room at the top of the ramekins for the egg to rise.
Bake until the egg mixture puffs and is set in the center, about 10 minutes.  Serve immediately, with additional goat cheese sprinkled over the top if desired.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Guinness Braised Chuck Roast and Onions

This is an easy weeknight crockpot recipe!

Yield4-6 servings

1 beef chuck roast, 4-5 lbs
1 tbsp olive oil
3 large white or yellow onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 cans Guinness beer (14.9 ounces each)
1 cup beef broth
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring roast to room temperature.  Pat meat dry and rub with salt and pepper.  Heat olive oil in a skillet and brown roast thoroughly on all sides.  Transfer meat to crockpot.

Skin and slice onionsAdd beef broth to pan and deglaze, then add onions, garlic, and herbs.  Saute for about 5 minutes, then add the Guinness and bring to a boil.  Pour liquid and vegetables over beef in crockpot and turn to medium or low, depending on how soon you need to eat!  I cooked mine for about 5 1/2 hours on low, but have used a similar technique with chuck roast on medium for about 3 hours.

If you want to make this while at work, you can easily do all of the active steps in advance, place the crockpot in the fridge overnight, and then turn it on before leaving in the morning.  That's the beauty of a crockpot!

Let rest before carving.  Serve with onions and juices on top.  This would also make a nice change from corned beef for St Paddy's day.  Enjoy!