The dishwasher is running, the counters are clean, and the house is quiet. My first full-on Irish meal is done. Hearty eating, easy recipes, but no real “wows” for me. A quick recap then I’m off to crash.
We made Black and Tans for the guys, and Apple Martinis for the girls. I forgot how much I loved Apple Martinis – delicious, smooth and goes down nice and easy.
For the main course, I made two different recipes for Corned Beef. The first was a Guinness Braised Corned Beef. It gave the meat a slightly sweet taste, and after cooking for eight hours in the slow cooker, it was nice and tender. I also made a recipe for Corned Beef from Better Homes & Gardens. No way can either recipe by itself serve 6, so I’m glad I made two since there was nothing leftover. For side dishes, I did a pan of simple roasted vegetables and also made Colcannon. I’ve never made Colcannon before, but honestly, you can’t go wrong with something that has crispy, crumbled bacon, a well of melted butter and bacon grease, can you? I would definitely make that one again. If you like mashed potatoes, you’ll like this one.
For dessert, two more new recipes. I made Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake and Apple Oatmeal Crisp with Irish Whiskey Cream. Again, they were fine, but neither were wows for me. I’m not a huge cheesecake fan to begin with, so I’m not the best judge of it. If I have cheesecake, I’m a bit of a purist and like it plain with fresh fruit on top. The Apple-Oatmeal Crisp was actually an Emeril recipe, and I’ve never had an Emeril recipe that I didn’t like. I just have other Apple Crisp recipes that I like better.
So, all in all, five new recipes, good, hearty eating, and good company – works for me.
P.S. Don’t forget tomorrow is the Weekend Dog Blogging roundup. Want to join in the fun? All the details are here.
Guinness-Braised Beef Brisket
Cooking Light, MARCH 2003
Tender from gentle cooking, this entree is a classic preparation made without the usual pot watching. Serve it with grainy, coarse-ground mustard. Use the leftovers in classic Rueben sandwiches: sliced corned beef with Thousand Island dressing, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on sourdough, rye, or pumpernickel bread.
2 cups water
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup Guinness stout
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh or 1 tablespoon dried dill
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can low-salt beef broth
6 black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 (3-pound) cured corned beef brisket, trimmed
Combine first 11 ingredients in a large electric slow cooker, stirring until well blended; top with beef. Cover and cook on HIGH 8 hours or until beef is tender. Remove beef; cut diagonally across grain into 1/4-inch slices. Discard broth mixture.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 3 ounces)
CALORIES 226 (39% from fat); FAT 9.7g (sat 3.2g,mono 4.7g,poly 0.4g); PROTEIN 17.9g; CHOLESTEROL 87mg; CALCIUM 28mg; SODIUM 1105mg; FIBER 0.9g; IRON 2.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 15.2g
Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner
Recipe courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens
Makes 6 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 2 hours 30 minutes
1 2- to 2-1/2-pound corned beef brisket*
1 teaspoon whole black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise
2 medium parsnips or 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into chunks
2 medium red onions, cut into wedges
10 to 12 new potatoes (1 pound)
1 small cabbage, cut into 6 wedges (1 pound)
1. Trim fat from meat. Place in a 4- to 6-quart pot; add juices and spices from package of beef. Add enough water to cover meat. Add pepper and bay leaves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 2 hours or until meat is almost tender.
2. Add carrots, parsnips or rutabaga, and onions to meat. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Scrub potatoes; halve or quarter. Add potatoes and cabbage to pot. Cover and cook about 20 minutes more or until vegetables and meat are tender. Discard bay leaves. Remove meat from pot. Thinly slice meat across the grain. Transfer meat and vegetables to a serving platter. Makes 6 servings.
*Note: If your brisket comes with an additional packet of spices, add it instead of the pepper and bay leaves called for in the ingredient list.
Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake
Recipe via CLBB from Josh Weekley, Executive Chef, Lowe’s Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel, Nashville
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ lb (one stick) butter, melted
1 Tbsp honey
Combine ingredients, mixing by hand until crumbs are moist and sticky. Butter inside of a 9-inch springform pan. Press crumbs into bottom and along sides. Set aside.
For Cheesecake Filling:
2 ¼ lbs Philadelphia® (or other high-quality) cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
5 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream® liqueur (no substitutions)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend cream cheese and sugar with mixer until creamy. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well, scraping sides of bowl frequently to incorporate all ingredients. Add vanilla extract and liqueur, mixing well again. Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Let cheesecake cool slightly at room temperature, then chill completely – preferably overnight. The cheesecake will have a mousse-like texture when it comes out of the oven and requires thorough chilling to set. Serves 12.
Apple-Oatmeal Crisp with Irish Whiskey Cream
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 pounds Rome Beauty or Winesap apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 cup Irish oatmeal
1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnut pieces
Irish Whiskey Cream, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter an 11 by 7-inch baking pan and set aside. In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, lemon juice, 1/2-cup of the brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of the flour. Stir well, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the whiskey, cinnamon, cardamom and salt, stir well, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl combine the remaining flour, oatmeal and remaining 1/2-cup sugar. Add the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter, and with your fingers or a pastry blender, work the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the walnuts and mix well.
Place the apple mixture in the greased pan and sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the top. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot with the Irish Whiskey Cream.
Irish Whiskey Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
Whip the cream until it begins to form soft peaks. Add the sugar and whiskey and beat until stiff peaks form. Cover and chill until needed. Yield: about 2 cups
2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 slices bacon
1/2 small head cabbage, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter, melted
Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserving drippings, crumble and set aside. In the reserved drippings, saute the cabbage and onion until soft and translucent. Putting a lid on the pan helps the vegetables cook faster.
Drain the cooked potatoes, mash with milk and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the bacon, cabbage, and onions, then transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour in the melted butter. Serve immediately.