While it's still March, I thought I'd put my Irish info down. I did a fun presentation on Ireland a year ago and this is the food portion of it.....The first recipe (gems) were the best candy, I thought.
“The art of having fun with music, food and family all together or ‘craic’ (pronounced crack) as the Irish all it, is embodied here by these ideals”. (quote from a website for a restaurant named MacCool’s).
Recipes: http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,boxty,FF.html for boxty – Irish potato cakes or pancakes
Irish (Potato) Gems (from http://www.justapinch.com/recipe/irish-gems-by-judy-few-nanajc2004 )
3/4 c mashed potatoes
1 bx powdered sugar
4 c coconut
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1 6-oz pkg chocolate chips
1/2 oz paraffin
Directions: Blend together mashed potatoes and sugar. Add coconut, vanilla and salt.
Drop from tsp onto wax paper or greased cookie sheet. Shape into peaks. Let stand uncovered 30 minutes.
Melt in saucepan over very low heat, chocolate chips and paraffin. 4
Using a teaspoon, pour chocolate mixture over peaks of candy. Cool.
Makes approximately 4 dozen.
Note: I usually add about 2 cups of chopped pecans.
Note: If you shape the mixture around an almond and dip the ball in the chocolate you have a mini faux Almond Joy!
1 large potato
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 to 5 cups confectioners' sugar
5 cups sweetened coconut flakes
Peel the potato and boil it in water until soft. In a mixing bowl, mash the cooked potato with the salt and butter. Then -- this is key -- let it cool completely, or else it will melt the sugar when you add it.
Mix in the vanilla extract and 4 cups of sugar. At this point, the mixture should be stiff. If it isn't, add more sugar.
Sprinkle half of the coconut onto a waxed-paper-covered surface and turn the potato mixture onto it. Roll the batter until all of the coconut has been mixed in, then shape teaspoonfuls into small balls.
Roll the balls individually in the remaining coconut. Chill the finished candies until you're ready to serve them. Makes about 4 dozen
Corned Beef (from website above)
4 pounds corned beef brisket
1 cup brown sugar
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Irish stout beer (e.g. Guinness®)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Rinse the beef completely and pat dry.
2. Place the brisket on rack in a roasting pan or Dutch oven. Rub the brown sugar on the corned beef to coat entire beef, including the bottom. Pour the bottle of stout beer around, and gently over the beef to wet the sugar.
3. Cover, and place in preheated oven. Bake for 2 1/2 hours. Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing.
Footnotes Editor's Note: During the last hour, you may put vegetables in the roasting pan as well. Try a wedge of cabbage, new potatoes, onion, carrots, etc. You may need to add a little more beer with your vegetables.
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