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Posts Tagged ‘Irish’

Potato soup

An invaluable recipe especially in Ireland as we always seem to have surplus potatoes lying around. This is what we cook when ‘there’s no food in the house’ and it’s pretty good.

Potato and fresh herb soup – serves 6

  • 50g butter
  • 425g potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 110g onions, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped herbs: parsley, thyme, chives
  • 850ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 125ml creamy milk

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. Wait until it starts to foam, then add the potatoes and onions and stir to coat in the butter. Add the salt and some black pepper. Cover with a butter wrapper or some greaseproof paper and the saucepan lid. Sweat gently for about 10 minutes while you bring the stock to the boil in a separate pan.

When the vegetables are softened but not coloured, add the herbs and stock, then continue to cook until the vegetables are completely soft. Whizz the soup until smooth and season to taste. Thin with some creamy milk if necessary and garnish with some more herbs.

(Original recipe from Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course, Kyle Cathie Ltd., 2001.)

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Champ

This is how Julie’s Granny served champ, with a great big lump of Irish butter in the middle!

Irish Champ – serves 4 as a side or 2 on it’s own

  • 700g potatoes – it helps if they are roughly the same size
  • salt and white pepper (no black pepper please)
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 50g butter (plus extra to serve)

Put the potatoes (unpeeled) in a pot and cover with cold water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, then simmer until completely tender (usually about 20 minutes but keep checking and don’t let them go to mush).

Heat the milk with the scallions for about 5 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and peel while still hot. If you have a potato ricer you could use that but we tend to use a standard masher.

Beat the butter into the mashed potato with a wooden spoon, then stir in the warm milk and scallions. Season well with salt and white pepper.

Serve the potatoes in a warm bowl. Make a dip in the middle with the back of a spoon and add a lump of good quality (preferably Irish) salted butter.

 

 

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Kassler roasted with cabbage & potatoes

Our mate Brett got us this genuine Kassler, a pork loin expertly cured and lightly smoked by Ed Hicks in Dun Laoghaire. If you can’t find Kassler use a smoked bacon loin or rack and prepare yourself for the best bacon & cabbage ever.

Wine Suggestion: We chose a classic white Burgundy, 100% Chardonnay made in oak from a winemaker in Meursault, Patrick Javillier. He makes a couple of Bourgogne Blanc’s from a couple of very particular sites in Meursault and boy are they good. This time we chose his Cuvée Oligocene which is a vineyard partly in Meursault and partly in the ordinary Burgundy classification (despite it being the same soils and aspect). This makes this wine a bargain and we love it.

Roast Bacon with Cabbage & Potatoes – serves 6-8

  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 450g savoy cabbage, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1kg boned kassler/smoked bacon loin or rack
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

For the Sauce

  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 50ml Madeira or Port
  • 1-3 tbsp Dijon mustard

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Put the potatoes into a large saucepan, cover with cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then drain.

Par-boil the cabbage in another large pan of lightly salted water for 2 minutes. Drain into a colander and refresh with cold water, then use your hands to squeeze out the excess water.

Put the bacon into a large roasting tray and place in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes before adding the butter. When the butter has melted, add the potatoes and roast together for 20 minutes, turning the bacon & potatoes in the butter now and then.

Now push the potatoes and bacon to one side and add the cabbage. Season the potatoes and cabbage with salt and roast for another 10 minutes, turning everything in the smoky butter.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by melting the butter in a small pan and adding the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then take off the heat and whisk in the chicken stock until smooth. Place back on the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 40 minutes in total remove the bacon from the oven and check that the potatoes and cabbage are cooked. Transfer the vegetables to a warm serving platter, then slice the bacon and arrange on top. Keep warm.

To finish the sauce, de-glaze the juices in the roasting tin with the Maderia or Port and add to the sauce. Whisk in the mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Original recipe by Paul Rankin.)

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Potato cakes

We sorely miss potato farls which you can buy in every bakery in Belfast and are so delicious with bacon for breakfast or brunch. It was a delight to find such a good and easy recipe. You have to make these with hot potato so it’s fine to use leftover mash but make sure you re-heat it.

Potato cakes 

  • 450g potatoes, steamed and put through a mouli-légumes or potato ricer
  • 110-140g flour sieved with a tsp of sea salt
  • 45g unsalted butter

Work the ingredients together with your fingers, then roll out the dough lightly into thin circles with a very well floured rolling pin. Cut with a scone cutter into circles and fry in a little butter until browned.

Serve hot with more butter and some crispy bacon.

(Original recipe from Tamasin’s Kitchen Bible by Tamasin Day-Lewis, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005.)

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Colcannon

A very Irish side dish but good enough to eat a big bowlful on its own. If you want to restrain yourselves a bit you could balance this with a nicely barbecued sausage. The diet starts after Christmas!

When seasoning make sure you use white pepper as it makes all the difference. The pink pepper mill in the photo is our “white pepper mill”.

Colcannon – to serve 6 as a side

  • 1kg potatoes, scrubbed (cut the bigger ones in half)
  • 100g butter
  • ½ a small Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 150ml double cream

Put the potatoes into a large pan of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer goes through without resistance.

Heat about 25g of the butter in another saucepan and fry half the cabbage for about 5 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and peel while they are hot, then mash until smooth.

Heat the cream with the rest of the butter and, when almost boiling, beat into the potato. Add the cabbage to the potato, mix well and season (with salt and white pepper).

Heaven!

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Wholesome and heart warming lunch when family drop by. We like to only partially blend or soups sometimes as it gives a great smooth consistency and keeps some of the flavoursome lumps.

Leek and potato soup – serves 6-8

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 400g leeks
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 400g potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 2 chicken or vegetable stock cubes

Peel and roughly chop the carrots and onions and slice the celery and garlic. Quarter the leeks lengthways and cut into 1cm slices.

Put a large pot over a high heat and add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add all the chopped and sliced ingredients and mix well, then cook for 10 to 15 minutes, partially covered, until the carrots have softened and the onions have started to turn golden.

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 cm dice. Add 1.8 litres of boiling water to the stock cubes, then add to the vegetables along with the potatoes.

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.

Season and serve or blend until smooth, or give it a half-hearted whizz like we did.

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Ministry of Food by Jamie Oliver, Penguin 2008.)

 

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We love  champ, and this recipe adds an extra layer of deliciousness. This idea is from Jamie’s latest book and we especially liked the addition of yellow celery leaves at the end.

King of mash: Irish champ

  • 1kg potatoes
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 leek
  • 150ml milk
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 50g butter
  • a small handful of watercress (we omitted this as there was none in the shop)
  • a small bunch of flat-leaf parsley
  • a small handful of yellow celery leaves

Peel the potatoes and bring a large pan of  salted water to the boil. Cut the potatoes into 2.5cm chunks then add to the pan and boil fast for 12-15 minutes, or until completely tender.

Meanwhile, slice the scallions and leeks as finely as you can. Put them in a saucepan with the milk, bay leaf, butter and plenty of seasoning. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for about 7-8 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and let them steam dry for a few minutes in the hot pot. Mash the potatoes, adding spoonfuls of the milk as you go. Taste and season. Roughly chop the watercress (if using) and stir through the mash (discard any thick stalks).

Just before serving reheat the mash with a lid on over a gentle heat. Stir in the parsley and celery leaves and serve with more butter if you like.

(Original recipe from Jamie’s Great Britain by Jamie Oliver, Penguin, 2011.)

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