Friday, March 14, 2008

Food O' The Irish

Happy St. Pattie's Day! Here's what's on the menu tonight at our house:


Irish Soda Bread

cooking spray or butter for the pan
2 cups flour, plus more for the pan
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. caraway seeds (can leave out if you don't like them)
1/2 cup raisins
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 5X9 loaf pan or 8-inch round pan with spray (or rub with butter). Dust bottom and sides of pan with flour.
2. In large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt with wooden spoon; stir in seeds and raisins.
3. With a fork lightly beat eggs and milk. Gradually add mixture to dry ingredients and stir with spoon until mixture forms a sticky, thick dough.
4. Turn the dough into prepared pan. Sprinkle a little flour on the top.
5. Bake 1 hour for loaf pan or 50 minutes for round pan. Turn out of pan onto wire rack to cool.


Sweet Pea Soup

5 TB. unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced leeks, white part only
5 TB. flour
6 cups chicken broth
5 cups fresh or frozen peas
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
croutons or crusty bread, optional for garnish

1. Heat butter in large pot over medium high heat. Add leeks; saute until soft, 4-5 minutes.
2. Add flour, stirring until dissolved. Add broth; bring to boil, whisking constantly.
3. Stir in peas; reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes.
4. Puree using a handheld blender (can do it in batches in a blender or food processor). Stir in cream and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with croutons or a piece of toasted crusty bread if desired.



Shamrock Sugar Cookies

*everybody's got a sugar cookie recipe......right?

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