An Irish Dinner with Friends -November/December 2006

Irish Dinner Recipes

by: Sarah Leah Chase

photography by: Cary Hazlegrove

IRISH SMOKED SALMON on HOMEMADE BROWN BREAD with CRÈME FRAICHE and DILL

If you can’t get your hands on the fabulous oak-smoked Irish salmon Aisling likes to use in this recipe, make sure to use another top-quality smoked salmon.

Brown Bread:

  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup bran
  • 3 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon molasses or treacle
  • 2 to 3 cups milk

Smoked Salmon and Garnishing:

  • 1 pound best-quality smoked salmon,
  • thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces crème fraiche
  • Fresh dill sprigs

  1. To make the brown bread: Preheat the oven to 475 F. Grease a 9-by-11-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Mix the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, bran, wheat germ, baking powder and salt together in a mixing bowl. Add the molasses and stir in enough of the milk to make a moist but not sloppy mixture.
  3. Turn the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until risen, about 20 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 300 F. and bake one hour longer. Run a knife around the pan and ease the bread out. If it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, it is cooked. If not, return the loaf to the oven for 10 to 15 minutes more. There is no need, however, to put the bread back into the pan. Turn it upside-down and place it directly on the oven rack.
  4. When the bread has cooled completely, slice it like regular bread and then cut bite-sized rectangles from each slice, saving the trimmings if desired. Arrange the bread rectangles on a serving tray and top each generously with the sliced smoked salmon. Garnish each with a half-teaspoon dollop of crème fraiche and a fresh dill sprig.

Serves 10 to 12.


CLONAKILTY BLACK PUDDING with GOLDEN DELICIOUS APPLESAUCE

Aisling buys her Clonakilty Black Pudding at the Dublin airport but says that some stores specializing in Irish goods in the U.S. carry it. By all means, seek it out to make this unusual and wonderful appetizer.

Golden Delicious Applesauce:

  • 1 pound golden delicious apples
  • A tablespoon or so of water
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Black Pudding and Assembly:

  • 24 slices best-quality Irish Black Pudding, about half an inch thick
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey

 

  1. Make the applesauce: Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut the quarters in half and put in a stainless-steel saucepan along with the sugar and water. Cover and cook over low heat. As soon as the apples have broken down, beat the mixture into a purée. Stir and taste for sweetness. The applesauce may be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator if desired. Bring back to room temperature before using.
  2. To assemble the appetizer: Preheat the oven broiler to high and place a rack a few inches away from the heat. Lay the slices of black pudding on a baking sheet and brush lightly all over with olive oil. Broil, turning once, until crispy on both sides. Let cool for a minute or so and then transfer with a spatula to a serving platter.
  3. Mix the whole-grain mustard and honey together in a small bowl. Put a dollop of this mixture in the center of each slice of black pudding. Top with another dollop of applesauce and serve.

Makes 24 hors d’oeuvres.


POTATO and CELERIAC GRATIN

Celeriac is used much more in European cooking than American, but it is often available in local supermarkets during the winter months.

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1-1/4 pounds celeriac, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 3 tablespoons horseradish, drained

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Butter a large lasagna-type dish with some of the butter. Arrange a layer of sliced potatoes over the base of the dish and then top with a layer of the sliced celeriac. Season each layer with salt and pepper and repeat the layering process until all the potatoes and celeriac have been used.
  2. Combine the heavy cream, light cream and horseradish in a pitcher and season with a bit more salt and pepper. Pour the mixture evenly over the potatoes and celeriac and dot the top of the gratin with the remaining butter. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the gratin is golden, about 1 hour. Serve hot.

Serves 8 to 10.

 

CARROT and PARSNIP PURÉE

  • 10 carrots, peeled, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 6 parsnips, peeled, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Minced fresh parsley, for garnishing

 

  1. Place the carrots and parsnips in a medium pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until carrots and parsnips are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Drain, transfer to a clean pot, and mash with the butter and a bit of the minced parsley. Serve hot, garnished with a bit more parsley sprinkled on top.

Serves 8 to 10.

 

HOMEMADE CINNAMON ICE CREAM

  • 1 cinnamon stick, 2 to 3 inches long
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 10 egg yolks, preferably free-range
  • 1 cup sugar

 

  1. Grind the cinnamon stick coarsely in a coffee grinder to make about 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
  2. Put the milk and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring slowly to the scalding point. Stir in the cream until well combined. Remove from heat and let the mixture infuse for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk the mixture into the warm cream infusion. Cook over gentle heat, stirring, until the mixture just coats the back of a spoon. Strain it, and then cool quickly in the refrigerator.
  4. Freeze in an ice-cream maker following manufacturer’s instructions. Serve atop warm fruit crumbles.

Serves 10 to 12.






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