Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Being in Ireland, however, couldn't be easier. The people are friendly, generous and well informed. I had the best, most interesting conversations nightly. The landscape is gorgeous, the history fascinating, and the food is very good. I learned to love many things while touring there, and decided to recreate some of the edible ones in my kitchen this month.
Poulnabrone - Portal tomb in County Clare
Ireland is a cool country (both in attitude and temperature) and a pub lunch of soup and brown bread hits the spot on a rainy day. Lunch is at 1pm there, so it's good to get ahead start on the locals. Irish pubs are wonderful places and I wish the US could embrace the idea. They aren't just about drinking -- in fact you can spend a pleasant afternoon or evening in a pub and never have any alcohol. They are places to get good food at a fair price, and to enjoy great conversation and exchange information about your community. It's the community function that is the heart of any pub.
Paddy Burkes Pub - Clarinbridge, Co. Galway
Soup in Ireland is different than in the US - most are creamy and blended (no minestrone or chicken noodle soup). I became a huge fan of Potato Leek Soup and decided that my first recipe would be along that vein. I have a cookbook called The Irish Heritage Cookbook by Margaret M. Johnson, and decided to try out the Colcannon Soup. Colcannon proper is a traditional dish served on All Hallows' Eve (many of our Halloween traditions come from Ireland), and is a dish that uses cabbage, potatoes and leeks. One of the traditions is for a gold ring, wrapped in paper, to be placed in the dish. Whoever finds the ring is likely to marry within the year.
It is a little hard to hide a ring in some soup, but this soup is very easy to make. I under estimated my potatoes and over estimated my chicken broth, but overall I was very pleased with how the soup turned out. Served with some Irish Brown Bread (that will be the next post) it tasted just like Ireland. And with my many pleasant memories of Ireland, that was a very good thing indeed!
I used an immersion blender rather than a traditional blender (aren't immersion blenders the handiest of gadgets!?) and I left out the parsley (not a fan). Otherwise, I followed the directions below.
Monday, March 9, 2009
That said, the taste wasn't bad. Yes, it was a bit eggy, but I did have just the right amount of lemon flavor (I added a little lemon extract). I loved the color, and with a little sprucing up it looks like a very grown up dessert. It also tastes AMAZING with the whipped cream and the strawberry, and I liked it the next day much better than the day I made it. I'd definitely make it again -- I'm always cooking with lemon, so it would be a great way to use the left over zest from other recipes (and have a themed dinner menu).
** I just posted this at 12:01pm my time on Tuesday -- it has the saved draft date and time for some reason. Just don't want anyone to think I cheated!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
On a different note -- I'll be doing several posts around a theme this month. I'm pretty excited about what I've accomplished so far, so please check back for that! In the meantime I look forward to checking out what you all did this week!