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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How to Cook a Snake*

No snakes were harmed in the writing of this blog.
Merely driven from Ireland.
We upset a cat by pushing it off my computer, but that's it.

This is another astoundingly amazing post that warranted a revisit.
 I'm making it again this year, so why mess with perfection?
You actually believed that?
Saint Patrick's Day at our house is more about food than anything else.
I strive to make traditional dishes with a twist, and we all have a lot of fun coming
up with a menu that will meet the dietary needs of both the carnivores
and the pescetarians.
Fortunately, this is an easy task, and a delicious one.
We'd like to share our personal favorites for the Grand Day!
Looking for something different?
Not the corned norm?
This, my Besties, is it.
Soda bread can be dry and uninteresting.
The following version, tweaked by my best friend, Michael, is tangy and nearly dessert-worthy.
I embellished it with a light lemon glaze the next day to create the perfect breakfast bread for my 3 
busy college students. I also doubled the recipe.

Lord Reilly’s Irish Soda Bread
(No ego to this man, eh?)

3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
16 oz. container sour cream
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup Craisins…. YES CRAISINS!!!

Mix all dry ingredients well. Add egg and sour cream. Fold ingredients with floured hands until well combined, but not overly mixed. Bake at 375 degrees in greased 9” cake pan for about 50-60 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Enjoy!


Serve as a dessert or for breakfast… Add a little butter and OMG YUM!
 Tell me this doesn't look moist and irresistible.
 Now onto a main course.
Mussels are usually cheap. I bought 3 pounds for $3.99 per pound, which was plenty.
Savannah and Thom had two heaping helpings each.
We "blood mouths" had them as appetizers.
Yes, that is a vegetarian standard joke.
With Thom, this is not unusual.
It's high praise indeed from the figure conscious daughter.

Mussels Donegal

  • 3 pounds mussels in their shells
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 ounce extra butter for thickening
  • 1 ounce flour
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 cup of cream sherry  

Note: Most mussels sold today are farmed and arrive at the market fully cleaned, but they do need to be washed and bearded. First, scrub them vigorously under running water, discarding any with shells that don't close. Then pull out the clump of hair-like strands that look like a 'beard.'
Melt butter in a large saucepan.  Cook the onions over medium-low heat until they soften.  Put in mussels and all the other ingredients except salt, parsley, sherry and extra butter. Cook over very high heat and cover until mussels open (about 5 minutes!).
Let it reduce a little by boiling with lid off.
Optional thickening:  In a separate saucepan, melt the extra butter and whisk in first 1 oz flour, then 1 cup cream. Add this to the pot and cook over medium heat to reach to the consistency you want. Add the sherry to finish. Prepare some pasta according to the package directions and pour the mussels over it.

This is my hack of an appetizer recipe from our favorite Irish pub, and it's amazing!

Garlic bread to enjoy with the mussels.

Simmered veggies.

Fall-apart corned beef for the carnivores.
Traditional corned beef can be a little bland.
White people in Europe seem to like to boil their meat.
A lot.
I sear mine, and add two teaspoons of Cajun seasoning to the usual mix.
Talk about a boost!
Make sure there's plenty for Reubens!
Now, onto dessert!
Green Velvet Cake (recipe by Bakerella)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 oz green food coloring
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease your cake pans with cooking spray.
Or lard, if you're weird.
I mean REALLY weird.
No. Stop. I was kidding.
Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with whisk.  Add in remaining liquid ingredients. Whisk until blended and set aside.  Mix all of the dry ingredients until well combined, then add the wet.
Add 3 yards of velvet.
(Every once in a while, I just like to see if you're paying attention.)
I used our stand mixer, and squirted in the food coloring in until I had the shade we wanted.
We did a bundt cake pan for this, which took 45 minutes.
Frost and sprinkle with decorations.

Cream Cheese Icing

1/2 stick of butter, room temperature
8 oz of cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla

Mix the ingredients until smooth. Add more powdered sugar if necessary.
Lick the knife.
Check to see if anyone's watching.
Jog in place for 2 minutes.

Eat this within a day or two.
Why? How will you know if it's gone bad?

Join us tomorrow for How to Make Your Own Defibrillator.
I need to do some laps around the block and wrestle some lettuce from a bunny.

1 comment:

Danni@SiloHillFarm said... sure do up St. Patrick's Day right! I gotta try adding that cajun spice to my corned beef. I'll think about the craisins in my soda bread.