22 March 2008

Country Club Squash
5 tender small squash
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 teaspoon chicken base
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, grated (add extra cheese if you want)

Cut and cook squash until tender. Mash and add salt, pepper, butter, chicken base and onion. Add well beaten egg and sour cream. Pour into baking pan. Combine breadcrumbs, shredded cheese and paprika. Sprinkle over top of squash. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Serves 8 to 10
Source: Patti’s Cook Book - given to me by my niece Diana, and her husband Ron, who live in Kentucky

16 March 2008

Irish Stew History
Irish stew is a filling, flavorful peasant dish made with the most readily-available ingredients. The Irish raised primarily sheep and root crops for subsistence. The sheep provided wool for warm clothing, milk for drinking and making cheese, and eventually food. Potatoes were the main food crop, prior to the potato famine.
Irish Beef Stew
"Have I got the best recipe for you!" my friend Tomas announced, upon his return from a trip to photograph vineyards in Italy. "It's an Irish beef stew," he added, "and it's the best thing I've ever had." Apparently the chef at one of the wineries Tom was visiting prepared this stew for Tom, based on a Bon Appetit recipe, with the main difference being the substitution of Guinness (a very dark beer) and excellent red wine for some of the beef stock the recipe called for. Always eager to try new recipes with friends, I made my way to Tom's house and we cooked this up together for his family. As I suspected, the addition of Guinness and red wine makes all the difference.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
I cup of Guinness beer
1 cup of fine red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2 While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Saute vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for one hour.

3 Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)
Serves 4 to 6.

14 March 2008

Brisket Braised in Beer
3 thinly sliced onions
6 boiling potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 slices chopped bacon
4 (12 ounces each) bottles beer (not dark)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened but not melted
6 carrots, cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2-1/2 pounds brisket
1 large peeled rutabaga, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook bacon in an ovenproof kettle over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp. Transfer to paper towels and drain.

Pour off all but 2 Tbsp fat from bacon. Pat brisket dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the bacon fat over medium-high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the brisket to the kettle and brown. Transfer to a platter.

Add onions to kettle and saute until golden. Add bacon, brisket and beer. Bring beer to a boil. Cover kettle and braise in oven for two hours. Stir in rutabaga chunks, carrots and potatoes and braise 45 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender. Transfer the brisket and vegetables with a slotted spoon to a plate. Cover and keep warm.

Blend 2 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp flour and set aside. Bring braising liquid to a boil and reduce to about 3 cups. Gradually whisk in flour-butter mixture. Simmer for 3 minutes. Slice the brisket and arrange on a plate with vegetables. Pour some sauce over dish, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1 corned beef brisket

1 large head cabbage (preferably savoy)
8 peppercorns6 cloves garlic, whole peeled
4-5 parsnips
1-2 turnips
2 bay leaves1 pound carrots, peeled
6 large potatoes
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
3 whole cloves
1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper, ground

Wash brisket. Make small X slits in the meat and insert garlic and cloves pieces.
Place the meat into a stockpot (at least 8 quarts). Cover the meat with water. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, Old Bay, 2 carrots and sliced celery. Bring to a boil, skim off foam and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 2-3 hours, or until meat is nearly tender.

Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. Quarter the cabbage, peel potatoes, carrots, turnips and parsnips. Slice vegetables into 2 inch chunks.

During last half hour, add remaining vegetables and cook until tender.
Drain and serve with yellow mustard.