Taste of Ireland

Banoffee (Banana Toffee Pie)

1 prepared oreo cookie crust
1 jar Mrs. Richardson's caramel ice cream topping
1 1/2 sliced bananas
1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups cool whip
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 dark chocolate candy bar, shaved

Take plastic off preared crust.  Pour caramel topping into crust.  Arrange bananas on the toffee and press down to seat.  Combine cream cheese, cool whip, and powdered sugar.  Spoon over bananas and smooth.  Sprinkle with pecans.  Cover with shaved chocolate.  Place in freezer and allow to freeze.  Just before serving, allow to sit out for 10 minutes to make it servable..  Cut in small pieces and watch the smiles (and waistlines) grow!

Irish Brown Soda Bread

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup steel cut oats
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 Tbs. molasses
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1//2 cup craisins

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Coat a 9X5 loaf pan with cooking spray.  Combine first 8 ingredients.  In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, egg, and molasses. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture.  Stir until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and back for 55-60 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes back clean. Invert bread onto a wire rack and cool (until you can't stand it any longer and just have to taste it!)  Best if served in first two days of making.  Else, freeze to retain freshness (or, toast before eating--does the same thing!).

Butter and cream scones

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
11 Tbs. chilled unsalted butter cut into small pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. heavy cream
granulated sugar for sprinkling
(Can add fruit or other flavorings as desired)

Blend flour, sugar, and baking powder in food processor.  Add butter, cutting in by pulsing until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Remove from processor and place in large bowl.  Make a well in the center and add the cream.  Using a fork, stir until just moist.  Place dough on floured surface and gently knead until smooth, about 6-8 times.  Divide dough in half.  Pat each portion into a 3/4 inch think round.  Cut each round into 6 wedges (as if cutting a pie).  Place the wedges on a lightly creased baking sheet, about an inch apart.  Brush tops with remaining 2 Tbs. of cream and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees until light brown, about 18 minutes.  Remove to wire rack and cool as long as you can stand it.  Slather with butter and/or jelly and smile!

Shephard's Pie

After significant searching, the following link was the winner and champion!  The only differences to note are in the broth (I used half and half, beef and chicken) and I mixed the parmesan cheese in with the potatoes!  Enjoy!

Take me there!

Irish Vegetable Soup

1/4 stick butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 cup chopped carrots
2 baking potatoes, cubed
2 parsnips, peeld and cubed
1 turnip, peeled and cubed
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. white pepper

Melt butter--add onion, garlic, and carrots.  Sauté two minutes.  Add remaining vegetables and sauté two minutes.  Add chicken broth, bring to a boil and boil until all vegetables are mash/tender.  Using an immersion blender, puree vegetables and broth until smooth.  Add pepper and stir.  Add cream and blend--add milk and blend (you may want to add more cream/milk if consistency doesn't please you!)  Serve hot with savory scones.

Stuffed Tomatoes

Hollow out desired number of large cherry tomatoes.  Carefully stuff with Fiesta Crab Dip.  If you're making this for me, omit the ripe olives and cilantro!

Take me there!

Hot Cheese Dip

1 8 oz brick of cream cheese
1 cup fresh parmesan, shredded
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients.  Place in a prepared casserole (sprayed with vegetable oil) and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Serve with crackers, bread, or anything you wish.  Makes an excellent addition to any sandwich!  There are few guarantees in life.  Serve this and you WILL be a hit!

BZ's Lemon Meringue Pie

1 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. lemon zest
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup butter flavored Crisco
3 Tbs. cold water

Place first four ingredients into food processor.  Process until well blended.  Add butter and Crisco.  Process until fat is well distributed.  Remove from processor and add water.  Stir with fork until mixture forms a ball.  Place on floured cloth and roll into desired size.  Place in pie plate and blind bake for 15 minutes @ 425.  Remove and allow to cool.

2 cups sugar
4 Tbs. corn starch
4 Tbs. flour
2 cups water
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 Tbs. butter
zest of one lemon

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

In a heavy sauce pan, combine the sugar, corn starch and flour.  Stir until flour and corn starch are well integrated into the sugar.  Slowly add water.  Bring to a boil (mixture will thicken!) and boil two minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add 1 cup of mixture to slightly beaten egg yolks (called tempering).  Slowly return to remaining filling, return to heat, and boil two more minutes.  Remove from heat and slowly add butter.  Stir until melted.  Add lemon juice and zest and stir until combined.  Turn into cooled pie shell.  Top with meringue and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

To make the Meringue--place 4 egg whites in a large, clean cool mixing bowl.  Add cream of tartar and beat until peaks form.  Slowly add sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.  Test by placing a small amount between your fingers.  You should not feel any sugar granules.  Spread on top of hot lemon filling and bake.