Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish Fare: Braided Reubens, Irish Potatoes and Soda Bread

My husbands grandmother (Peg) is a very proud Irish woman. It's a given that we celebrate St Patty's Day with some Irish cuisine. But per her request, it must always includes some Irish Soda Bread.....made from her own handwritten recipe that she gave me. The same one that her mother prepared for her and her siblings weekly. It was her "after school" treat.

Hope your St Patrick's Day was enjoyable!

My husband, "Big Daddy" will tell you that the Reuban is one of his most favorite sandwiches. The layering of flavors's literally packed full of flavor. Here is a nice change from the traditional, using cresent rolls.

The Reuban Sandwich

(Photo by Taste of Home)
16 Servings Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min.
6 ounces cooked corned beef brisket, chopped (about 1 cup)
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese
3/4 cup sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons Thousand Island salad dressing
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
2 packages (8 ounces each) refrigerated crescent rolls
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Unroll one tube of crescent dough onto an ungreased baking sheet; seal seams and perforations.
Spread half of corned beef filling down center of rectangle. On each long side, cut 1-in.-wide strips to within 1 in. of filling. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling; seal ends. Repeat with remaining crescent dough and filling. Brush egg white over braids; sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes before cutting into slices. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 2 loaves (8 servings each).

Irish Herbed Potatoes Recipe
It's not St Patrick's Day without the Potatoes!

8-10 Servings Prep: 10 min. Cook: 25 min.
2-1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons minced chives
3 tablespoons snipped fresh dill or 3 teaspoons dill weed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Transfer to a large serving bowl.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients; pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Grandma Butler's Irish Soda Bread

Have you ever heard the story about the cross on top of the soda bread? It's scientific, primarily, because it allows the heat to penetrate into the thickest part of the bread, so it assists cooking. And obviously the cross is a cruciform shape, so in a Catholic country like Ireland that had a resonance -- it had the symbolic note of crossing the breads and giving thanks. There was also the expression "to let the devil out of the bread," so it was slightly superstitious. And if you make that cruciform shape on the bread, when it comes out of the oven it breaks beautifully. So you've got the blessing of the bread by putting the cross on it and then you've got the symbolic breaking of the bread.

3 ½ cups of flour
¾ cup of sugar
3 tsps. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt ¼ cup of butter - melted
1 pint of sour cream
1 cup or more of raisins
1 egg - beaten

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Mix in melted butter by hand. Add raisins and mix again, by hand. Add beaten egg and sour cream. Mix thoroughly by hand. Put in greased and floured 9" round layer-cake pan. Cut a cross in it. Say a prayer. Bake for 55 minutes at 375 degrees. Insert a knife into the center of the bread to test if it is done. If it is cooked all the way through, the knife should come out clean. Remove loaf from pan. Cool and enjoy.
Comments (1)

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Jeanette said...

Your recipes sound so good!

bj said...

I just can't wait to try this Soda looks sooo good.
Thanks so much for the recipe...

Melinda said...

These look great! You're pictures make me drool!

Michael Lee West said...

I love how you combine tradition and food in your kitchen and in your posts. This is pure eye candy
and comfort food rolled into one!

Susan S. said...

Great post....the pretty pics are making me hungry! Happy Spring from Houston, TX