The Irish Christmas Goose

 

Christmas has always been a time of extravagant feasting to mark the end of a year, and the traditions in Ireland of cooking a Christmas Goose go back to “quarter days” of the year when accounts were settled. Delicious feasts marked the end of the harvest and traditions included putting the last sheaf of wheat on the table as a centerpiece, with the highlight of the meal always being the celebratory Christmas Goose!

In my new adopted homeland, my table-scape included hand picked Georgia cotton from the last of the harvest, magnolia leaves from my friends garden, red poinsettia flowers and pine from my own Roswell yard. It’s been a year of the greatest highs and lows for me, so cooking a Christmas gift seemed worthy of marking the end of our families personal harvest. We hung ornaments of Christmas Joy that were gifts from the party I catered for Keith and Kristen Getty and I baked and decorated our traditional annual Chocolate Yule log,  with our red bird looking on…of course

Wishing you a joy filled St. Stephens Day!

Judith the Irish foodie

 

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Give the gift of Chocolate

Christmas Gifts from the Kitchen

The Gift of Chocolate

‘Tis the season to munch chocoloate, fa la la la, la la, la, la!

Oh yes, and chocolate truffles are simplest of candies to make for Christmas gifts and are made from just three purest ingredients of cream, butter and chocolate. They make a luxurious ending to a meal or cocktail party with small bites of creamy chocky goodness. Truffles can be flavored with your own favorite alcoholic beverage or flavoring including vanilla and I like to add toasted coconut to my truffles as I just love the textural crunch and a dash of Christmas rum.  Oh, taste and see that they are good!

Here is the recipe, for my many elves to follow:

Chocolate Truffles (with Coconut and Rum)

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp Rum
  • 12 oz 60% bittersweet chocolate
  • 8 oz (1 stick) room temperature unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter
  • Pinch of Fleur De Sel (or other fine sea salt)
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut
  • Unsweetened cocoa
  • Confectioners’ sugar

How to make them:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the coconut on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and toast until it’s golden brown.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the coconut on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and toast until it’s golden brown.
  2. Place the cream in a sauce pan and bring to a low boil reducing to 50%.
  3. Sir in the chocolate until it has melted. Whisk in the rum and then the softened butter until smooth and glossy.
  4. Fold In the toasted coconut.
  5. Transfer chocolate mixture to a shallow pan and refrigerate until firm.
  6. Combine cocoa and confectioners’ sugar in a shallow dish. Using a melon ball scoop form balls and roll with hands in the coco and confectioners’ sugar.
  7. Best stored and served from the refrigerator.

With Christmas Cheer!

Judith the Irish Foodie Elf!

 

Christmas party desserts (New Orleans style)

Simple desserts are always a hit for any hostess especially around the holidays when we are so busy.  Bananas Foster is a last minute dessert but engaging and interactive for Christmas entertaining.  The flames create a great atmosphere (just remind everyone to stand well back).

The dessert was created in New Orleans in 1951 when restaurant owner Owen Brennan asked his chef to invent a new recipe for a magazine.  Most credit the cuisine from New Orleans as French Cajun, but the earliest Irish settlers were arriving with the Spanish and French, and have undoubtedly created their influence on the city.   The name Brennan in Gaelic means ‘Brave’ and we thank this Irish man for being credited to have inspired the creation of the worlds most sensational desserts!

Owen Brennan’s Bananas Foster

(Serves 4)

  • 2 oz unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/4 cup banana liqueur
  • Pinch of Fleur De Sel (or other fine sea salt)
  • 4 medium size bananas (sliced)
  • 4 generous scoops of vanilla cream

How to make it

  1. In a large skillet combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon and Fleur De Sel, cinnamon and gently heat on a low temperature until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Whisk in the banana liqueur and then add bananas to pan and cook for 2 minutes or until they begin to caramelize.
  3. Stir in the rum and cook for 1 minute. Stand back and then tilt the pan to ignite the alcohol.
  4. To serve place a generous scoop of vanilla ice-cream inside a small Mason jar or other serving dish and then top with the caramelized banana mixture and resulting sauce.
  5. Serve right away!

Enjoy celebrating and sharing food with those your love this season!

Judith the Irish foodie

 

Christmas Jewels Salad – a new twist for the season!

Christmas jewel salad-4

 

So, the season of cheer is here!….and this year, instead of the same old same old, I’m going to try out a few newfangled things and see how they work!…and I’m going to get this festive ball rolling with a brand new salad I’ve invented just for the purpose…

This salad looks great on the plate, tastes amazing, and has enough red & green going on that it works really well for Christmas. Serve perhaps during a Christmas tea, or as a festive starter – either way, this one will be sure to please!!

Christmas Jewels Salad of Goat Cheese, Heirloom Red Spinach and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (serves 4-6)

(for the salad)

8 cups Heirloom Red Spinach

  • 4-6 Tbsp Pomegranate seeds
  • 2 oz goats cheese (cut in to ½’ rounds)

(For the roasted pumpkin seeds)

  • 1 ½ cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar

(for the vinaigrette)

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

How to make it

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Toss pumpkin seeds in olive oil and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle over kosher salt and sugar.   Bake for 18-20 minutes and stir at least twice during baking process.  (check after the first 10 minutes and again in 15 minutes time).  Allow to cool.

  1. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar with a sealed lid and shake to combine.
  2. In a large bowl combine arugula, pomegranate seeds and 2/3 rd’s of the pumpkin seeds and toss gently with about half of the vinaigrette.
  3. To serve place slice of goats cheese in the center of serving plate. Place greens on top of the goat’s cheese.  Sprinkle with a few extra pumpkin seeds and a little more vinaigrette on the side.

Enjoy!…and lots more Christmas recipes to follow – love this season!

Judie, the Irish foodie