Spooky Chilli for Halloween

Warm Chili

Chill for Halloween

Yet again it’s time for trick or treaters, and for us, we have an annual family tradition to make spooky chili on Halloween night – spooky, but good! . We live in a suburban Atlanta neighborhood and Halloween is actually one of the best times of year for our community to come together. Our little street will be hosting a fun party with many of our neighbors making different types of chili – and it really is very fun. We always have a toppings bar with various options such as cheese, avocado, chopped cilantro,  smoky olive oil and more – and people just love the fun of this – perhaps your neighborhood could too?

The forecast will be chilly (can’t help myself…) so a warm bowl of chili will hit the spot!

This fall I have been making chili for cooking classes and received some rave reviews (not bad for an Irish lass whose only been to Mexico once!) So, here’s my best shot…  Hope you enjoy!

 Grass fed Beef Chili (garnished with Avocado, Cilantro and Olive Oil)

 (for the base)

3 ancho chilies

3 dried chipotle chilies

1 Tbsp Coriander seeds (toasted)

1 tsp cumin seeds (toasted)

1 tsp yellow mustard seeds (toasted)

3 cloves of garlic

2 (14 oz) cans whole tomatoes (drained)

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp coco powder

1 Tbsp fresh oregano (1tsp dried)

(For the chili)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion (chopped)

1 stalk of celery (finely diced)

2 lbs grass-fed ground beef

1 (15 oz) can of chili beans

(for the stock)

1 bottle of Irish Stout (Guinness)

2 cups of chicken stock

(for the garnish)

1 avocado (chopped)

Kerrygold Irish Cheddar cheese (grated)

Juice of one lime

Drizzle of good olive oil

Bunch of cilantro (chopped)

How to make it:

  1. To make the base broil the chili’s on a grill turning until they are charred on all sides. Place them in a zip lock bag for about 10 minutes to sweat until the skins are easy to remove. Using plastic gloves or a zip lock bag turned inside out remove the stem and the seeds (leaving a few seeds will be good).
  2. In a large blender combine the prepared chilies, toasted coriander, mustard seeds, tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste, coco powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Add olive oil to a large saucepan and add the onions and beef stirring together until browned.
  4. Pour over the chili base, stock and beer. Season with a little salt and pepper, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hour.
  5. Stir in the chili beans and simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes.
  6. To serve top with freshly chopped cilantro, avocado and a drizzle of Olive Oil.

Happy Spooky Halloween!

Judith the Irish Foodie

 

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Irish Barmbrack for Halloween

Irish Sweet Bread

Halloween Baking

Halloween was always one of my favorite times of the year growing up in Ireland, and it should come as no surprise that my best memories are related to home baking and fun traditions shared around the dinner table. My mother would always hide hidden charms in our favorite Halloween baked goods as a tradition, and amongst those treats she always included a wee home made BarmBrack loaf and an apple tart.

Barmbrack is a traditional warm and spicy fruit loaf that is absolutely delicious hot from the oven with loads of creamy Irish butter – and of course, apple tart is an apple pie here in America! So now you know!

So, here is it to share  – my family recipe that’s enjoyed in Ireland this time of year.

This name “brack” comes from the Irish word “breac” meaning speckled (the speckles are the fruits and candied peel baked in the bread).  I used to be so excited to wrap tiny items in silver foil for my mother to hide in the sweet bread.  All of the items we would bury in our baking had a hidden meaning, for example a ring (for love), money (for good fortune), a button (bachelor), a thimble (spinster), rag (poverty). I always wanted to get the ring for love and was devastated if I had the slice with a rag or thimble!  It was all in good fun and made great memories shared together around the kitchen table. Hope you enjoy this recipe and maybe even event  your own ‘lucky charms’

  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • ½ cup soft brown sugar
  • 4 ½ tsp of dry active yeast (2 packets)
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups of warm milk
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 cup of golden sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 1 cup of dried currants
  • ¼ cup of candied orange or lemon peel (finely chopped)
  • (for the glaze)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp warm water

How to make it

  1. Butter a 9’ round cake pan and set aside.
  2. Measure and combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl including the flour, spices, salt brown sugar, dry active yeast and the dried fruits and candied peel.
  3. Combine all the wet ingredients in electric bread mixer including the warm milk, melted butter and egg. Slowly add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time and mix to combine.
  4. Transfer the sticky dough into the prepared pan and pat the dough in place. Cover with a clean dish towel and set aside in a warm place for about an hour for the dough to rise.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and then bake for about 30 minutes (to test the bread insert a skewer in the center and should come away clean).
  6. Dissolve the sugar in boiling water to make the glaze and brush over the bread. Return the bread to the oven for a further few minutes until the loaf is glistening.
  7. Transfer to a rack to cool and serve with Irish creamery butter.

Judith the Irish foodie

Goodbye Summer, hello Fall!

Today is the first official day of Fall (also known as the equinox). Its the astronomical start of fall in the Northern hemisphere, and Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. The earth is in alignment with the sun directly above the Earth’s equator which means equal day and night…it’s still hot here in Hotlanta, but the promise of cool, fresh fall is in the air (hopefilly!!)

It’s also time for fall festivals and home baking with our favorite recipes, using pumpkins, squashes and apples – which makes this a favorite time of year for me. So, to celebrate I thought to share one of my favorite recipes (shared by a friend when I first came to the American South).  Hope you enjoy! Happy Fall baking….  Let the season begin….

Pumpkin Bread (makes 2 loaves)

  • 3 1/2  cups all purpose Flour (sifted)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp fresh nutmeg (or ½ tsp ground)
  • 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature and beaten)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin (or cooked fresh pumpkin)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (8 fluid oz) vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 large size loaf pans.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg and ginger (unless you are using fresh ginger).
  3. In a large cake mixer or bowl beat the eggs and sugar. Add the pumpkin, oil, beating well to combine.  Slowly add in the remaining dry ingredients.
  4. Pour batter in to prepared pans. Bake for 1 hour in the center rack in the oven or until skewer inserted in the center of bread comes out clean.
  5. Cool slightly before removing bread from tin and finish cooling on a wire wrack.

Judith the Irish foodie

 

 

 

White Chocolate Pumpkin Macaroons

Pumpkin Style Macaroons

Pumpkin and White Chocolate buttercream

I love this time of year, as I know many of you do also, and in concert with all the pumpkins and apples and Fall goodness may I present a new favorite for you…yep, White Chocolate Pumpkin Macaroons  

Thanks to my friend Chloe, who just graduated in Baking and Patisserie Arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta, we created this seasonal fall Macaroon with a delicious Pumpkin and White Chocolate buttercream. yum.

Here is the recipe for our Fall Macaroons (and thank you to the talented Chloe and we wish you every possible success for your future career in the Patisserie Arts)!

Pumpkin White Chocolate Macaroon

For the cookie:

4.23 oz almond flour/meal

7.05 oz confectioner’s sugar

3.17 oz egg whites (~3 large egg whites) at room temperature

¼ tsp cream of tartar

Pinch of salt

1.76 oz granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. Prepare a pastry bag with a large round tip
  3. Using a food processor, pulse the powdered sugar and almond flour into a powder
  4. Sift several times until there is little to no almond bits left
  5. In electric mixer, whisk egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar. Beat until egg whites foam
  6. With mixer on medium high, add sugar 1-2 Tbsp at a time and continue until stiff peaks form
  7. Add in vanilla and beat for an additional minute to incorporate
  8. Sift the almond flour and confectioner’s sugar and gently fold into egg whites gradually
  9. Transfer batter into pastry bag and pipe onto baking sheet, making evenly sized circles
  10. Let shells sit for 20-30 minutes to dry. Check for a skin to form on the top of the cookie (should not stick to finger when touched)
  11. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until shell has hardened. Be sure to rotate cookies halfway through baking
  12. Cool completely on cookie sheets before peeling from the parchment

For the filling:

3/8 cup Kerrygold butter at room temperature

1/8-1/6 cup pumpkin puree

3/8 cup white chocolate

½ tsp vanilla extract

2-3 cups confectioner’s sugar

 

  1. Prepare a piping bag with a large round tip
  2. Whip the butter and pumpkin puree until fluffy and light in color
  3. Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler and drizzle into the butter mixture while slowly continuing to whip
  4. Once fully incorporated, add vanilla and continue to whip for 30 seconds longer
  5. Gradually add the confectioner’s sugar until desired piping consistency has been reached
  6. Transfer filling into the piping bag and pipe a small amount onto one cookie
  7. Top with another cookie to make the macaroon sandwich

Happy Fall Baking!

Judith the Irish Foodie

Attack of the gluten free Halloween Pumpkin Pie!

Indulge for Halloween

Pumpkin Pie Pudding for Halloween

Did you know that Halloween actually originated in Ireland? Yup, who else would be crazy enough to create such mayhem I hear you ask! Truthfully though, I’m not one big on scary stuff, but I can’t wait until the doorbell rings and all those kids in fancy dress costumes come tumbling up onto my porch with eyes wide open, grasping for that candy…it’s really a great atmosphere in our neighborhood.

I am also planning to invite a few friends over to my house for a special Halloween party, and one of my favorite fall desserts that will be on the menu is my super special Halloween Pumpkin Pie Pudding. This fabulous recipe was shared by me dear friend Sharin (who is actually gluten free). This will bring a smile to every ghost and ghoul, and I have to say that I am such a fan of the texture of creamy pudding and love that it can be lightened up by using rice milk and Greek yogurt…

So here is the recipe (treating)

Halloween Pumpkin Pie Pudding

(serves 4-6)

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 Tbsp tapioca flour/starch
  • 2 cups whole milk (or substitute with rice milk if dairy free)
  • 4 eggs (beaten)
  • 1 cup cooked canned pumpkin
  • ¼ tsp real salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated (juice)
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup full fat Greek plain yogurt
  • (pumpkin cream)
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup pumpkin
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

(How to make it) 

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine brown sugar and tapioca flour/starch.
  2. Combine milk and eggs, stirring well with a whisk.
  3. Combine pumpkin, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, gloves and vanilla in a bowl and whisk well. Slowly add pumpkin mixture to milk mixture, whisking constantly.
  4. Place pan over low heat and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Allow pudding to cool.
  5. Fold in the Greek Yogurt.
  6. To make the pumpkin cream whip, pumpkin and powdered sugar together.
  7. Spoon or pipe the pudding in to a small martini glass or small Mason jar and layer with the pumpkin cream. Delicious with a ginger snap cookie for dipping.

Happy Trick or Treating

Judith the Irish Foodie

Apple and Fennel Ginger Slaw recipe

Celebrating Fall Apples

Cooking with Georgia Apples

In continued tribute to this October’s Fall season of all things ‘apples’ how about ‘fennel and apple slaw’ as a lovely raw element with your favorite entrée? At a recent event held in Reynolds Plantation I featured a four course dinner that included apples in every course.  The dinner was entitled “Apples and Oatcakes” to celebrate both my Irish and Southern ties.  So, our main course pictured above was an apple chicken dish with a sauce including local Georgia apple cider and Calvados apple Brandy on a bed of apple potato mash and topped with the yummy refreshing slaw.  Is your mouth-watering?  I hope so because now is the time to enjoy cooking with apples and I wanted to share my slaw recipe with you saying it was such a big hit at my dinner event…

So, here is the recipe for my new favorite slaw!

Apple and Fennel Ginger Slaw

2 small fennel bulbs (plus chopped fronds)

  • 2 apples (Pink lady or Granny Smith)
  • 2 celery stalks (thinly sliced)
  • (Vinaigrette)
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsps. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ginger root (freshly grated)
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsps. olive oil
  • Fine kosher salt and finely milled black pepper

How to make it

  1. To prepare the fennel remove central root and outer fronds. Use a mandolin slicer to slice the fennel and celery as thinly as possible.
  2. Thinly Julienne the apples and toss in lemon juice.
  3. To make the vinaigrette combine the ginger, apple cider vinegar and honey. Whisk in the olive oil and taste to adjust seasoning.
  4. To assemble combine the apple, fennel fronds, fennel and celery and toss in the vinaigrette.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Hope you are enjoying this wonderful Fall season!

Judie the Irish Foodie

Pumpkin Latte – Have it your way!

 

Fall Drinks

Latte – have it your way!

The joyous fall season has begun and so pumpkin mania begins in Georgia. It seems we are all obsessed by all things made with pumpkin this time of year, and those big orange gourds do make some wonderful things…so, what about this one to make and sip on your way to the office as you cruise past those falling leaves!  Go on try it Irish style with Whiskey, with coffee for a morning wake up boost or the Dairy Free Latte courtesy of my dear friend Sharon sipping with me in the pic below!

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Latte (have it your way!!)

(serves 6)

(Coffee Late)

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups hot fresh French pressed coffee
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg (plus more to serve)

(Dairy and Caffeine Free Latte)

  • 2 cups coconut creamer
  • 4 cups almond milk
  • 2/3 cup evaporated cane sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg (plus more to serve)

(Irish Style Late)

  • Add 2 Tbsp of Irish Whiskey per serving to the Coffee or Dairy and Caffeine Free Late

How to make it

  1. In a large sauce pan, combine the milk, cream and sugar. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Whisk in the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. Bring the latte to a gentle boil and pour in to warmed glasses for the Dairy Free Latte and grate a little fresh nutmeg. (If you are making the Coffee Latte top each glass with some fresh hot French pressed coffee and stir to combine and don’t’ forget a little Whiskey for an Irish Style Latte).

Enjoy the season…and watch this space for more Autumnal goodies!

Judie the Irish Foodie

Fall Apple Scones (with Walnuts and Irish Oats)

Farm fresh apples

Bramley Co Armagh Apples

 So, I wanted to follow up with my recipe for Fall Apple, Oat and Walnut Scones.  I hope you have been waiting with bated breath from my last apple butter post? Late September is the time of year where we all begin to celebrate all things apples.  So may I suggest there no better way of enjoying the season than by baking some fall Apple scones?  Hearty Oatmeal and apples make these scones perfect for breakfast or that mid morning snack?  I featured the scones recently at my fall tea cooking class at Wholefoods market and they were a huge hit. I encourage you to go ahead and take time to enjoy this bountiful fall harvest season and eat more apples when they are farm fresh. Oh, and this photo is taken in Northern Ireland at my high school friend Stephen Kane’s farm; and his freshly picked apples are the best. Thanks Stephen for allowing Gary to come and take photos of your delicious Bramley’s!

Apple and Walnut Oatmeal Scones (with Apple Butter)

 

(makes 12 scones)

  • 1 cup quick cooking Irish rolled oats
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ cup unsalted Kerrygold butter (cold)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 small apple (finely grated)
  • ½ cup walnuts (toasted) (plus ¼ cup or 12 pieces for garnishing the scone)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • (topping)
  • 5 Tbsp salted butter
  • 5 Tbsp Apple Butter

How to make it:

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place oats on a baking sheet and toast for a few minutes until lightly browned and set aside. While oven is still hot toast the walnuts for 4-5 minutes until golden brown. Reserve 12 pieces to garnish each scone and chop the remaining nuts finely.
  2. Combine cooled oats, four, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Cut in butter until crumbly using a food processor and stir in the nuts.
  4. Beat the buttermilk and egg together and stir in the grated apple. Slowly combine with the dry ingredients.
  5. Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Roll out dough with lightly floured  surface. Fold over dough and then knead 4-5 times.
  6. Cut scones using a 1”biscuit cutter or in to 2 6” circles about ¾” thick.
  7. Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle some Scottish fine oats on top.
  8. Bake at 425 degrees for first 10 minutes and then turn down to 350 degrees for 5 more minutes.
  9. To serve cut each scone in half and spread a thin layer of Kerrygold salted butter. Using a teaspoon add a little apple butter. Garnish with a toasted walnut.

Enjoy apple picking wherever you are and keep it local!

Judith the Irish foodie

Apple Butter meets Irish butter

Fall Scones

Shamrock and Peach Style Apple Butter

If you grew up in the American South, chances are you love Apple Butter and make it every Fall, right?  Well, it may also surprise you that even though I am from the Apple County of Ireland (Co. Armagh) the first time I tasted Apple Butter was when I moved to Georgia! So, I have taken the best of both worlds combing Irish butter with Southern style Apple butter.  Delicious indeed, and we just love the butter slathered over Oatmeal, Apple and Walnut Scones…(which might be another blog post in the making…)

Celebrating Fall

Irish Butter meets Southern Style Apple butter

So, here is the way I made my Fall Harvest Apple Butter…

Shamrock and Peach Apple Butter

  • ¼ cup of Southern Style Apple Butter
  • ½ cup Kerrygold salted butter

How to make it

  1. Whip the butter and apple butter together by hand or with an electric beater.
  2. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use and bring to room temperature to serve.

Southern Style Apple Butter

(Makes approx 1 1/2 pints of apple butter)

  • 3 Lbs apples
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 vanilla pods (split with seeds removed)

How to make it

  1. Prepare apples by peeling, coring and roughly chopping.
  2. Combine the apples, 1 cup of water and ½ cup of sugar and cook on low heat in a heavy based saucepan until the apples have softened and are beginning to break down, stirring occasionally
  3. Allow the apples to cool slightly and then place in a blender to puree. Pass the apples through a drum sieve.
  4. Return the apple sauce to the saucepan adding the remaining 1 cup of sugar and ½ cup of water.
  5. Cook the apples on medium high heat so the apples begin to caramelize, stirring frequently and being careful the apples do not scorch (this will take at least an hour to achieve a rich dark caramel color. (Add a little extra water if necessary to the sauce as it caramelizes).
  6. Remove from the heat and pour in to hot, sterilized jars.

Happy Fall cooking…and may those apples grow plump and those leaves start turning!

Judith the Irish foodie