Grass Fed Irish Butter Burgers (Friday feeling)

What could possibly make a flavor packed grass fed burger better?  Try adding some grass fed Irish butter? Kneading in some grated frozen grass fed Irish butter to your burger makes the juiciest flavor packed mouthful ever!

Get this...Cooking Light Magazine said that lean grass fed beef has a nutrition profile more similar to salmon than grain fed beef! – wow! Cooking light also mentions grass fed beef has half the saturated fat of dark meat chicken!  So, with all that said we could afford to add just a little grass fed butter?  I mean what could be wrong adding more good fat?   Please allow me to share the secret of one of the best burgers you will ever make (or taste)? A ‘wee bit ‘ of Irish goodness goes a very long way…

Grass Fed Butter Burger

(recipe makes 4 ¼ Lb patties)

  • (for the Pattie)
  • 1 lb lean grass fed ground sirloin
  • 3 Tbsp (grated frozen or very cold unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter)
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • (for the burger)
  • 4 slices of Kerrygold Dubliner cheese
  • 3 Tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 4 Brioche buns (toasted)
  • 4 slices of thickly sliced tomato (optional)
  • 4 slices of Bibb lettuce (optional)

 

How to make them

  1. Preheat the grill to medium high.
  2. Caramelize the onion in a little canola or grape seed oil for a few minutes to soften.  Set aside and cool.
  3. Break up  the sirloin and sprinkle with the salt and pepper, garlic powder and stir in the caramelized cooled onions..
  4. Use a box grater to grate the butter grate directly over the ground sirloin keeping everything very cold (try not to touch with hands to prevent the butter from melting).
  5. Gently knead the butter in to the burger and then divide in to 4 patties.
  6. Cook the patties for 3 minutes on one side and then turn top with cheese and then tun them over and grill for another 2-4 minutes.
  7. To serve toast the bun and top the patties with tomato ketchup, bib lettuce and freshly sliced tomato. Place filling inside of bun and enjoy!

Happy Grilling!  Summer is almost here!

Judie the Irish foodie

 

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Ginger Pear & Parsnip Soup

pear-and-parsnip-soup-12The cooler Winter months are the perfect time for cooking root vegetables, especially when it comes to bowls of comforting soups, broths and stews. – such an Irish thing, and living in a warm climate such as Georgia, I always enjoy the opportunity for wonderful soups.

This week I had the opportunity to cook at the Piedmont Cancer Center in Atlanta with a menu featuring Winter Root Vegetables, which gave me the perfect opportunity to pull out some recipes from the homeland. – Growing up as a child in Ireland, my favorite vegetables were always mashed carrots with parsnips, and along with roasted parsnips, -essential parts of a traditional Irish Sunday roast dinner. So, when creating nutritious recipes for my Root Vegetable class I was naturally drawn to include parsnips in the menu.

When preparing this delicious soup, the inclusion of fresh ginger and curry, alongside the root vegetables, gives this soup a modern Asian flair while the fresh pears add a natural sweetness. Julienne matchstick pears on top, then gives the dish a refreshing fresh and surprising crunch.  

I do hope you enjoy this healthy recipe which is so good for the body and great the soul!  Finish the soup with a little cream, or olive oil -your choice! It’s all good…

Parsnip and Ginger Pear Soup (with fresh pear garnish and olive oil)
 

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil or Kerrygold butter
  • 1 medium (1 cup) Vidalia onions (chopped)
  • 1 celery stick (3/4 cup diced)
  • 4 parsnips (4 cups peeled and diced)
  • 2 medium (1 ½ cups) pears (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups pear juice
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • (to garnish)
  • ½ pear (cut in to matchsticks)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Drizzle of good olive oil (or creame fraiche)

How to make it
 

  1. In a large soup pot, melt the butter or coconut oil and sauté the onions, celery, parsnips, pears and grated fresh ginger over a medium to low heat, then over and cook until they are fragrant and beginning to color for another 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the stock, pear juice, curry powder and salt and pepper and simmer for 25 minutes until all the ingredients are tender and the liquid has slightly reduced. Taste to adjust seasoning.
  3. Using a hand blender puree the soup until smooth or use a food processor.
  4. To serve place 1 tsp of chopped pear in each warm bowl followed by the soup and then drizzle with a little olive oil.

Judith the Irish foodie

Thanksgiving’s Pumpkin Pie Still Steals the Show

Happy Thanksgiving to all my wonderful followers and friends and I am so thankful for you all!  People say there’s nothing more American than an Apple Pie, but I think a more iconic choice would be to say; ‘Pumpkin Pie’.  Growing up in Ireland and in my travels throughout Europe, it’s always been considered an all American classic. For many it’s the taste of the holidays and it’s still the most popular dessert on the Thanksgiving dessert buffet table – I mean, what’s not to like about rich a rich spicy custard filling and buttery pastry?  I love to add a taste of Orange Zest to my filling but I don’t like to fool much with a classic.  I mean good is always just good! Right?

So, Happy Thanksgiving from the Shamrock and Peach…. and enjoy this yummy recipe that will be on my table tomorrow!

Pumpkin Pie (with cinnamon whipped cream)

  • 1 (15 oz) cooked pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • ¼ cup organic brown sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch (4 cup volume) deep dish pie shell
  • (cinnamon whipped cream)
  • 1 cup (8 oz) heavy whipped cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

How to make it:

  1. In a large bowl or electric mixer combine all the pie ingredients and stir until well blended.
  2. Pour pumpkin mixture in to the prepared unbaked pie shell.
  3. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until testing with a knife the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.
  5. Beat heavy whipping cream until soft peaks appear with vanilla, cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg.
  6. Slice pie to serve and top with cinnamon whipped cream.

Judie the Irish foodie

Celtic Thunder Legacy ticket giveaway

celtic-thunder-press-1200x628

I am so excited to announce to my blog followers a chance to go and see the Legacy Celtic Thunder tour at the Fox theater next Thursday night!

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the original members of Celtic Thunder; Ryan Kelly.  Although he studied accountancy at Queens University, Belfast and is a qualified Chartered Accountant by trade – music and theater has always been Ryan’s true passion and he longed for a break, as many of us do! Well, turns out the break came when his brother encouraged him to go and try his hand at the auditions in Dublin back in 2007, and it may have seemed far-fetched, but, he landed the role, and the rest is history. A real inspiration to all of us!

Ryan and I talked about the success of Celtic Thunder and why Irish Culture and music is so loved throughout the world. Ryan artistically described how the Irish have become a nation of travelers and story tellers and set our roots in other countries. We shared a common bond of family, friendship and the love that brings us back home to Ireland – and that’s the feeling many people here express to me all the time. A longing to return to Ireland to explore their roots, to see where their ancestors came from, and to enjoy the culture!

Ryan loves to run and has played Gaelic football and basketball at a national level.  We joked how he likes to run to burn calories after enjoying a full Irish breakfast; his favorite meal of the day.  Yes folks, we are talking about the famous Irish Fry, and for those of you who have been to Ireland, you know what I mean. A hearty combination of Irish bacon, sausages, black pudding, tomatoes, mushrooms and best of all the distinctive Irish breads namely, potato bread, soda bread and brown bread with lots of creamy Irish butter.

So, the question is…which of these Irish breads do you think would be Ryan’s favorite?

A. Irish Brown, also known as Wheaten Bread

B. Potato Bread, also known as potato farls, or

C. Irish Soda bread

To enter the drawing, simply follow the link below to my website and go to the ‘contact‘ drop down in the top right corner. Click on it, fill it out and send me your answer.

www.shamrockandpeach.com

I will announce the winner from among the entries promptly, and you could be on your way to see Celtic Thunder at the Fabulous Fox theater, courtesy of Shamrock and Peach!…good luck to everyone, and send me your entries!

 

Joy in the Journey!

Judith the Irish foodie

Back to porridge and back to work!

Growing up in Northern Ireland we had a saying “back to porridge (oatmeal)” that meant it was time to get back to work.  In Georgia, schools are back, which means traffic, hectic schedules, meetings, sorts, oh and the list goes on…So, this now means we are looking for ways to supercharge our busy mornings, right?  My niece, Lucie, just graduated as a qualified nutritionist and she has me completely hooked on Chia Jam with my daily oatmeal bowl -who would have thought? Adding protein rich elements to our daily bowl of oats just supercharges our day. They are readily available and delicious creamy nut butters that come in many guises such as almond butter,  means it has never been so easy to add protein, fun and flavor to our breakfast routine.

So,  here area just a few of my oaty favorites to start the day –

  • Bircher Muesli (drizzled with Almond Butter and topped with fresh Berries and Chia and Flax Sprinkle),
  • Warm Oatmeal (with Chia Fig Jam and Fresh Figs) and…
  • Berry Granola Parfait (with Greek Yogurt and Honey)!

Old fashioned Oatmeal (porridge) is filling, hearty, gluten free and energizes you –  so, go get some and supercharge your day!

Judie the Irish Foodie

The best thing I ever ate in Ireland (number #1)

Dessert perfection!

Banana Praline Parfait

I am ending this ‘best thing I ever ate in Ireland’ series from my Shamrock and Peach Irish tours with a sweet note – ‘Banana Praline Parfait’.  The dessert was served at the Beechill Country House Hotel in Derry-Londonderry by Head Chef Ryan Burke.  I loved this dessert so much that I recreated it for my family yesterday for Easter Sunday.  So thanks to Chef Ryan for sharing his recipe and I cannot wait to dine again in June with some more guests from the US.

One of my favorite things about dining at the Beechill Country House is the quality of the vegetables, fruits and herbs that are grown in the walled in garden on site.  The garden has been restored to recreate what life would have been like 200 years ago.  Inspiration from the modern menu comes from a historic cook book written by ‘a lady’ by the name of Mrs Skipton (a previous owner of the Beechill). Some of the recipes in the historic cook book are most amusing given the time they were written and a fun buy on Amazon, especially after staying at the Beechill Country House and seeing the restored walled gardens for yourself.  After all it’s the power of great stories that make the best food memories!

Finally,  I hope to see some of you in Ireland to try some of these delicious dishes created by some of our best Irish Chefs.

Judith the Irish foodie

Banana Parfait-17

Irish Valentine (Dark Chocolate Shots)

Valentine's Day Soup

Chocolate Love Shots

Happy Valentine’s Y’all from Atlanta Georgia!   I hope everyone is having a fun Valentines and sure hope that the love in your life took you out and made your feel oh so special? Yes…?

So, what sweet treat is an Irish lass serving for Valentine’s day you ask? Well, this year I am pleased to share my recipe for Dark Chocolate Shots that’s been a big hit at our house today. When I am home in Ireland, leading my tour groups, Chefs often send out ‘Pre-desserts’, which are delicious little teasers. So, a Dark Chocolate shot is a fun addition to any party or a romantic dinner for two to whet the appetite before dessert.

Wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day with all of my love..

Here is the easy recipe and as always enjoy!

Dark Chocolate shots 

(serves 4)

  • 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup of light whipping cream

How to make it

  1. Combine the sugar and cornstarch and slowly whisk in 1 1/2 cups of the cold milk.
  2. Transfer to a medium heavy based saucepan and begin to heat slowly stirring until it begins to thicken on a low simmer.
  3. Remove the milk mixture from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips and a pinch of salt.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  5. Before serving whisk in 1 cup of light cream.

Judith the Irish Foodie

The Best thing I ever ate in Ireland (part 2)

Showstopping dessert

Warm Dark Chocolate Tart with Raspberry Sorbet

This week we are celebrating Valentines Day so my mind is twirling with Dark Chocolate and Raspberries and I was brought back to an Irish food memory.  In fact, one of our favorites was a showstopping Warm Dark Chocolate Tart with Raspberry Sorbet….super delicious!!

We always end our tours with dinner in the Saddle Room Restaurant at the Shelbourne Hotel and the results are always sweet.  Each dessert at the Shelbourne is presented like a piece of prized art work,  the chocolate tart is served warm topped with lightly toasted meringue and pairs beautifully with fresh raspberry coulis, raspberry sorbet and a fabulous sugar spun accent.  A little taste of heaven on a plate….

The Shelbourne Hotel itself has been an iconic landmark for over 100 years and it’s historic elegance lives up to it’s name, earning 5 Stars for good reason.  The dining room is described as having dark oak walls with rich splashes of gold and it is very elegant indeed.

Head Chef Garry Huges uses the finest Irish ingredients and he is my pick for this weeks best thing I ever ate in Ireland series.  Part 2 of a 5 part series, look out for part 3 next week.

Group Selfie on tour

Guests on the Shamrock and Peach Tours

Our Guests taking a group selfie (I am at the back of the coach causing trouble)

http://www.shamrockandpeach.com/

Our new website has lots of fun new pictures so please check it out…

Hope to see you in Ireland…

Judith the Irish foodie

Top 5 best things I ever ate in Ireland (series 1)

So, what is Modern Irish food anyway?  I am so glad to answer probably the most frequently asked questions as a professional cook living in the United States. This new blog series is going to explore just what Irish food and Chefs are cooking these days. Foodies and travel lovers who come with me each year on my Shamrock and Peach tours are literally ‘blown away’ by the Chef driven meal experiences planned each day.  It’s hard to nail down the top 5 things I have ever eaten in Ireland but I am going to attempt a series to share flavors that inspire me; and my tour guests were still raving about over breakfast the following morning and still prevalent in our memories.

My series one story begins when the talented Executive Chef Jonathan Keane of Wilde’s restaurant at Ashford Castle, Cong, Co. Mayo served this Fois Gras Trifle it was the talk of our table.  At first bite we were stunned by the combination of new flavors and tastes of Rhubarb, Passion Fruit, Bitter Cress and Tuna in a showstopping Foie Gras Trifle.  It’s not very often I am stunned with a culinary tasting pleasure and I want to say a huge thank you to Chef Jonathan Keane for surprising us.

We are returning to dine at Wilde’s this coming June 2016 on our Castles and Culture Irish tour and I cannot wait for my guests to experience another culinary food adventure.  Irish food created in Ireland by Irish Chefs cooking with local ingredients has to be tasted to be believed!

Joy in the Journey!

Judith the Irish foodie