Last of the Summer Lime

Zesty and Creamy Pie

Last of the Summer Lime

I must admit I’ve always been a sucker for a good Key Lime Pie!  Our son surprised us and came home from college yesterday, and it was so good to see him. As ever, he brought a few of his college friends with him, and so, I decided to bake a Key Lime Pie for us to share the joy – and why not?!

Key Limes are harvested in Florida from June to September and I wanted to make one last pie as a kitchen farewell to the summer season. Key Limes are higher in acidity and have a stronger Aroma than Persian Limes. They are also smaller, harder work to grow, harvest and juice, but worth it, right? Just like the name suggests, Key Limes were grown commercially in Southern Florida and the Florida Keys until the 1926 hurricane wiped out the citrus groves. Then the growers replaced the groves with more Persian Limes trees as they were easier to grow but Key Limes are said to be making more of a come back as consumer demand grows for a zestier punch. I used British style Digestive cookies (found in the international section of American supermarkets) and they are so much more superior to Graham Crackers!  Give them a go…. you wont be disappointed!

Enjoy the end of the season harvest as we begin the new!

Key Lime Pie

(for the base)

20 British Style Digestive biscuits (or 2 cups of crushed graham crackers)

4 oz Kerrygold Irish  butter (1 stick)

3 Tbsp sugar

(for the custard filling)

3 egg  yolks

1 Tbsp of lime zest

1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk

1 pound of key limes (2/3 cups juice)

(Whipped cream)

6 oz heavy whipping cream (3/4 cup)

1 Tbsp fine granulated sugar

How to make it

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter and stir in to the crushed graham crackers and sugar.
  3. Transfer the cookie crumb mixture in to the base of a 9 inch pie plate using your fingers to pat down to make a crust, shaping it up the edges of the dish.
  4. Bake the crust for 10 minutes and allow cooling.
  5. To make the filling whisk the egg yolks and lime zest together in an electric mixer until it begins to thicken slightly. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk beating for 3-4 minutes and then whisk in the lime juice until everything is smooth and fully incorporated.
  6. Pour mixture in to pie crust and bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the pie from the oven and cool and then store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
  8. To serve whip the heavy whipping cream and sugar and spoon or pipe on the pie.

Judith the Irish Foodie

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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

 

 

 

A touch of green! – Salsa Verde Flank Steak

Fresh and Easy Recipe

Grilling Out

We have really been enjoying Salsa Verde with our Grilled Steak this summer, and thought it was time to share this magical touch of green!  This Mexican style Salsa Verde uses green Tomatilios (not to be confused with green tomatoes). These fruits are wonderful, however, the skins can be a little tough so they need to be blanched or roasted before adding to the salsa Verde…little tip!

The recipe can be made chunky style (chopping all the ingredients by hand) or smooth by using the food processor or Vitamix to blend. Either way, it’s really fresh and delicious, and a good way to enjoy the last few weeks’ of grilling season.  Adding just a touch of Kerrygold Garlic and Herb butter to the resting flank steaks adds to the love (making this an Irish Mexican style recipe).  As always Enjoy!

Flank Steak with Salsa Verde (Mexican Style influence)

(recipe serves 4 people)

(for the steak)

  • 1 ½ to 2 Lbs Flank Steak (room temperature)
  • Salt and pepper and olive oil
  • 1oz kerrygold garlic and herb butter
  • (for the salsa verde)
  • 1 Lb (about 5) tomatillos (husked and washed)
  • 2-3 Serrano peppers or jalepeno peppers
  • ½ small onion (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to make it

  1. Preheat the grill to 400 degrees F. Season the room temperature flank steak with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Cook the steaks for about 4-5 minutes on each side for medium cooked and juicy and a few minutes longer for well done (depending on the thickness of the meat).
  2. While the meat is cooking make the salsa. Place the tomatillos in a small saucepan with just enough water to cover them and gently simmer for 5 minutes just to soften.  Remove from the heat and place in an ice bath.
  3. In a food processor add the tomatoes, onion, peppers, garlic, cumin, lime and salt and pepper and pulse until smooth.
  4. Remove the steak from the grill and place on a platter to rest for 6-7 minutes. Spread the Kerrygold butter on the steak while it is resting.Slice the steak against the grain at an angle and then spoon over the Salsa Verde.

Judie the Irish foodie

Peach Crisp with a Buttery Oat and Pecan Topping

Sweet Georgia Peaches

Buttery Oat and Pecan Crumble

Summer loving is happening right now because when the Peaches are in season they are juicy and delicious!

You know the kind of peach that explodes when you bite into it, and the juice literally drips down your chin?  Oh yes…it’s that time! Sometimes though,  this can be counter productive when you are making a summer peach crisp and there is just too much juice when you bake your crisp (or crumble as we call it in Ireland) so, my suggestion is to allow the fruit to macerate in sugar and then strain and reduce the resulting juice before pouring over the peaches and baking. That should do the trick…

Oh, and I do admit that this recipe does not skimp on the butter ( the magic ingredient!) but the recipe is essentially ‘gluten free’ if you purchase gluten free oats.  So, come on, this must count for something less to feel guilty about when reaching for the second bowl? Right??…. and don’t forget the vanilla ice cream (if anything is worth doing its worth doing right)!

Enjoy these summer days and the bountiful fruits in season!

Peach Crisp with Buttery Oat and Pecan Topping

(serves 4)

  • (for the filling)
  • 6 cups of fresh summer peaches (cut in to bit size pieces peeled and stone removed)
  • ¼ cup sugar plus 3 Tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • ½ vanilla pod (split in half and seeds scraped out) or tsp of vanilla bean paste
  • Unsalted Kerrygold butter (for greasing pan)
  • (for the topping)
  • 1 ½ oz oats (use gluten free oats if liked)
  • ¾ cups of ground almonds
  • ¾ cups pecans (chopped)
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 6 oz cold Kerrygold unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks)
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Vanilla ice-cream (for serving)

How to make it

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9 inch size baking dish.
  2. Combine the peaches with the sugar and allow macerate for 30 minutes. Place the peaches in a sieve over a small saucepan to drain the juice. Simmer the juices in a small saucepan to reduce slightly (the liquid should be less than half a cup).  Allow to cool slightly before whisking in the cornstarch and vanilla bean pods. Toss the peaches in the infused peachy sugar syrup.
  3. Add the fruit to the prepared dish and spread out evenly.
  4. To make the topping place the almond flour and oats in the food processor and whizz to break down the oats a little. Stir in the sugar and chopped nuts and then rub in the butter with your hands until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
  5. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the peach mixture.
  6. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the crumble topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.
  7. Serve with ice cream.

Enjoy the summer flavors while they last!

Judie the Irish foodie

Healthy Gluten Free Quinoa (Irish Pancakes)

Today we celebrate Shrove Tuesday, (the day before Ash Wednesday), and a time marked for feasting before the beginning of lent.  Traditionally its a time to use up any food that would not be part of the 40 days of fasting during Lent; so those more pleasurable foods such as eggs, dairy and meat are enjoyed in abundance.  Growing up my mother made very think pancakes more similar to french Crepes as opposed the the thicker American pancakes.  Boxty Pancakes are also very popular made with left over mashed potatoes and freshly grated potatoes and fried in the pan. But, I am excited to share a new pancake recipe with you that’s not only gluten free but includes protein packed quinoa.

This recipe is part of my 2017 Aprons Publix cooking schools tour sponsored by Kerrygold Irish butter and cheese and includes my yummy Dubliner…. So, how can you go wrong…?  Those of you who live in the cities of Sarasota, Tampa, Lakeland, Orlando, Jacksonville, Tallahassee and Atlanta please come and see me at the Aprons cooking school near you…. So, here’s the recipe for all to enjoy…

Dubliner Quinoa Pancakes

Ingredients:

1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 cups cooked quinoa

1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup shredded Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese

2 Tbsp morgue flour (or other gluten free based flour)

1 egg plus 2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon Chile powder

Pinch sea salt

Dash black pepper

1/2 avocado, peeled and chopped

1/2 medium tomato, chopped

Olive oil cooking spray

 

Combine onion, quinoa, bell pepper, cheese, egg and egg whites, garlic and Chile powder, salt and pepper in a medium mixing bowl and mix gently with a spoon or spatula.  Heat a large skillet sprayed with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Using a ½-cup measuring cup, measure half cup portions of the quinoa mixture and turn out into the pan, flattening each until 1/2-inch thick.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until bottom is browned and the cake is firm.  Flip  the pancakes over and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Top each serving with half the chopped avocado and tomato, dividing equally. If serving as individual cakes, top each with 1 tablespoon of chopped avocado and tomato.  Makes 6 cakes.

Wishing everyone a blessed Shrove Tuesday!

Judith the Irish foodie

 

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

Fifteens are a sweet taste of home

A wee taste of home

Northern Irish Fridge Slice

Last week I hosted a dessert coffee evening (thanks to Oli and Ve) for my Northern Irish friend and outstanding singer-songwriter Warren Attwell , who is on his US tour (he’s amazinghttp://www.warrenattwell.com/) and “fifteens” were on the menu. – and what are ‘fifteens’ I can hear you asking? Something more than fourteen, something less than sixteen?

Yes, to my surmise the recipe was unknown to my Atlanta guests; so, I promised to share the recipe on my food blog. The recipe is easy peasy to remember because it’s all about fifteen, hence the name (15 digestive biscuits, 15 marshmallows, 15 cherries and it slices in to 15 pieces)…fifteens, get it?  It’s one of those recipes growing up that we always had the ingredients for in the cupboards, and they could be whipped up quite quickly for an impromptu party or a spontaneous supper when the preacher drops by! …Just one tip for my US followers is to purchase the Digestive Biscuits in the British section of your local grocery store or specialized shop (Grahame crackers are not just as tasty).  Hope you enjoy a Northern Irish fridge cake classic!

Fifteens…(now you know!)

  • 15 Digestive biscuits (8 Grahame Crackers)
  • 15 Marshmallows (cut in to four)
  • 15 Glaze Cherries (cut in half) (or dried cherries)
  • 200 ml sweetened condensed milk (1/2 tin)
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • Desiccated coconut (for rolling)

How to make them:

  1. In a food processor crush the digestive biscuits or Grahame crackers.
  2. In a large bowl mix the crushed biscuits, chopped marshmallows and cherries and the sweetened condensed milk and water.
  3. Lay out a large sheet of parchment or plastic wrap and sprinkle with coconut. Spread the prepared mixture along the plastic wrap to form a long sausage shape.  Sprinkle more coconut over the top of the mixture and then begin to roll using the parchment paper to form a circular sausage shape.  Twist both ends to seal.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or allow to sit overnight before slicing.
  5. Slice in to 15 pieces (naturally)

Enjoy!

Judie the Irish foodie

Best thing I ever ate in Ireland (part 2)

Congratulations to Chef Noel McMeel and the Lough Erne for continued Success!  This month Chef Noel dined as a guest at the White House and is featured in a double page spread in Bon appetit magazne.  Chef Noel McMeel says “What we eat has to delight the taste buds, and nourish body and soul”.  The bountiful feast is influenced by heritage, inspired by the season and focused on local.  So, my series two in the best thing I ever ate in Ireland goes to Noel McMeel.  “Fillet of Kettyle Irish Beef, Parsley and Potato Puree, Spinach, Celeriac Remoulade, Roast Beef Sauce”

Shamrock and Peach tours will be visiting the table of Noel McMeel and his masterful chef team at the Lough Erne this June.  Looking forward to enjoying the bounty with many of you and for those who have been on one of my tours enjoy the memory and pick up your own copy of “Bon appeetit” today!

Jump in to Ireland and Joy in the Journey!

Judith the Irish foodie

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

A Sweet Ending to an Irish Christmas Joy!

Chocolate swirl fudge-7

This year we had a sweet ending at Christmas when Shamrock and Peach catered the end of year Christmas party for the Gettys in Nashville Tennessee, home of country music. The party was a celebration of “Joy, An Irish Christmas Tour’ presented in 20 cities in the US by Keith and Kristen Getty and everyone at Getty music. The tour was attended by a whopping 60,000 people across North America and in several prestigious concert halls including Carnegie Hall (New York) and the fabulous Fox Theatre here in Atlanta.

We were invited to the concert at the Fox Theater in Atlanta the evening before we drove to Tennessee, and were literally blown away by the standard of the musicianship. Wow!…the singing, the dancing, the playing – not to mention some on stage who played while dancing!! – no mean feat! The music itself gave tribute to the roots of Bluegrass music with guest Ricky Skaggs tearing up the stage with Bluegrass examples of how the Irish have impacted the culture of the Southlands and it’s so inspiring that I get to celebrate those same roots through the language of really great food.

Keith Getty even gave a shout out to ‘The Shamrock and Peach’ book when referring to marriage of Ireland to the Southlands and it was such an honor and it literally took my breath away to be considered!

Hope you enjoy a few pictures from our event and a super yummy idea to swirl melted chocolate through the Irish butter fudge (recipe in my cook book).  A sweet ending to my menu and year!

Wishing you a touch of Irish Joy!

Judith the Irish foodie