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

 

Advertisements

Shamrock and Peach Cobbler

Summer Peach Cobbler

Shamrock and Peach Cobbler

In celebration of my return to Georgia after spending 5 weeks in Ireland leading 3 very fun filled tours, it’s time to make dessert!  Summer has arrived here in Georgia with the harvest of fragrant juicy peaches, so, its time to make one of the South’s most beloved desserts, namely Peach Cobbler.  When fruits are in season, no frills desserts that accentuate the flavor and texture are the way to go!  Our ‘go to’ fruit dessert growing up in Ireland is always a crumble topping made with oats, and in this case, a transition to a cobbler from a crumble makes perfect sense and achieves the same delicious goal of warm luscious fruit textures with a perfect crumbly paring, and oh, don’t forget the ice cream.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and savor each summer day before it’s gone!

Peach Cobbler

(serves 6)

  • (for the peach filling)
  • 8-10 medium size peaches
  • 1 vanilla pod (scraped)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter
  • (for the topping)
  • 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 ½ oz unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter (cold)
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp milk

How to make it

  1. To make the peach filling toss the peaches with the sugar, cornstarch and vanilla seeds. Melt 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter in the pan and add the peach mixture and cook for 6-7 minutes until the peaches begin to break down but are still firm.  Add the lemon juice and honey and chill.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. To make the cobbler sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using your finger tips or food processor blend in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Stir in the boiling water and milk.
  4. To assemble the cobblers grease 6 small dishes or one 8’ pan with butter. Spoon in the peach filling and then add the topping by dropping spoonfuls of the batter on top of the peaches.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until the topping is golden brown and serve with ice-cream.

Joy in the Journey, and enjoy the summer!

Judith the Irish foodie

 

Easter Irish Reflections 2016

Have you planned your Easter Menu yet?  So, in addition to the Reese’s white chocolate bunnies, chocolate cream eggs and peeps on my shopping list,  I wanted to share a few of our Irish traditions.  Good Friday would not be complete without our Hot Cross Buns and Grass Fed Kerrygold Salted Butter.  On Sunday we will be enjoying Irish Whiskey Glazed Ham and for dessert Spring Birds Nests and Coconut cake  (my new Southern inspired favorite).  It’s also 100 years from the Easter Rising in Ireland and an election year in the US which makes Good Friday even more and reflective as we consider our world in light of the cross.

Wishing everyone a blessed Easter!

Judie the Irish Foodie

St Patrick's Church

St Patrick’s Church

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

Kale and Pecan Pesto (and Dubliner Cheese)

Nutrient Rich Pesto

Healthy and Delicious Pesto with Irish Cheese and Georgia Pecans

Schools are back in full swing and it’s time for inventive sandwiches and fillings to pack in to our kids lunch boxes, right? In our house, we love kale pesto, tossed in chopped grilled chicken as a filler for whole grain croissants  It’s just another sneaky way to add nutrition in to the families diet with absolutely no complaints. Lacinato Kale (also known as Black, Dinosaur or Tuscan Kale) is slightly sweeter than curly kale and it has a more delicate flavor.  We prefer it as a substitute to basil because its more nutritious and it adds a more earthiness and substance to the pesto. The Dubliner Irish cheese, with it’s distinctive nutty parmesan taste, adds a depth of flavor and the pesto is brightened up with lemon. Supporting local, I use pecans in my pesto, but switching to pine nuts or walnuts works great too.

Those of you living in Atlanta please ark you calendars for Saturday September 26th for a taste of Ireland at Salud cooking schools at the Whole Foods Market at Avalon.  We will be featuring this delicious pesto as part of my fall tea party menu.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/service/salud-cooking-school-4

Anyway, just try it for your family and I promise you will love it.  So, here is the recipe!

  • 1 medium bunch of Organic Lacinato kale (stems removed)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • Freshly ground black pepper and salt
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup finely grated Dubliner Irish cheese (finely grated)
  • ¼ cup pecans (toasted and finely chopped)
  • ½ cup olive oil (plus 1 Tbsp to sauté Kale)

 

How to make it

  1. In a large skillet sauté kale in 1 Tbsp of olive oil for 30 seconds and sprinkle over 2 Tbsp of water to wilt for 1 minute. Remove Kale from heat and set aside to keep its vibrant green color. (you can also boil the Kale for 1 minute in a large pot of boiling water to blanch to achieve the same results).
  2. In a food processor blend the kale, salt and pepper, garlic, Dubliner, lemon zest and juice.  Add the toasted pecans and pulse for a couple of seconds (I like them to have a little texture). Finally, add the olive oil in a slow steady stream with the processor is still in motion.
  3. Use right away or store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

 

Judith the Irish foodie

Easter Hot Cross Buns with Apple and Sea Salt Caramel

Hot Cross Buns

Judith baking Easter Hot Cross Buns with Sue Becker

Growing up in Ireland, Good Friday was the traditional time of year when we ate Hot Cross Buns and I am keeping the tradition alive by sharing it with my family in Atlanta -as I always do, however, this year, I asked my friend, and bread baking expert & entrepreneur Sue Becker to my home to teach me just some of her amazing yeast bread making skills. We ground our own wheat with the Wonder Mill (click this link to find out more) and kneaded the dough in the amazing Ankarsrum mixer (click on this link to find out more) in what it seemed like no time at all…and yes, you MUST check this stuff out. Bread making has never been so easy, so tasty or so good for you…

The dough is made the night before and slowly rises in the refrigerator overnight so that the buns can be baked up fresh on Good Friday morning. This way, your family rise to the smells and Easter memories of wonderful baking bread – what could be better!

My boys are not big fans of the traditional currants and mixed peel so I added fresh apple and drizzled them with a Sea Salt Caramel icing, super yum. My hope is to create new memories by holding on to old traditions with a whole new generation –  as some things should never die.

 

Hot Cross Buns with Apple and Sea Salt Caramel

  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1/3 cup unsalted Kerrygold butter (plus 2 Tbsp for greasing)
  • ½ cup of sugar (or honey granules)
  • 4 ½ tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-3 ¼ cups of freshly milled hard white wheat flour
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 granny smith apple (peeled and chopped)

(Sea Salt Caramel icing)

  • ¼ cup salted Kerrygold butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar (or evaporated can juice)
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (or honey granules)
  • ¼ tsp light flaky sea salt

How to make them

  1. Combine the water, milk and butter in a medium saucepan and warm over low heat until warm and butter is melted. Remove from heat and pour in to a large mixing bowl.  Add the sugar or honey granules, 1 large egg yolk and vanilla and stir to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in half the flour mixture, and then sprinkle the yeast in while continuing to mix.  Mix in the rest of the flour to form slightly sticky dough.  Stir n the lemon zest and chopped apple.  Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Shape in to a ball.
  3. Brush the inside of a large bowl with 1 Tbsp butter. Put dough in to bowl, burning to coat lightly with butter.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Dough can be made the night before and allowed to rise in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. To form the rolls butter a 9×14 inch baking pan. Turn the dough out of the bowl and using a bench scrapper divide in to 12 equal portions, about 2 ounces each.
  5. Tuck the edges of the dough under to make round rolls and place them seam-side down in the prepared pan, leaving a little space in between each roll. With a sharp knife cut a cross in the top of each roll.  Set aside in a warm place until the rolls rise doubled in size, about 25-30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 387 degrees F.
  7. Once rise, brush the tops of the buns with beaten egg white. Bake rolls until golden, brown and fluffy, and an instant read thermometer inserted in to the center of the rolls registers 190 degrees F, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.
  8. To make the caramel icing melt the butter and brown sugar/evaporated cane juice and milk and cook for 2 minutes. Beat in the powdered sugar/honey granules.
  9. Drizzle the icing over buns to emphasize the cross shape.

Enjoy, happy baking and happy Easter to you and yours!

Judie the Irish Foodie

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

 

Gluten Free Irish Oat meal cookies for me too!

flakemeal cookies1a

Despite my reluctance to bake, cook and promote gluten-free recipes I am now jumping on the bandwagon.  I am discovering personal benefits from reducing my daily intake of gluten in addition to the increasing amount of clients and students who are gluten intolerant.

 One of my best friends Sharon is a master at gluten-free baking and she has so kindly been helping to convert some of my traditional Shamrock and Peach baked goods to gluten-free.  This morning I quickly boiled my electric kettle to make a big pot of Irish tea after a phone call that Sharon and cookies were on their way to my kitchen. I must confess a slight suspicion with how the cookies would taste compared to my treasured family recipe. But oh how I was wrong!  These cookies are light, crunchy and delicious.  A treat to those of us (like me) who are cutting down on their daily gluten intake and a true gift of love to those who are intolerant to gluten.

Classic Irish Oatmeal  Cookies

1 cup Kerrygold Irish butter, salted or Earth Balance (non-dairy butter)

¼ cup light brown sugar or sucanat (Wholesome Sweeteners)

¼ cup evaporated cane juice (Wholesome Sweeteners)

½ cup gluten-free oat flour (Bob’s Red Mill) or Gluten-free Steel Cut oats, *milled

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup unsweetened, organic dried coconut (Let’s Do organic)

2 ½ cup gluten-free rolled oats (Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tablespoon coconut flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

¼ teaspoon Redmond’s Real salt

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (Bob’s Red Mill)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 How to make them:

In a large bowl mix, oat flour, baking soda, rolled oats, dried coconut, coconut flour, xanthan gum, cinnamon and salt together.

Turn on mixer. Cream together butter and sugars. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until fully incorporated. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the dough to become firm.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Lightly cover the surface with flour and roll out the dough to a thickness of about ½ inch using a floured rolling-pin or coat cooking spray on rolling-pin. Press mixture down with floured hands to form a circle, then use your rolling-pin to level the dough to about 1/3 inch thickness.

Tip: To prevent cookies from spreading. Dip cookies in oat flour and coat the outer edges as well.

 Bake 12 -15 minutes until the cookies are light golden color. Sprinkle the top of warm cookies with evaporated cane juice (organic sugar)

If you love this recipe and want more please like Sharons’ face book page where you can check out her upcoming cooking classes (and more)!

Sharon’s facebook is sharon’s gluten freekitchenandmore

You can also e-mail Sharon  with any questions about this recipe (and not me ha, ha) sharonsgfkitchenandmore@gmail.com

Big hugs and thanks to Sharon and hope to have more cross promotion in the future as we look for healthy alternatives to the way we eat!

Joy in the cookie! (I sure am loving them but remember to enjoy them with a good cuppa of Irish tea)

Judith the Irish foodie