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)
6 oz heavy whipping cream (3/4 cup)
1 Tbsp fine granulated sugar
How to make it
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt the butter and stir in to the crushed graham crackers and sugar.
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.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes and allow cooling.
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.
Pour mixture in to pie crust and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven and cool and then store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
To serve whip the heavy whipping cream and sugar and spoon or pipe on the pie.
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
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).
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.
In a food processor add the tomatoes, onion, peppers, garlic, cumin, lime and salt and pepper and pulse until smooth.
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.
For many of us, summer is drawing to a close. Schools are back in session, traffic has resumed it’s daily grind and the memories of our 2017 vacations are behind us – however, we are now giving you something to look forward to! – yes, our plans for next years Irish vacations are complete and we are excited to showcase them to you and our website is ready to accept bookings for our 2018 tours! Who-hoo!
…and we have a brand new tour to announce into the bargain! Yes, after three years of painstaking research we are glad to reveal our ‘ Southern Elegance Ireland Tour’ for 2018. Many of you have been asking whether the Shamrock & Peach will tour Cork and Kerry – well, now we will, but with lot’s of other goodies and luxury touches added for good measure…
Our now famous Legendary Ireland tour will include some of our favorite luxury resorts including the Lodge at Ashford Castle, the Lough Erne Resort and the Slieve Donard Resort. While our accommodations in our Southern Irish tour include Mount Juliet Estate, Hayfield Manor, the beautiful Malton Hotel in Killarney and the one and only Ballymaloe House in Co. Cork. We are seeking to find the best and most unique accommodations in Ireland and are working with our favorite chefs to make our guests feel like each day exceeds beyond all expectations.
Going to Ireland is on the bucket list for many people and that’s why we make each day extraordinary when you tour with us. Please check our our website and email me!
Here is the link to our website for our new Southern Elegance tour:
Chef Jonathan Keane and his team forage daily on the 350 acre Estate at Ashford Castle and were willing to share their experiences with Shamrock and Peach tours this summer. Eating Wild foods is growing in popularity in Ireland and so has the idea of working with what we have. Certainly, a value my parents taught me and I feel ingrained in the Irish psyche. There’ nothing like the flavor of fresh wild greens, flowers and berries just hand picked that day. Our guests got to taste this first hand when dining at Wilde’s restaurant. One of the culinary highlights of our meal at Wilde’s restaurant was the wood sorrel sorbet. The tangy acidic herb (also know as sourgrass) has a tart green apple flavor and it was the perfect palate cleanser with our feast.
May you enjoy the bounty of fields, forests, gardens and coast!
Sitting in a wee pub in Tobermory on the island of Mull, also know as the Western Isles of Scotland, I was transported back home to Ireland. With only 12 miles of water between Scotland and Ireland, the people of the narrow water are held together closely, not just by geography, but also by culture. Our red headed bar tender was from Donegal in the North of Ireland and we were later entertained by a musician (also from Donegal) singing modern and popular Irish songs to the early hours of the morning. The locals were only getting going around midnight when we left and we knew the craic (Gaelic word for a good time) was only getting going!
At the bar sat the fishermen, and we knew that the fish had to be good, – and it was. Our guests all said it was the best fish and chips they had ever tasted, with flaky meaty flesh and perfectly crispy batter as we enjoyed a farewell luncheon booked at Macgochans Pub , sitting, viewing the bay in Tobermory in idyllic surroundings.
Shamrock and Peach would like to congratulate Northern Irish Golfer Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll on their recent marriage and wedding at Ashford Castle, in Co. Mayo. It’s just lovely to see a fellow countryman enjoy so much success and still maintain the Irish values of humility and generosity. I loved reading how the couple met in 2012 and did not date until 2015 and Rory appreciated the fact they were friends first before going out together. The fairy tale wedding was this past weekend at the 800 year old Ashford Castle built by the Anglo-Norman de -Burgos. The castle has had several owners since including the famous Guinness family. The Castle is nestled in 350 acres of gardens and woodlands and the perfect setting for this grand affair.
Shamrock and Peach tours are gearing up to visiting the Castle staying at the Lodge at Ashford this June. Here a few pictures from our stay last year!
Shamrock and Peach tour group
Irish Wolf Hound Welcome
With my parents at the Castle
leprechauns on Range Rovers
1939 movie the Quiet Man
Keep up the great work Rory and we will be raising a toast to you this June!
The Saul church – St. Patrick’s first church founded in the 5th century
The first day of Spring (Feb 1st) has been important in Ireland from the Neolithic period. In Ireland the lighting of fires and candles invited the power of the sun in the period between the cold Winter months and Spring! Can you believe it folks….? We’re almost there and I am ready for the warmth of the sun and the buds of Spring to appear.
The relics of St. Bridget and Columcille are said to be enclosed in Downpatrick in the same grave as our National St. Patrick. I loved this photography shared on the Friends of Saint Patrick’s website today of a group of students from John Brown University in Missouri placing a St. Bridget’s cross on the grave. The hanging of the St. Bridget cross on the front door is symbolically asking Gods protection on livestock and homes in many homes in rural Ireland.
Those of you who have been on Shamrock and Peach tours are familiar with Dr. Tim Campbell and this quote he often shares around the grave side.
“In Downpatrick, three saints one grave do fill, Patrick, Bridget and Columcille”
Welcome Spring and and let the feasting of St. Bridget begin!
In honor of Burns Night, and the celebration of the famed Scottish poet, Robert Burns, may I present to you ‘Neeps and Tatties Patties’…
An authentic Burns Night Supper includes whisky, haggis, Neeps and Tatties (Potatoes and Turnips). However, my family are taking a different approach tonight and going with a ‘Veggie Burger’ with mashed turnip, sweet potato and oats; a really tasty and nutritious alternative to haggis! I think even Rabbie himself would agree it’s a great substitution… so Cheers to you Rabbie (and we will be raising our glass tonight in your honor)
…and, let me say, there’s no substitution for Scotch ‘whisky’ so please, rest easy in your grave tonight… we get it…
Burns Night Celebrations
Here is the recipe….
Neep’s and Tattie’s Patties (Vegetable burgers with Oats, Turnips and Sweet Potatoes)
¾ Lbs sweet potatoes (cut in half lengthwise)
¾ lbs small turnips (cut in half lengthwise)
1 cup quick oats (1 minute oats)
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups of cooked black beans (mashed a little)
1 large shallot (finely diced)
½ cup mixed fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, chives)
1 tsp natural sea salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin powder
Dash of hot sauce
semolina flour (about ¼ cup to roll Patties)
Coconut oil (about 3 Tbsp to sauté)
How to make them
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and place cut sweet potatoes and Rutabaga’s flesh side down. Roast for about 35-40 minutes or until soft. Set aside to cool and then remove the skin from flesh.
To make the patties in a large bowl combine the sweet potatoes, rutabaga, cooked black beans, shallots, mixed herbs, salt, pepper, paprika, hot sauce and cumin. Use a potato masher to evenly incorporate all the ingredients together.
Process the large oats slightly in the food process and then add to the mixture stirring to combine and thicken the patties.
Divide the mixture into 8 round balls and then flatten to create a disk shape. Dip each patty in to semolina flour.
Add coconut oil to the pan and begin to cook the burgers in batches 3-4 minutes each side adding more oil as needed. The patties should have a brown crust.
Serve warm and enjoy!
We still have a few spaces on our Historic Scotland Tour May 29th to June 4th 2017 ,please check out our website and send me an email…
In hope of keeping Irish traditions ‘alive’ at the Feast of the ‘dead’ wishing you all a very Happy Halloween! As as we prepare for tonight’s trick or treating and the family culinary traditions that make this celebration memorable, I am also reflecting on my childhood. In Ireland Oiche Samhain, or Samhain Night , marks the end of harvest and the beginning of winter. Irish Culinary traditions include Colcannon (potatoes and curly Kale and Spring Onions), Barnbrack (yeasty bread with fruit) and apple pie.
The most fun part of our Irish culinary traditions is the hiding of symbolic items in the food we serve. Oh, the suspense of who would receive what? The items included money wrapped in aluminium foil (symbolizing good fortune), a ring (symbolizing an upcoming romance or marriage), and a rag (symbolizing poverty), a thimble (symbolizing the person will not marry). So tonight wherever you are wishing you happy memories with those you love in this ‘feast of the dead’ and beginning of winter. I hope you may even add some Irish culinary traditions to tonight’ Halloween feast?
Congratulations to our winners Carla Poff and Amy Balogh! Ryan’s favorite Irish Bread for breakfast is in fact “potato bread’! We enjoyed an incredible concert last night at the fabulous Fox Theater attending the Celtic Thunder Legacy Tour. The music was a combination of traditional Irish songs and some modern contemporary pieces, all with a humorous twist. We were all captivated by their stories and music and the theme of ‘home’ and the transatlantic links between Ireland and the US; the songs that make us cry, songs of immigration and of loved lost with the triumph of the new world and hope for tomorrow. The finale brought the house down when all five cast members appeared on kilts and danced to a foot stomping tribute to Ireland.
If you get a chance to catch Celtic Thunder on tour, let me encourage you to do so.
So, thanks to the Fox Theater and Celtic Thunder for partnering with Shamrock and Peach. I even got to straighten my curly hair for the occasion and got to take off my chef whites for a girls night out! We really enjoyed Celtic Legacy Tour 2016 and look forward to your return to Atlanta in the future!