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Irish(ish) Food and Desserts

March 18, 2010

St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite holiday.

Since it was on a Wednesday this year and I was out of town this past weekend, I didn’t get to celebrate the “traditional” way. I bought some Bailey’s anyway, but to cook with – my way of celebrating!

I dug up some semi-Irish recipes to celebrate. I chose Irish Soda Bread, au gratin potatoes and Bailey’s brownies. I also wanted to make some beef stew, but didn’t have a pot roast, so I made some really delicious and completely non-Irish spaghetti carbonara from a free Schnucks cookbook I picked up grocery shopping a few weeks ago.

And since tonight’s St. Patty’s winner went so well, I thought I’d share my great recipes with you all!

Cheddar Irish Soda Biscuits

Cheddar Irish Soda Biscuits

I was pleasantly  surprised by how my biscuits turned out! I usually don’t do well with bread products, but these were very easy. They could use a bit more cheese (I didn’t use sharp cheese – I only had mild), so I would suggest that to make them more rich.

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 1/3 cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, with whisk, stir flour, salt and baking soda until well mixed. With fingertips or pastry blender, cut in butter until pea-sized crumbs form; stir in cheese. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Pour buttermilk into well. With wooden spoon, gently stir to gradually draw flour mixture into buttermilk until a soft dough forms. Knead dough in bowl just until dough begins to stick together.

2. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfalls, 2 inches apart, onto cookie sheet. Bake 22 to 24 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Fettuccini carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

1 package (16 oz) fettuccini

12 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

1 pint whipping cream

1 cup grated Parmesean cheese

1 1/2 cups frozen green peas

2 large eggs

Garlic, salt and pepper for seasoning

1. Heat large covered saucepot of salted water to boiling over high heat. Add fettucini and cook as label directs; drain pasta, then return to saucepot.

2. Meanwhile, heat 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook 10 minutes or until crisp, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring. Remove skilled from heat; carefully drain off fat. Add cream to bacon and cook over medium-high heat until mixture simmers, stirring to loosen any browned bits on bottom of skillet. Add cheese and cook 4 minutes, stirring until cheese melts (I also added 1% milk at this step because the mixture was getting really thick). Stir in frozen peas, salt and pepper; heat just until mixture begins to simmer. Remove skilled from heat.

3. In small bowl, with whisk, lightly beat eggs. Slowly stir eggs into skillet. Pour sauce over spaghetti and serve.

Bailey's Brownies

Bailey’s Brownies

Brownie base:

1 box brownie mix, plus 2 eggs, water and vegetable oil box calls for

1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish cream (or generic brand)

1 cup dark chocolate pudding

1 cup chocolate bits (I used Ghirardelli bits, 60% cacao, but chocolate chips will suffice)


1/2 cup butter

2 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons milk

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13 x 9 pan.

2. BROWNIES: In a large bowl, combine brownie mix, Bailey’s, oil and eggs. Spread into greased pan.

3. Bake in over for 350 degrees for 25-28 minutes. Cool one hour.

4. FROSTING: In a small bowl, beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, vanilla, Bailey’s and milk, adding enough milk for desired consistency. Spread over cooled brownies.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lori Puckett permalink
    March 20, 2010 8:07 am

    You have put together the ultimate comfort foods. I am sure Irish will approve of your “blanket” foods whether they be on Emerald Isle or American soil. I am always interested in new recipes; recipes that are “country” friendly with simple and few ingredients. Thank you for sharing the efficient soda bread, pasta, and brownie recipes.

    As far as the bread is concerned we have all the ingredients miles from town. As learned in cooking 101, one T vinegar added to 1 cup milk makes buttermilk. Have you tried the precooked ready to eat bacon? Since we don’t have whipping cream (until topsy gets milked) Phil and I will make white sauce from scratch. You used 1% milk to thin the “gravy”- smart; the secret to cooking I think requires instinct. I too have brownie mix available (doesn’t everyone?). Brownie mix is SO versatile. I have heard your recipe used with Hershey’s syrup (1/2 can) instead of chocolate pudding and Bailey’s. I am not sure if the dark chocolate pudding comes from a refrigerator or a box? Thank you for promptly getting the recipes available for our snowy first day of spring and St. Patrick’s Day in Emmetsburg, Iowa-Sister City of Dublin, Ireland.

    Today I will add your soda bread and brownie recipes to our pikes peak roast stew.

    • March 20, 2010 1:34 pm

      The dark chocolate pudding is from one of those snack pack sets. It was just in a cup. Jell-O makes a sugar free type, which is what I used.

      Tell me how they turn out!

  2. Lori Puckett permalink
    March 20, 2010 7:11 pm

    I truly have respect for your cooking with photography. I have been cooking for years, but trying to photo shoot the soup took timing, planning, and artistry. Your skills as a “cook snapper” are professional. I like your spotlight on the food with flowers and bottles faded in the background.

    The Cheddar Irish Soda Biscuits were dropped as dumplings into the beef stew. They helped turn our left over roast into the perfect comfort food on this snowy day. See photos on my FB “Welcome Spring” album. The brownies turned into overbaked cupcakes. I did not have pudding or Bailey’s available, so I used Hershey’s syrup. Thank you for prompting me to cook creatively.

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