In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day 2015, ATG is exploring “All Things Irish.” Below is a small sampling of some great Irish music to play (and dance to!) while cooking Shepherd’s Pie for dinner or baking Irish scones and cookies for teatime.
A few of our favorite Irish songs: Patriots Game, Galway Bay, Irish Rover, Red is the Rose, Fields of Athenry, Shipping up to Boston (Dropkick Murphy’s), Carrickfergus, Mountain Dew, Finnegan’s Wake, Voyage (by Johnny Dunhan) andToora-Loora-Looral (Irish Lullaby). You can also listen to other traditional Irish music.
Shepherd’s Pie (pictured above)
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion
1 large carrot, minced
1 &1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup tomato paste
Several dashes of Worcestershire sauce
Butter and olive oil for sautéing
4 Russet potatoes for making mashed potatoes
1 – 2 cups grated good quality (Cabot or the Irish “Kerrygold”) cheddar cheese.
Sauté ground beef and onion in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add carrots, salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce and tomato paste and about 1/4 – 1/2 cup water, let simmer on low.
Meanwhile prepare mashed potatoes, set aside with lid on pot to keep warm.* Cook frozen corn in separate pot with a little salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of butter.
To assemble the pie place the beef mixture on bottom of deep casserole dish, next the buttered and seasoned corn and finally finishing with the mashed potatoes on top. Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese and bake in 375 degree oven for 20 – 25 minutes.
*Can stir 1 cup of cheddar cheese in mashed potatoes and then sprinkle 1 cup cheese on top before baking.
No Bake Chocolate Cookies
1 stick butter
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup peanut butter 1 tsp. vanilla
6 Tablespoons Hershey’s Cocoa (can use Hershey’s “Special Dark”)
3 Cups Oatmeal (McCann’s Irish Oatmeal is very good)
Mix the oatmeal and the cocoa in large bowl and set aside. Mix the butter, sugar, and milk in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil and boil 1 minute. Take off heat immediately and stir in peanut butter and vanilla and then combine thoroughly with the oatmeal/cocoa mixture. Drop onto wax paper and let cool and set.
Grandma McIlhenny’s Old-Fashioned Raisin Filled Cookies (time consuming but delicious!)
For the dough:
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter, room temp.
1 teaspoon vanilla 2 & 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon soda
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla and combine with remaining dry ingredients. Cover and chill 1 hour.
For the filling:
2 cups raisins finely chopped
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Cook in saucepan on medium to low heat until sauce thickens. Cool thoroughly.
Roll out dough on lightly floured wax paper very, very thin (1/8″). Use 3 & 1/2 inch round cookie cutter or rim of glass to cut out cookies and place on baking sheet. Place roughly 1 generous teaspoon of raisin mixture in middle of dough and fold over into the shape of a crescent moon. Press edges together. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar and bake in 400 degree oven for 8 – 10 min. Do not over bake to keep the outside of the cookies somewhat soft.
Charlestown Raspberry Chocolate-Chip Scones
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 sticks butter, room temp.
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large eggs, room temp.
1/3 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
1/2 – 1 cup chocolate chips
6 ounce container of fresh raspberries
Mix flour and baking powder in small bowl. Beat butter on high speed until creamy. Add sugar and beat 3-5 minutes until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add flour mixture; mix only until blended. Add buttermilk and mix only until blended. Sprinkle chips and raspberries over batter and fold in.
Scoop 1/3 cupfuls onto ungreased baking sheet. Loosely cover dough with plastic what and refrigerate about 45 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees when ready to bake, remove scones from fridge and bake 15 min. Turn baking sheet around and bake another 10 min. or so or until the scones are just beginning to brown on top. Do not over bake.
Glaze with confectioners sugar mixed with good quality orange juice. You can make the glaze as thick or as thin as desired by adding more or less juice.