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Kitchen Index Irish Kitchen Library

A Tasty Menu for Easter
by Bridget Haggerty

Starter: Dublin Prawn Cocktail. (This recipe makes about 20 servings - so you will need to adjust the quantities for a smaller gathering)
Entree: Crusty Roast Lamb
Side Dishes: Lager Glazed Carrots and New Peas
Bread: Blue Ribbon Soda Bread
Dessert: Simnel Cake and/or Easter Egg Nests

Crusty Roast Lamb
Serves 4 to 6
adapted from the Irish Heritage newsletter

1 shoulder of lamb - about 4 lbs
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Pinch mixed herbs
2 tablespoons butter - softened
1-1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1 large cooking apple - peeled, cored and sliced.
110-oz can/tin of chicken stock

1. Wipe the lamb over, and cut criss-cross slits around the top
2. Mix together the breadcrumbs, herbs, butter, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture onto the top of the meat, pressing down well so that it sticks
3. Fill the bottom of the roasting pan with the vegetables and apple, mixing them and the seasoning well
4. Put the joint on top, then pour the stock into the pan, but not over the meat
5. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 400 F for half an hour. Then lower the heat to 350F, and cook for a further 20-25 minutes per pound.
6. Take off the foil for the final half hour; check to see if the vegetables are nearly cooked
7. Finish the cooking without the foil, to let the top get brown and crusty.

Lager Glazed Carrots
Taken from the BBC Northern Ireland website
Serves 6

1-1/2lbs sweet tender young carrots, trimmed and scrubbed
10-oz light lager
1-oz butter
1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Put the carrots and lager into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes until just tender, then add the butter and sugar. Boil vigorously uncovered until the carrots are cooked and the liquid is reduced to a shiny glaze.

New Peas
We make it very easy on ourselves by serving the best quality frozen baby peas in butter. The brand we use is Green Giant LeSeur Peas.

Simnel Cake
Adapted from The Festive Food of Ireland by Darina Allen
This traditional Easter Cake was introduced to Ireland centuries ago by English settlers. It features a layer of almond paste baked into the center and a thick layer of almond icing on top. It's also decorated with eleven small marzipan balls representing eleven of the twelve apostles. Judas is missing because he betrayed Jesus.

2 generous cups sultanas
1-1/2 generous cups currants
1-1/2 cups raisins
1/2 cup glacé cherries, washed and chopped
Scant 1/2 cup ground almonds
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 orange
Generous 1/4 cup Irish whiskey
2 sticks butter
1-1/2 cups light soft brown sugar
6 eggs, beaten
2-1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon mix spice
1 large or 2 small cooking apples - grated
Almond Paste
4 cups ground almonds
2 cups caster/superfine sugar
2 small eggs
1/4 cup Irish whiskey
Drop of almond essence

1. Line the base and sides of a 9-inch round or 8-inch square pan with brown paper and grease-proof paper
2. Mix the dried fruit, nuts, ground almonds, lemon zest and orange zest. Add the whiskey and leave for 1 hour to soak in
3. In the meantime, make the almond paste. Sieve the sugar and mix with the ground almonds. Beat the eggs, add the whiskey, and 1 drop of almond essence, then add to the other ingredients and mix to a stiff paste.
4. Sprinkle your work surface with confectioner's sugar, turn out the almond paste and work lightly until smooth. Set aside
5. To make the cake, cream the butter until very soft, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy
6. Add the eggs bit by bit, beating well between each addition so that the mixture doesn't curdle
7. Mix the spice with the flour and fold in gently
8. Combine the grated apple and fruit and then stir gently but thoroughly into the cake mixture (don't beat again as you will toughen the cake)
9. Put half the cake mixture into the prepared pan
10. Roll out half the almond paste into an 8-1/2 inch round. Place this on top of the cake mixture in the pan. Then cover this with the remaining cake mixture. Make a slight hollow in the center and dip your hand in water; pat over the surface of the cake to ensure the top is smooth when cooked.
11. Bake at 325F for one hour, the reduce the heat to 300 and bake for another two hours, or until the cake is cooked. (A skewer inserted in the middle should come out perfectly clean). Leave cake to cool in the pan
12. When cake is thoroughly cooled, remove from pan.
13. Roll two thirds of the remaining almond paste into a 9-inch round. Brush the cake with a little lightly beaten egg white and top with the almond paste.
14. Roll the last of the almond paste into eleven balls about the size of a walnut. Score the top of the cake in 1-1/2 inch squares and brush with beaten egg or yolk. Stick the balls around the outer edge of the top and brush with beaten egg. Cover the sides of the cake with a strip of foil and then place under the grill in a pre-heated 425F oven for 15 to 20 minutes until slightly golden.

Easter Egg Nests
Also Adapted from The Festive Food of Ireland by Darina Allen.

These will make a nice addition to each place setting at your Easter table.

2 cups self-rising flour
1/2 stick butter
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup caster/superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg, beaten
1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt to glaze.

Lemon Icing
1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Mini chocolate eggs
Marshmallow Easter chicks

1. Sieve the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter. Make a well in the center
2. Put the milk into a small saucepan with the sugar, add the vanilla essence and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the egg and pour into the well in the center of the flour, mix into a stiff dough and knead lightly until smooth
3. Roll out about three-quarters of the dough to 1/4-inch thick and stamp out nine rounds with a 3-inch cutter. Transfer to a baking sheet
4. take two walnut-sized pieces of dough and roll into thin rolls measuring about 5-1/2 inches in length. Twist the two rolls together. Egg-wash the outside edge of one of the bases and gently press the rope of dough down onto the base, sealing the ends. Egg-wash. Repeat with the reaming dough and bases
5. Bake in a pre-heated 350F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until pale golden
6. In the meantime, make the icing. Mix the lemon rind and lemon juice with the sieved icing sugar in bowl
7. When the biscuits are cooked, cool lightly and brush with the lemon icing; fill with mini chocolate eggs and marshmallow chicks.

For an alternative Easter Menu, please click Easter Menu.

Images: One of many Antique Easter Greeting Card Prints from Barewalls Photos and Prints
Simnel Cake from The Festive Food of Ireland by Darina Allen

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Thu, Jul 9, 2015

"...the freshest of food and
the oldest of drink"
- Irish Proverb

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Bewleys Tea Pot

Bewley's Shamrock Sugar and Creamer

Bewleys Shamrock Mug Set

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Bewley's Biscuits

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The New Irish Table
by Margaret Johnson

Margaret Johnson’s love of Ireland permeates page after glorious page of mouthwatering Irish dishes, from Smoked Salmon Chowder to Raspberry Buttermilk Tarts. Lavish color photographs of the food, the landscapes, and the people are woven through the text, making The New Irish Table the next best thing to sitting down to dinner in Ireland itself.
Click here for New Irish Table.


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