On this day, I remember our wonderful trip to Ireland last June
and anticipate an equally great visit in 2012.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all, Irish or not!
And to celebrate, here are a few real Irish recipes
Buttermilk Scones Fresh scones require a quick, light hand when mixing and a hot oven.
8oz self-raising soda bread flour
1 egg, beaten
140/ 5fl oz buttermilk
egg or milk to glaze (optional)
Preheat oven to 450°F. Sift flour with salt and rub in butter or margarine. Make a well in the centre and pour in the egg and most of the buttermilk. Mix quickly to form a soft dough, adding a little extra buttermilk if necessary. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out lightly until 1 inch thick. Working quickly, cut into 2 inch rounds. Glaze with egg or milk and set on a floured baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until light brown.
Pea and Ham Soup This soup is made with dried peas soaked overnight. It is slightly less trouble to make the soup with split peas – which have no skins – either green or yellow. Although there is no difference in the taste, the latter give the soup a pleasant golden colour.
2 cups dried peas or split peas
1/2 cup diced pieces of cooked ham or a ham bone
1 large onion and a little fat (optional)
36 cups ham stock or water
Soak the peas as directed on the packet. Chop the onion, if used, and soften in a little fat over a low heat. Add the peas and water or stock and the ham bone if used.
Cook gently until the peas are soft – about an hour. Remove the bone and strip off any meat. This should be cut into small dice and reserved. Puree the peas in a blender or pass through a sieve. Adjust the seasoning. Add the diced ham and serve with a swirl of cream or a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top.
Feeds eight to 10 people and makes a fine party dish.
1 fresh salmon (about 5 lb)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup dry cider
1 cup double cream
Clean and descale the salmon, cut off the head and tail and trim the fins. Stuff the parsley into the gullet. Butter some aluminium foil and form a loose envelope round the fish, sealing both ends but leaving the top open for the moment. Dot the rest of the butter over the salmon, season and pour over the cider and the cream Now seal the foil along the top, leaving only a small vent. Bake in the oven for l l/4 hours at 350°F. When ready, take from the oven, remove the skin and reduce the sauce by boiling, stirring all the time. Serve with boiled new potatoes and fresh garden peas.