Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

I am not Irish, but I do love a good irish soda bread. I got this recipe off of http://www.foodnetwork.com/ using the Barefoot Contessa's recipe, however I did change just a few of the ingredients.
I made this to go with our corn beef and cabbage for St. Patty's Day dinner..and I do have to say...it was the best part of the meal!  Can't wait to have it toasted in the morning!

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (I used dried)
1 cup raisins
1/2 tsp - 1 tsp caraway seeds

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.
With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and lemon zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. Combine the raisins and caraway seeds with the dough. It will be very wet.
Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.

**if you do not have buttermilk, you can substitute using 1 cup of milk and 1 TBSP lemon juice or white vinegar.



Monday, March 15, 2010

Philly Cheesesteak Casserole

Want to try something different? Philly cheesesteak casserole. I have made this a couple times, and have had a few friends try the recipe out as well. It seems to be  winner...and very versatile! You can easily substitute what you have in your pantry and add even more ingredients if you' d like



1 (16 ounce) package spiral pasta or whatever kind you like
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, or thinly sliced steak
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 1/4 (10.75 ounce) cans milk
1 (16 ounce) can mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil Add pasta, and
cook until al dente, about 8 minutes; drain, and set aside in a large bowl. Heat vegetable oil in
a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions until they begin to soften. Add ground beef, and cook, stirring,
until evenly browned. Drain off grease, and pour into the bowl with the pasta. Stir in the condensed
soup, milk, mushrooms, and thyme until well blended. Mix in 3 cups of the cheese, and season with salt
and pepper. Pour the mixture into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together the bread
crumbs and melted butter. Mix in remaining cheese. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the
baking dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until topping is crispy and golden.