Friday, April 15, 2011

Irish for a day...

or a lifetime in my family. Each year we proudly celebrate St.Patrick's Day, not just because he drove the snakes out of Ireland (why didn't he make a stop in Texas too?) but also because it's who we are. On Mom's side of the family we have some pretty clear Irish lineage, we come from good strong stock, my grandmother's maiden name is Harrington.

It's a little late (only about a month) but I wanted to share a little bit of Irish with you from our family's St.Patrick's Day dinner. This year we opted for something other than the typical corned beef, some salmon alongside Guinness bread and some cheesy potato pancakes, yes a little starch heavy but still good!

Guinness Roasted Salmon
2 Tbsp Molasses
1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Guinness
1 1/2 Tsp Lemon Zest
2 Tsp Thyme
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
4 6oz Salmon Fillets

1. Mix molasses, vinegar, Guinness, lemon zest, thyme and vegetable oil and marinate salmon in it for 1-4 hours.
2. In an oven preheated to 450 F, bake the salmon for 10-12 minutes, baste once.

Cheesy Potato Pancakes
4 Potatoes, Mashed
1/2 Cup Arugula, Finely Chopped
1/4 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
1/4 Tsp Nutmeg
2 Egg Yolks

Herb Mayonnaise (Serve alongside Pancakes)
4 Cloves Garlic, Roasted and Smashed
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp Rosemary, Finely Chopped
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise

1. Mix potatoes, arugula, nutmeg, egg yolk and cheese together and form into pancakes.
2. Heat about 1 inch vegetable oil in a deep cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is sufficiently hot drop potato pancakes into oil, let them brown (2-3 minutes per side) on each side.
3. Serve with herb mayonnaise. To make mayonnaise mix ingredients into 1/2 cup mayonnaise, chill.

Guinness Molasses Bread
3 Cup All Purpose Flour
3 3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Molasses
12 oz Guinness

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a 9x5 loaf pan.
2. Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. Slowly add beer, about 1/2 way through the bottle add molasses and then continue adding the beer.
4. Mix well, do not overwork the dough, mix so that all ingredients have been incorporated.
5. Bake 40-50 minutes until bread is cooked through.

While nothing on the plate is particularly well known as a 'Texas' food, I wanted to share this because it's something about our family, which is deeply rooted in Texas. The Irish have a long history in Texas, one which is well inter-twined with that of my family. During the Texas Independence revolution, 25 Irishmen signed the Goliad Declaration of Independence, 11 died at the Alamo, 14 were with Fannin at Goliad, and about 100 fought at San Jacinto—a seventh of Sam Houston's army.

To incorporate some local flair into our meal we finished it off with some beautiful petit fours from Paige's Bakehouse, a cute little bakery that has recently opened up in Round Rock. More to come on Paige's later but just to tease you here's a picture of the dainty little cakes we enjoyed:

1 comment:

  1. The salmon was beyond perfection! The bread was a true treat which seemed even better the next day:)