St. Patrick's Day was a big deal for us this year. Blockette and Mrblocko are Irish and I wanted to make a special Dinner to start off an exciting night. For our main course I made Bubble and Squeek with sliced Bangers. (Translation for those of us on this side of the pond: Potatoes and Cabbage with sliced Sausages.) I found the following recipe from the book "Not Your Mother's Casseroles" by Faith Durand, which they had at my local library.
Bubble and Squeek
1 Sm cabbage,cored and shredded (mine was just under 2 lbs, the smallest one in the store)
1 T butter
1 large/2 small onions, sliced in thin half moons
3 Russet potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed to equal 2-3 cups)
1 t salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9x13" pan. Bring 1" water to a boil in a deep pot. Add cabbage and cover. Cook for 7 min until tender. Drain. Set aside to cool. (At this point I took some Sun Dried Tomato Sausages, and sliced them into fairly thin coins, and browned them on each side in a large skillet to caramelize them. This part was not in the original recipe. ) In the same skillet as the sausage I melted the butter and cooked the onions until golden brown. Then, in a large bowl combine the potatoes, cabbage, salt, pepper, onions and sausage. Dump the whole mixture into the 9x13 pan and press down so you have a nice even surface. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper if desired. Bake for 35 minutes until brown. (This can be reheated at 400F for 20 min.)
We also had Irish Soda bread on the side. I'd never had or made soda bread before. I love how rustic and Craggy it looks. This bread tasted best while it was still warm. (Although, I didn't have any trouble getting anyone to eat the leftovers) For some reason it tasted like a cross between corn bread and a buttermilk biscuit. As it cooled, it tasted more like a buttermilk biscuit and less like corn bread. I have no idea why it tasted like cornbread. There was no cornmeal in it at all.
Blockette liked this bread so much that she asked to have another slice for dessert instead of Chocolate Chocolate Mint cookies. As I stared at her in amazement over this request she stated, "Mommy, I DO love your cookies. They are really yummy, but I just Love LOVE this bread!" Um...Ohhhh Kaaay. Girl loves her carbs more than chocolate. The thing is, I also had another slice of bread instead of cookies for dessert, but that was because I had already eaten quite a few cookies earlier in the day while Blockette was at school.
So the first part of our St. Patrick's day night was a big hit...Stay tuned for what happened later that night!!!!
Irish Soda Bread from Allrecipes
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, about 30 to 50 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.