BAKING SODA

 LASDI©

LASDI©

Oh my GOODNESS!  And I do mean GOODNESS.  I made my annual Irish meal for the St. Patrick's holiday.  This year it fell on a Saturday so I decided to make it a Sunday Supper the following day, since that is our reward day and carbs are allowed!  So I went SOOOOO cabacious!!  The meal started with appetizers.  Sweet LAWD!  Home made pretzels, beer cheese dip, cream cheese dip, and creamy mustard dip.  OUTRAGEOUS!  Next we had a shamrock salad - with REAL SHAMROCKS!  It also had almonds, crunchy celery, Swiss cheese, and was tossed in a home made white wine vinegar-vinaigrette.  Main was pulled home made corned beef, cabbage and red potatoes, side of from-skrizzatch Irish soda bread (soft, wonderful, and AMAZING slathered with Irish butter!), and for dessert - grasshopper pie, minus the grasshoppers!  

Though I outdid myself - if I do say so myself, and I DO - my kitchen looked like a tornado had blown through it the next morning.  But ask me if it was worth the clean up.  GO on, ASK ME!  Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaasss!

Below, I have the recipe for the Irish soda bread.  So easy you will want to make it way more often than just for March!  Slainte! ('to your good health")

IRISH SODA BREAD

4 cups flour

4 tbs  sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbs baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, super-softened

1 cup buttermilk (I make my own!  See notes below!)

1 egg

FOR BASTING:

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and butter. Stir in the one cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round of sorts and place on prepared baking sheet (see notes). In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush the top of your round loaf with a little of the buttermilk / butter mixture. Use a very sharp knife to cut an "x"; into the top of the loaf round.  Bake about 45 minutes, or until golden brown, brushing the loaf with the buttermilk / butter mixture every fifteen minutes or so until it's gone.

NOTES:  To make my own buttermilk, I pour two tablespoons of white vinegar into a measuring cup and pour milk over it until it reaches remaining one cup.  Need more?  for each cup of milk you add two more tablespoons of vinegar.  Let sit at least 20 minutes.  It's so easy and you don't have to buy buttermilk and then wonder what to do with what's left over!

Potatoes, Patatas

 LASDI©  (Photos by Adrian Garcia)

LASDI© (Photos by Adrian Garcia)

Another tapas night with friends.  I ALWAYS look forward to those nights because we put our heads and cooking prowess together and come up with a tornado of tapas!  While The Hubster and I waited for our sweet neighbors to arrive, we went ahead and snapped some pics of what we put out for our half, and ohhhhhhh, BOY!  This stuff was BEYOND BUENO!

I made mushroom-, pine nut-, and cheddar cheese-stuffed puff pastries, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, mini-Reuben sammies (it IS March, after all!), a quite-lovely cheese board with the sharpest cheddar and GORGEOUS artichoke hearts (stems included!).  All those hyphened menu items!  But to be as authentic as possible, I made a legit tapas called patatas bravas.  I, of course put my own spin on it and they were delcioso!

Go on and spend a night with community and each of you bring a prize!  Call it tapas night or call it whatever you want - just bring THESE to the table with you!

PATATAS BRAVAS

4 - 5 butter gold potatoes, scrubbed, dried, and sliced lengthwise into 8 wedges

1 1/2 cups canola oil

sea salt

pepper

1/4 cup prepared horseradish

1/4 cup sour cream

paprika

1 can ro-tel for dipping

4 green onions or scallions, sliced thin

Heat canola oil in heavy skillet (I use my cast-iron, of course) on medium-high heat for two minutes.  Place potato wedges from one potato carefully into oil.  Let cook for five minutes.  You will be tempted to turn them over before then.  Don't.  After five minutes, flip them and let them cook another five minutes.  You will be tempted to pull them out before the five minutes is up.  Don't.  Carefully take them out one at a time and lay them on a cooling rack with paper towel underneath (see notes).  Sprinkle them liberally with sea salt and pepper.  Repeat cooking with the next potato and directly before removing them from the oil, lay the first batch on whatever tray or plate you would like to use for your display. While the next batch of potatoes are cooking, mix the horseradish and sour cream and drizzle (prettily!) over the potatoes on the platter.  Sprinkle with paprika and then a bit of green onion.  Repeat with each layer of potatoes, crisscrossing each layer over one another for an authentic look. 

Notes: Any heavy skillet will do as long as it is deep enough to fit the oil.  For crispy potatoes, use the cooling rack.  If you don't have one or want softer potato wedges, simply dry them on paper towels laid on a plate or platter.  I use a condiment squeeze bottle for the horseradish sour cream drizzle.  I put the ro-tel in a cute bowl next to the potatoes for people to pile on top of their bravas if they like.  Hora de comer!!

 

AHOY, MATEY!

  SHE2016©

SHE2016©

I wanted to dedicate this particular Sunday Supper to my March Madness and all things Irish-and-green month.  I cannot begin to tell you how happy The Hubster was that we brought a little gastro-pub into the house!  I made Guinness-battered fish and chips with a side of slaw and Guinness beer bread with honey butter, a Pot O'Gold cocktails, and Guinness sticky pudding cake.  (Starting to see a theme here?)  

Let me just tell you how easy the fish-part of the fish and chips was:  EEEEEEE-Z!  I have included the recipe for you below.  Take a few minutes to cook this up - it is worth it times a thousand!!

GUINNESS BEER-BATTERED FISH

4 cups high-heat oil for frying, like canola

6 - 8 white fish filets (I use cod)

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs white pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tbs garlic powder

2 tbs paprika

1 egg, beaten

12 oz Guinness

Heat oil in a heavy pot or deep fryer (I use my cast-iron Dutch oven, of course!) to 370-375 degrees. Rinse your fish, and pat dry with a paper towel.  Season both sides with sea salt and pepper.  Combine flour, and other seasonings.  Stir egg into dry ingredients, and then gradually mix in beer until a thin batter is formed. You should be able to see the fish through the batter after it has been dipped.  Dip fish fillets into the batter, then drop one at a time into hot oil. Fry until brown on the bottom side, then flip once until brown on the opposite side.  Drain on a cooling rack with paper towel underneath.  Serve with seasoned potato wedges and cole-slaw for an authentic gastro pub feel.

NOTES:   I use organic canola oil, but any high-heat oil will do.  It helps to sprinkle a little sea salt on the filets once they come out of the oil.  A little malt vinegar on top doesn't hurt, either.  Oh, my Guinness!!  (See what I did just there?)

 

Green Eggs & Span (ish Chorizo)

  SHE2016©

SHE2016©

There are up sides and down sides to my obsessive compulsivity.  I know a lot of people can't imagine what the up sides could be, but I can tell you that for Life As She Does It, they scream volumes about the Bohemian Glitter Girl I am, and help me reach The Masses (that's YOU!), all while being a cathartic-and-helpful outlet.  The particular obsessive complusive part of me I'm referring to (Yes.  There are several) is the monthly themes.  I've been doing it for as long as I can remember.  It stretches from clothing to food, too.  So for example: March = Green or Irish.  Yes, I'm Italian, but the OCD transcends that fact.  I wear green every day in March.  Please don't ask me to explain in one post, just trust that there is a method to my madness.  As far as food in March, I either cook green food items, or Irish food.  This last Saturday morning, I created a Spanish take on green eggs and ham by making scrambled eggs loaded with cilantro with some Spanish chorizo and avocado on the side.  The Spanish chorizo was quite salty, so I drizzled some of the leftover mustard sauce  I made for the corned beef a couple of nights before, and it was absolutely luscious.  Stay tuned for the monthly themes to come; in the meantime, eat green to your heart's content and know Spring is right around the corner!

CILANTRO SCRAMBLED EGGS

4 eggs

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tbs cumin

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp pepper

1` cup packed cilantro, chopped coarsely

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

2 tbs butter

In a medium-sized bowl, scramble the eggs using a small whisk or fork for a solid minute.  

Lucky Charm

  SHE2016©

SHE2016©

I know what my own little pot of gold holds at the end of the rainbow, and it looks a little like a stuffed bell pepper!  The lucky part of this is how healthy, low-carb, and all-around delicious this meal was!   I actually took the ingredients over to family's house to cook, if that tells you just how easy the prep was.  First day of March needed homage, so I filled the pepper with all-goodness and then cut a little shamrock into the side for the perfect touch!  Slåinte!

LUCKY CHARM STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

4 bell peppers (green, of course!)

extra virgin olive oil (evoo)

1 pkg ground turkey

sea salt

pepper

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and slightly mashed

1 small onion, diced finely

1 small eggplant, diced finely

1 small yellow squash, diced finely

1 small zucchini, diced finely

2 tbs Italian seasoning

1 tbs garlic powder

1 tbs paprika

1 tbs sea salt

1 tsp pepper

1 8-oz container ricotta cheese

Shredded Parmesan cheese

Prepare bell peppers by slicing off the tops as close to the stem as possible and cleaning out the seeds and membrane.  Place on a prepared baking sheet and set aside, and preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle a little evoo into a pan over medium heat.  Place ground turkey into pan and sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper, and brown until just cooked through.  Set aside in a medium-sized bowl.  In the same pan over medium heat, sprinkle a little evoo and add mashed garbanzo beans (or just mash them in the pan!) all vegetables and seasonings and let cook for about two minutes.  While veggies are cooking, add ricotta cheese to ground turkey and stir until just blended.  Remove vegetables from heat and add to meat-and-cheese mixture.  Stuff the mixture into the bell peppers, sprinkle a little grated Parmesan cheese on top and let cook for about 20 minutes or until peppers are to desired consistency.  Once peppers come out of the oven, let rest for about 5 minutes and with a paring knife, carefully cut your shamrock out of the side.  Pop said shamrock into your mouth for luck!