St Patrick's Day falls on Sunday, March 17th this year providing us with the opportunity to take a little extra time preparing a traditional Irish meal along with a delicious dessert. Cloverfields Farm & Kitchen's Janine Washle shows the staples of Irish cuisine like potatoes, oatmeal and stout such as Guinness. Ireland was a poor country and the traditional recipes reflect the frugality of the nation.
Pork and lamb were the most common meats as the animals were small and ate less while beef was reserved for the wealthy. Potatoes were introduced to Ireland in the 17th century when it was introduced from the New World. It was a hearty crop that was easy to grow in the rugged Irish landscape. Many Irish say the potato saved Ireland and almost killed Ireland when the potato blight destroyed the crop in the 1800's plunging the nation into a famine known as the Great Famine. While Ireland is no longer dependent on the potato, this tuber is at the center of every celebration.
Oats are easily grown in the Irish soil as they can be harvested much earlier than wheat. An Irish breakfast known as a "fry" would not be complete without either black pudding, made with pig's blood, or white pudding made with oats and no blood. Pudding is a term for savory foods such as sausages that are dense, finely texture, and served hot. The pudding is sliced, fried and served with pork sausage, rashers (bacon), eggs, tomatoes, and potato bread which is what we know as a potato pancake.
Stout breweries abound and Guinness is one of the most popular in the country. It is a rather contemporary notion to cook with Guinness, but it is very popular in dishes such as Guinness Stew. Whiskey is typically not cooked with, as some would say, 'an Irishman prefers to drink his whiskey than eat it!'
St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland and St. Patrick's Day is observed on March 17th, the day of his death. It is a religious holiday observed by solemnity and a holy day of obligation, as well as, a non-liturgical day marked by celebrating the shamrock, rainbows, and leprechauns, popular symbols of Ireland. However you celebrate St. Patrick's Day, include some delicious recipes featuring budget-friendly potatoes, oatmeal, and the stout of your choice.
Rainbow-Pot of Gold Cupcakes
Makes: 24 regular cupcakes or 12 large cupcakes
1-1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
¾ tsp salt
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
2-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 cups whole milk or buttermilk
**Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe follows
Rollo candies or gold foil coins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put cupcake liners in 2 12 cup cupcake pans. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour in thirds alternating with the milk. Scrape the bowl a couple times during the process.
Fill cupcake liners ¾ full with batter. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
Before frosting, if using Rollo candies, use an apple corer to make a hole in the center of the cupcake. Insert 1 or 2 Rollo candies. Use a bit of the removed cake to plug the hole then frost with cream cheese frosting. Pour rainbow sprinkles in a shallow bowl and roll frosted tops in sprinkles to completely cover.
If using gold foil coins, simply use a knife to cut a slit in the center of the cupcake. Insert coin then frost and roll in sprinkles.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
6 TB unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups confectioner's sugar
2-4 TB milk
Combine the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Beat until light and fluffy. Add confectioner's sugar gradually the beat well for about 1 minutes. Add a tablespoon of milk at a time if frosting seems too thick.
TIP: This recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour.
Makes: approximately 12 baked donuts or 36 mini cupcakes
3 cups all purpose flour
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp sea salt
1-1/4 cups milk
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp green gel paste food coloring
3 TB unsalted butter, melted
½ cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
¼ tsp-1/2 tsp green gel paste food coloring
Rainbow sprinkles, optional
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a donut pan with non stick spray or line a mini cupcake pan with mini liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk eggs, vanilla, and gel paste until combined. Stir in melted butter. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients stirring just until combined.
Use about 2 generous tablespoons of batter to fill each donut depression. Bake 12 minutes or until donuts are set and pulling away from sides of pan. Remove and turn out on a wire rack. Cool before glazing.
In a medium bowl, stir together milk and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in confectioner's sugar.
Add gel paste to achieve desired color. Add more milk if glaze seems too thick.
To glaze donuts: Dip tops of donuts half way into glaze set glaze side up on cooling rack. Continue until all donuts are glazed. Discard any leftover glaze. Apply sprinkles while glaze is wet.
TIP: There are natural ways to achieve green coloring. Instead of gel paste, juice spinach and add ¼ to ½ cup fresh spinach juice to batter.
Decrease milk accordingly ie using ¼ cup spinach juice then decrease milk by ¼ cup. Another way is to use spirulina powder. Found in health food sections, the powder turns a brilliant green with a slight blue hue; perfect Kentucky bluegrass color. Because of the sugar in the batter, the natural alternatives are undetectable. Same process for the glaze if the gel paste is a problem for you.
Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen also has a special Saint Patrick's Day Recipe Booklet available by email. To ask for a complimentary copy, just email Janine Washle at firstname.lastname@example.org
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CloverFields Farm & Kitchen
3720 Mt. Olive Rd.
Hardin Springs Area
Big Clifty, KY 42712
Janine Washle and her family live at the Cloverfields Farm and Kitchen in Big Clifty, Kentucky in Hardin County. CloverFields Farm & Kitchen, part of a century old farmstead, is our home and business. The McGuffin house, the original farmhouse, is a registered state landmark. CloverFields Farm has a prosperous farming history. They are continuing this rural story in their own unique way by the addition of CloverFields Kitchen a place to explore the past through food and merge it with our modern lifestyles.
CloverFields Farm is dedicated to the preservation of southern, especially Kentucky, food traditions. The kitchen is commercially-outfitted compliant with Health Department standards. In this kitchen I develop new recipes based on original ideas, inspirations from my culinary research, and most often according to what is in season.
On the farm, they make many gifts and specialty items. She is currently working on her first cookbook, but she also has a long resume developing recipes for several companies. She has also won several contests and cook-offs with her original recipes.