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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Oatmeal Rye Irish Soda Bread with Herbs

Pulled this recipe from my local paper. Not sure where they got it from since there is no attribution on the recipe. Wherever it came from: kudos! It's delicious and for a great bonus, it's 100% whole grain. I made it for St. Patty's Day to go with the corned beef and cabbage, but this is so good, you want to make it year round. I know I will.

Oatmeal Rye Irish Soda Bread with Fresh Herbs and Walnuts
(serves 12)

Passover is Almost Here

I know the vast majority of you out there are not Jewish and therefore don't care about Passover as a holiday. But, believe me, there is some really good food served on Passover. I'm going to try to get recipes out for a number of my all-time favorite Passover recipes real soon. For now, you'll have to be satisfied with my menu and a link to my Southwestern Matzoh Ball Soup which I posted a couple of Passover's ago.

Passover Dinner 2013
  • Spinach-Matzoh Pie, a recipe from my mother-in-law. It's a Sephardic dish.
  • Southwestern Matzoh Ball Soup, recipe originally from
  • Barry Wine's Stringed Beef Brisket served with a Spicy Roasted Tomato Sauce, from Joan Nathan's The Jewish Holiday Kitchen)
  • Matzah "Salad,"  The Jewish Holiday Kitchen
  • Moroccan Coconut-Sabra Torte, The Jewish Holiday Kitchen served with a spiced blood orange sorbet from The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein
That's what I'm making. Some of my guests are bringing side dishes. I still have to pick out a charoset recipe. I've made a few and I'm still searching for the perfect one.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Fresh Bread

It's hard to beat bread baked at home. After fancy cakes, home baked bread and rolls usually get the most oooh's and ahh's from my guests. People don't bake bread at home anymore (my friend John, the uber-baker and vineyard owner,  and Jenny of La Poeme, excepted) so if you go to the trouble of baking your own bread, your guests really appreciate it.

For years, I had a bread machine and I regularly made bread at home. The motor croaked a couple of years ago and I have gotten out of the habit of making bread at home. I'm trying to fix that. I still take the lazy way out by using my big KitchenAid mixer. If you want to make it by hand, all power to ya!

The loaf pictured above is a recipe from Pie in the Sky by Susan Purdy, a high altitude baking book, which I mentioned in my recent post of cream cheese brownies. Though it has adjustments for higher altitudes, all the way up to 10,000 ft (if you happen to live in Silverton, CO), this is not just for high-altitude bakers because all the recipes are adjusted for sea level and up. So, if you live in NJ, it's still a great book. I heartily recommend it.

Grassy Creak Multi-grain Bread for 5000 ft above sea level
(makes one large boule)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Scotch Broth

Not the prettiest soup, but it does stick to your ribs

I have a whole lamb in my freezer. No, not the whole carcass, but a whole lot of cuts of lamb. It was about 50 lbs. of cut lamb with some cuts that you don't usually find in the supermarket or even your local butcher. Things like lamb breast and neck slices. There isn't a lot of meat on neck slices but they are full of rich flavor. Time to make some soup!

There isn't a lot of meat in this. This is how those thrifty Scots stretched a little bit of meat. As I said, I used neck slices, but a meaty lamb bone from a leg of lamb roast would work great too. Just make sure there is some meat left on it to throw into the soup. It's full of vegetables and it gets its heft from a bit of barley and some yellow split peas. Great for a wet, chilly day. They have a lot of those in Scotland, I'm told.

Scotch Broth
(serves 8-10)