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EASTER: Speckled Egg Malted Milk Cake

Easter is early this year: just 10 days after St. Patrick’s Day, on March 27th. This year we’re passing on our beloved coconut-covered lamb cake in favor of this elegant caker. Who knows: Next year, maybe we’ll make one of each.

 
RECIPE: SPECKLED EGG MALTED MILK CAKE FOR EASTER

Wow guests with this impressive cake inspired by malted milk candy eggs. It was developed by Heather Baird for Betty Crocker.

Prep time is 40 minutes, baking, frosting and assembly time is 2 hours. You’ll also need a new, stiff-bristle paint brush to “fling” the chocolate speckles. (It’s fun!)
 
Ingredients For 10 Servings

For The Cake

  • 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  •  
    For The Frosting

  • 1-1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash salt
  • Liquid blue food color
  •  
    For The Speckling Chocolate

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  •  
    For The Phyllo Nest

  • 1/3 cup kataifi* (kah-TAY-fie, shredded phyllo dough)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 speckled candy-coated malted milk egg candies
  •  

    speckled-egg-malted-milk-cake-2-230

    Athens Foods Kataifi

    Top: An Easter cake delight by Heather Baird for Betty Crocker (photo courtesy Betty Crocker). Bottom: Make the nest with kataifi, shredded phyllo dough (photo courtesy Athens Foods).

     
    ________________________
    *Shredded phyllo (fillo) dough, kataifi, looks like shredded wheat. In addition to Greek pastries, it is often used to make edible bird nests. Look for it in a Greek or Mediterranean market or wherever Athens Foods products are sold; or buy it online.

     
    Preparation

    1. HEAT the oven to 350°F. Spray 3 (8-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray; set aside.

    2. WHISK together in large bowl the cake mix and malted milk powder. Add the remaining cake ingredients; beat with electric mixer on low speed until well combined. Divide the batter evenly among the cake pans.

    3. BAKE for 22 to 28 minutes or until the layers spring back when touched lightly in the center. Cool the cakes in the pans on cooling racks for 5 minutes. Turn the layers out onto cooling racks and cool completely, about 30 minutes. Level the cakes using a large serrated knife or cake leveler, as needed.

    4. MAKE the frosting: In a large bowl, beat the softened butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on low speed until incorporated. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt and beat 1 minute longer. Add the blue food color, 1 drop at a time, beating until a light blue color is achieved.

    5. FILL and and frost the cooled layers. Refrigerate the frosted cake 1 hour or until the frosting is dry to the touch.

    6. MIX the baking cocoa and vanilla in small condiment bowl. Load a new (unused) stiff-bristle paint brush with the cocoa mixture. Using your fingers, flick the loaded brush bristles toward cake, creating a splatter pattern. Re-load the brush and cover the entire cake with chocolate speckles. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes.

    7. MAKE the phyllo nest: Heat the oven to 375°F. Butter 1 muffin cup in regular-size muffin pan. Tear off 1/3 cup portion of kataifi and place it in the muffin cup in a circular nest shape. Gently brush the phyllo nest with melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes or until the phyllo is golden brown around the edges. Gently remove the nest with a fork; cool on a cooling rack.

    8. ATTACH the cooled nest to the cake with a dot of frosting. Place the 3 speckled egg candies inside nest. To serve, bring the cake to room temperature. Store the cake loosely covered with plastic wrap.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Horseradish Sauce

    Pork With Horseradish Sauce

    Salmon & Horseradish Sauce

    Steak & Horseradish Sauce

    Fresh Horseradish Roots

    Horseradish Root

    Horseradish sauce on: (1) roast pork sandwich (from National Pork Board), (2) poached salmon with dill-horseradish sauce (Sysco), (3) steak salad (Good Eggs); (4) horseradish root, freshly dug (North Fork Horseradish Festival) and (5) horseradish root as it often looks in the market (Markon.com).

     

    In the U.K., horseradish sauce has long been paired with roast beef. But its zinginess enhances other beef preparations from filet mignon to steak, brisket and corned beef; other meat dishes (pork, lamb, smoked chicken) including sandwiches; assertive seafood like mackerel, salmon and smoked fish; even veggies.

    To make horseradish sauce, you can use a base of sour cream or heavy cream, or substitute fat-free Greek yogurt. Made with fat-free yogurt, it’s a low-calorie sauce.

    You can add other flavor accents, from capers to herbs to Dijon mustard to lemon zest, all with negligible caloric impact.

    The sauce can be made in advance and stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

     
    RECIPE #1: HORSERADISH SAUCE WITH HERBED WHIPPED CREAM

    Ingredients

  • 1 horseradish root, peeled
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • White wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Herb: chervil, dill, parsley or chervil (or capers or lemon zest)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. GRATE the horseradish root finely with a microplane into a small bowl. Mix it with a splash of white wine vinegar to prevent browning.

    2. WHIP the cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold into the whipped cream with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix in the herb as desired.

    3. PLACE in the fridge for 2-4 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Before serving, taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

     
    RECIPE #2: HORSERADISH SAUCE WITH DIJON SOUR CREAM

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup grated fresh horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon or grainy mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •  
    Preparation

    1. GRATE the horseradish root finely with a microplane into a small bowl. Mix it with a splash of white wine vinegar to prevent browning.

    2. PLACE all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth and creamy.

    3. PLACE in the fridge for 2-4 hours to allow the flavors to meld. Before serving, taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.
     
    WHAT IS HORSERADISH?

    Believed to be native to southeastern Europe and western Asia, horseradish has been cultivated for some 3,000 years, prized for its culinary uses as well as for homeopathy.

    A pungent root, horseradish is a perennial plant in the Brassicaceae family* of cruciferous vegetables, known for their antioxidant, cancer-fighting properties. It is a root vegetable that is used as a spice.

     
    Like mustard, the raw plant is not pungent. The heat and aroma only appear when the appropriate part of the plant is crushed (mustard seeds), cut or grated (horseradish root), creating a chemical reaction. Once exposed to air or heat, the pungency begins to erode. Prepared horseradish is grated root that adds vinegar to preserve the pungency (and needs to be refrigerated).
     
    Why is it a “horse” radish?

    In German, the root is called meerrettich, sea radish, because it grows by the sea. It is believed that the English mispronounced the German word “meer” as “mare,” and began calling it mare radish, which evolved to horseradish. “Radish” comes from the Latin radix, meaning root.

    While horseradish and conventional radishes are both members of the Brassicacae family (“Brassica” in English), they are from different geniuses. The horseradish genus and species is Amoracia rustincana, and the radish is Raphanus sativus.

    During the Renaissance, horseradish consumption spread northward from Central Europe to England and Scandinavia. While it was used medicinally, it wasn’t until 1640 that the British began to eat horseradish, and then only by the rural people who grew it.

    But by the late 1600s, horseradish had become the standard English accompaniment for both beef and oysters. The English, in fact, grew the pungent root at inns and coach stations, to make cordials to revive exhausted travelers.

    Early settlers to the American Colonies brought horseradish to cultivate. It was common in the northeast by 1806.

    In the U.S., commercial cultivation began in the mid 1850s, when immigrants started horseradish farms in the Midwest. After World War II, horseradish was planted commercially in Northern California and other areas in the country. Today, approximately 6 million gallons of prepared horseradish are produced annually in the U.S., with a much smaller amount of fresh root sales.

    While the root gets all the press, horseradish leaves are also edible: raw or cooked, in pestos, salads, sautés and stir fries. They have a sharp, bitter, peppery taste similar to arugula and kale, their Brassica cousins.

    Horseradish.org, which supplied some of this information, has dozens of horseradish-related recipes from the expected (dips and sauces) to the intriguing (cream of horseradish soup with peas and bacon).

    Two of our favorite recipes are horseradish compound butter for steak, and horseradish mashed potatoes.
     
    ________________________________

    *The Brassica family of cruciferous vegetables, called Brassicaceae in the Latin-based taxonomy system, includes bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, horseradish/wasabi, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes and turnips, among others.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Corned Beef & Cabbage Sandwich

    Sliced Corned Beef

    Top: A Corned Beef & Cabbage panini sandwich from Dietz & Watson. Bottom: Sliced corned beef. Photo courtesy Cascal Soda.

     

    You may look forward to Corned Beef & Cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day? How about a Corned Beef & Cabbage Sandwich?

    If it sounds strange, remember that cole slaw is simply sliced cabbage with dressing, and that the Reuben is a grilled or toasted sandwich on rye or pumpernickel with corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian Dressing.

    In this recipe from Dietz & Watson, they cabbage is simply steamed, but nothing’s stopping you from serving the sandwich with a side of slaw. Or a cold beer.

    This photo shows the sandwich made on a panini press, but you can make a conventional sandwich as you prefer.

    This sandwich is a relative of
    In addition to corned beef hash, this is one of our favorite uses for leftover corned beef.

    RECIPE: CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE SANDWICH

    Ingredients Per Sandwich

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup green cabbage, julienned finely
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 slices rye bread or substitute
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon or grainy mustard
  • 6 thin slices corned beef
  • 2 ounces Cheddar Cheese
  • Optional garnish: pickles
  •  
    Preparation  

    1. BRING 1/4 cup of water and 1 tablespoon oil to a boil in a medium pot over high heat. Add the cabbage and reduce the heat to low. Steam the cabbage for 15 minutes but do not overcook; the cabbage should still remain crisp. Drain and pat with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    2. LAY two slices of bread on a flat work surface. Spread 1 teaspoon of mustard on each slice. Pile the corned beef, Cheddar and cabbage on one slice. Add the top slice of bread. Grill on a panini press or serve as is.

     

     
    WHAT IS CORNED BEEF?

    Corning refers to curing or pickling the meat in a seasoned brine. The word refers to the “corns” or grains of rock salt (today, kosher salt) that is mixed with water to make the brine.

    Typically, brisket is used to make corned beef; the dish has many regional variations and seasonings. Smoking a corned beef, and adding extra spices, produces pastrami.

    Corned beef was a staple in middle-European Jewish cuisine. Irish immigrants learned about corned beef on New York’s Lower East Side from their Jewish neighbors, and adopted it as a cheaper alternative to Irish bacon. Bacon and cabbage is a popular Irish dish. (Irish bacon is a lean, smoked pork loin similar to Canadian bacon. Here are the different types of bacon.)

    Cattle in Ireland were not used for meat but for dairy products. Pork, an inexpensive meat in Ireland, was a dinner table staple.

    But in the U.S., pork was much more expensive than the American staple meat, beef; and brisket, which required several hours of cooking to tenderize, was an affordable cut. Irish-Americans substituted corned beef for the bacon, and and Corned Beef & Cabbage was born.

     
      

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    RECIPE: Stuffed Cucumber Hors d’Oeuvre

    You don’t need to train as a sushi chef to make these hors d’oeuvre suggested by Sunset Products, growers of Sunset One Sweet Cucumbers. The mini cucumbers easily turn into a crunchy base.

    They’re green enough—and elegant enough—to serve with St. Patrick’s Day cocktails.

    The first recipe is a twist on the traditional California roll.

    RECIPE #1: CUCUMBER, SHRIMP & WASABI BITES

    Ingredients For 48 Bites

  • 8 seedless cucumbers
  • 2-3 teaspoons wasabi paste
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced pink pickled ginger (sushi style)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cooked shrimp or crab meat, drained well
  • Garnish: minced fresh chives or tobiko
  •    

    Shrimp & Wasabi Cucumber Appetizers

    Cucumber, Shrimp & Wasabi Bites from Sunset Products.

     
    Preparation

    1. CUT the ends off the cucumbers, then cut each cucumber into 1” slices (6 pieces per cucumber). You should end up with about 48 slices. Using a small melon-baller, scoop out the center of each bite to 3/4 of the way down, leaving the bottom intact. Set aside.

    2. MASH together the wasabi, cream cheese, soy sauce and pickled ginger ith a fork in a small bowl, until smooth and combined. Then mix in the shrimp to thoroughly combine.

    3. TRANSFER the cream cheese mixture to a piping bag (substitute a food storage bag) with a plain round tip. Pipe about 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into each cucumber bite. Sprinkle with chives or tobiko before serving.

     

    Curried Goat Cheese Appetizer Recipe

    Curried Goat Cheese Bites from Sunset Products.

     

    RECIPE #2: CURRIED GOAT CHEESE, APRICOT & PISTACHIO BITES

    For the holidays, you can garnish these bites with finely minced dried cranberries for a red-and-green theme.

    Ingredients For 48 Bites

  • 8 mini cucumbers
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 5 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios, lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup finely minced dried apricots
  • Garnish: chopped pistachios and dried cranberries
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CUT the ends off the cucumbers, then cut each cucumber into 1” slices (6 pieces per cucumber). You should end up with about 48 slices. Using a small melon-baller, scoop out the center of each bite to 3/4 of the way down, leaving the bottom intact. Set aside.

    2. MASH together the cream cheese, goat cheese, curry powder and salt with a fork in a small bowl, until smooth and combined. Then mix in the shrimp to thoroughly combine.

    3. TRANSFER the cream cheese mixture to a piping bag (substitute a food storage bag) with a plain round tip. Pipe about 1 teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture into each cucumber bite. Sprinkle with pistachios and dried cranberries before serving.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Turn Any Soup Into St. Patrick’s Day Soup

    There are plenty of green soups to serve on St. Patrick’s Day. For starters, consider avocado; Caldo Verde (kale, potato, sausage); cream of asparagus, broccoli or spinach; cucumber; green pea; herb; and nettle soups.

    There are also classic Irish soups like Irish Bacon & Cabbage, Potato & Leek and Irish Potato Soup.

    But you can also take your family’s favorite soup and add a green topping, starting with diced avocado.

    Add a sprinkle of freshly chopped green herbs: basil, cilantro, dill, parsley.

    Don’t like avocado? Dice the tops of green onions, or use a chiffonade of basil. If you like, you can toss them on top of a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.

    If you’d prefer a cheese garnish, hit a cheese store for Sage Derby, a Cheddar-style cheese from England; or Basiron Pesto, a Gouda turned green with added pesto.

    Now, commence to the eatin’ of the green.
     
    FOOD TRIVIA: WHAT ARE HERBS?

     

    Bean Soup Avocado Garnish

    Instant St. Patrick’s Day food: soup with an avocado and herb garnish. Photo courtesy Quinciple.com.

  • Herbs refer to the leafy green parts of a plant. They can be used fresh or dried.
  • Spices are obtained from other parts of a plant: bark, berries, fruits, roots or seeds. They are usually dried.
  • The word “herb”” is pronounced with the “h” in most English-speaking countries, identical to the man’s name, Herb. In North America, the “h” is dropped, so the word sounds like “erb.”
  • There are culinary herbs and medicinal herbs. Culinary herbs are simply called “herbs,” as distinguished from “medicinal herbs.”
  • The difference between herbs and vegetables in that herbs are used in small amounts to enhance flavor (like spices), rather than used as a substantial ingredient.
  •   

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    ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

    Green Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

    A St. Pat’s special: green mint chocolate chip cookies. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     

    A tip from McCormick: Use green food color to tint minty chocolate chip cookies for your favorite leprechauns. If you don’t like mint, you can substitute vanilla extract.

    Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 10-12 minutes.

    RECIPE: GREEN MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

    Ingredients For 3 Dozen Cookies

  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons green food color
  • 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375°F. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

    2. BEAT the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, food color and peppermint extract; mix well. Gradually beat in the flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips.

    3. DROP by heaping tablespoons, about 2 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets.

    4. BAKE 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookie edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
     
    TIP FOR GROWN-UPS

    Add some Crème De Menthe or Irish Cream Liqueur to that chocolate milk!

     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Frozen Kiwi Cilantro Margarita

    Don’t want Irish beer or w whiskey for St. Patrick’s Day?

    You can still drink green with this frozen Kiwi Cilantro Margarita from QVC chef David Venable.

    David notes: “This is a Margarita recipe unlike anything you’ve ever tried. It gets a beautiful pop of green color from flavorful kiwi and bright cilantro. As you continue to sip, you get all of those memorable Margarita flavors you love.”

    RECIPE: FROZEN KIWI CILANTRO MARGARITA

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 6 kiwis, peeled and quartered, plus 1 extra for garnish
  • 1 cup white cranberry juice
  • 4 cups ice
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, stems removed
  • 3/4 cup tequila
  • 2 tablespoons triple sec or other orange liqueur
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Garnish: Sliced kiwi wheel
  •  

    kiwi-margarita-davidvenableQVC-230

    Chef David Venable puts a green twist on the Margarita. Photo courtesy QVC.

     
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the kiwi and the cranberry juice in a blender. Blend on low speed for 15-20 seconds, making sure not to dissolve the seeds. Strain the mixture through a sieve and discard the seeds.

    2. PLACE the strained mixture back into the blender and add the ice, cilantro, tequila, triple sec and sugar. Blend until smooth. Garnish and serve immediately.

    Find more of David Venable’s recipes at QVC.com.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Authentic Irish Beer Styles

    Forget the green beer on St. Patrick’s Day: It’s going to be the cheapest brew on tap. Who would color craft beer green? If you must do so, go for the palest style, Wheat Beer, a.k.a. Weissbier, Weizenbier and Witbier. It takes the color best.

    Instead of the green stuff, consider two beer styles with authentic Irish roots: Dry Stout and Red Ale. American craft brewers from coast to coast make them. In fact, Irish Red Ale is more popular in the U.S. these days than in Ireland!

    Dig in to the two styles below, and check out the other types of beers in our Beer Glossary.

    IRISH-STYLE DRY STOUT

    Stouts are a higher-alcohol version of porter (7% A.B.V.* or higher), a dark beer made from roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast.

    All Stouts are Porters, but they are the stronger Porters (the “stoutest” ones). You can review their history and brewing techniques at BeerConnoisseur.com.

    There are different Stout styles, including American Sweet Stout; Baltic Porter; Milk Stout/Sweet Stout/English Sweet Stout, made with lactose, milk sugar; and Imperial Stout/Russian Imperial Stout, a style first brewed in the 18th century for export to the court of Catherine the Great.
     
    *A.B.V. stands for Alcohol By Volume, the percent of alcohol in the beverage.

       

    Dry Irish Stout

    Guinness, the world’s most famous Stout. Annual sales are almost $2 billion. Photo courtesy Romano.

     

    But the most common style of Stout is Dry Stout, the Irish-style Stout represented by Guinness Draught, the world’s best selling Stout. In the early 20th century, when Milk Stout/Sweet Stout became the dominant style in England, Ireland maintained a preference for the non-sweet or Dry Stout, also known as Standard Stout. With the world dominance of Guinness, it is now simply referred to as Stout.

    Irish-style Dry Stouts are black in color with notes of coffee-like roasted barley and a roasted malt aroma. The hop bitterness is medium to medium high. The head is tan or tan-tinged.

     
    DRY STOUT FOOD PAIRINGS

  • Irish pub food: Beef Stew, Corned Beef & Cabbage, Fish & Chips, Guinness Beef Stew, Shepherd’s Pie.
  • Lamb kebabs (marinate them in Guinness) or pot roast with Guinness.
  • Burger or bacon burger, chicken or turkey sandwich, corned beef or Reuben sandwich, grilled cheese.
  • Dessert: anything mad with Guinness (Guinness Chocolate Mousse, Guinness Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes, Guinness Float, Guinness & Rum Milkshake, Spice Cake or Carrot Cake.
  •  
    STOUTS TO LOOK FOR

    Dry stouts made by American craft brewers include:

  • Black Cat Stout from Portsmouth Brewing (Portsmouth, NH)
  • Black Sun Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing Co. (Munster, IN)
  • Blarney Sisters’ Dry Irish Stout from Third Street Aleworks (Santa Rosa, CA)
  • Blue Fin Stout from Shipyard Brewing Co. (Portland, ME)
  • Dark Starr Stout from Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, VA)
  • Donnybrook Stout from Victory Brewing Co. (Downingtown, PA)
  • Moylan’s Dragoons Dry Irish Stout from Moylan’s Brewery (Novato, CA)
  • Old No. 38 from North Coast Brewing (Fort Bragg, CA)
  • O.V.L. Stout from Russian River Brewing Co. (Santa Rosa, CA)
  •  
    Taste them next to Guinness Draught and any other imported Irish stouts you come across, such as Murphy’s Irish Stout, O’Hara’s Celtic Stout, Porterhouse Brewing Co. Oyster Stout.

    You may also find Guinness Black Lager, a lager style made with stout’s roasted barley, which provides the dark color and fuller body; and Harp Lager, a conventional style.

     

    Irish Red Ale

    Imported from the Emerald Isle: Smithwicks Red Irish Ale, the first modern Irish Red Ale.

     

    IRISH RED ALE

    Traditional0 Irish Red Ales seems to have originated in 1710 at the Smithwick Brewery in Kilkenny. Today, Red Ales are even more popular in the U.S. than in Ireland.

    The reddish or coppery hue is a result of brewing with a percentage of kilned malts and roasted barley. The style focuses on strong malt flavors with a light hoppiness and slight nuttiness/roastiness from the roasted grains.

    Irish Red Ales are usually well balanced, with an average A.B.V. of 3.5% to 5%, although you can find brews with up to 8% alcohol. You may find hints of caramel and toffee from the malt notes, along with a crisp, dry finish.
     
    IRISH RED ALE FOOD PAIRINGS

  • For snacking, put out some smoked or toasted almonds, and mild or fruity cheeses (like fresh goat cheese or Asiago) with walnuts.
  • For a starter, serve a goat cheese salad or a green salad with toasted nuts (a nut oil vinaigrette is a home run).
  • For a main, consider grilled pork, poultry and Irish pub food: Bangers and Mash, mutton and Shepherd’s Pie.
  • Dessert: The caramel and toffee notes of the ale pair well with crème brûlée or plain cheesecake.
  •  
    AMERICAN CRAFT RED ALES TO LOOK FOR

  • Riverbank Red from Ghost River Brewing (Memphis, TN)
  • Erik the Red from Dragonmead Microbrewery (Warren, MI)
  • Irish Red from Boston Beer Co. (Boston, MA)
  • Irish Setter Red from Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. (Akron, OH)
  • Lucky SOB from Flying Dog Brewery (Frederick, MD)
  • Seamus’ Irish Red Ale from Sly Fox Brewing Co. (Phoenixville, PA)
  • Spring Irish Red Ale from Newport Storm Brewery (Newport, RI)
  • Red Trolley Ale from Karl Strauss Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA)
  • Thomas Creek River Falls Red Ale from Thomas Creek Brewery (Greenville, SC)
  •  
    For Irish imports, look for Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale, Murphy’s Irish Red and Smithwick’s Irish Ale. If you want to add another style, pick up some O’Hara’s Irish Wheat, a golden ale.
     
    Thanks to Heather Galanty and the Brewers Association for this material.

      

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    ST. PATRICK’S DAY: An Oreos Pot Of Gold At The End Of The Rainbow

    Here’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow filled with gold: the edible kind.

    The keepsake plastic pot is filled with 12 milk chocolate-covered OREO cookies. Wrapped in gold foil, some people will find them to be treasure, indeed.

    The chocolate is certified kosher (dairy) by Orthodox Union…for everyone who both celebrates St. Patrick’s Day and keeps kosher.

    Bonus: The Pot Of Gold is on sale for $19.99 (formerly $29.99).

    Get yours from Shari’s Berries.

     

    Gold Foil Oreos

    At the end of the rainbow: gold foil-covered Oreos. Photo courtesy Shari’s Berries.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Leprechaun Pie

    St. Patrick's Day Pie

    Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie

    Top: Use a cookie cutter to make cut-outs or shape marzipan shamrocks on a pie crust (photo courtesy American Pie Council). Bottom: Our favorite: a Grasshopper Ice Cream Pie (photo courtesy Taste Of Home). The recipe is below.

     

    Make a Leprechaun Pie for St. Patrick’s Day.

    What’s a Leprechaun Pie? It’s anything you want it to be, as long as it has a St. Pat’s theme: green color and/or shamrock decorations, Irish cream liqueur for adults.

    Just pick a “base” pie and decorations. Most of these recipes are so easy, you can enlist a willing tween or teen to do the prep work.

    LEPRECHAUN PIE OPTIONS

  • Your favorite two-crust pie with shamrock cut-outs or add-ons on the top crust (top photo).
  • Bailey’s pudding pie with green whipped cream (recipe).
  • Grasshopper pie (mint with chocolate accents, recipe).
  • Key lime pie (recipe—add a touch of green food color to tint the yellow filling green).
  • Mint ice cream pie (bottom photo, recipe below)
  • Pistachio pudding pie (very easy, no-bake recipe).
  •  
    Decorations

    If your pie has no top crust, you can decorate the surface with:

  • Green baking chips
  • Green sprinkles
  • Green-tinted marzipan
  • Green whipped cream
  • Lucky Charms cereal
  • Kiwi slices
  • Lime zest (especially nice atop the whipped cream)
  •  
    RECIPE: ICE CREAM GRASSHOPPER PIE

    You can make this pie (photo above) in 10 minutes plus freezing time, using store-bought mint chocolate chip ice cream and a chocolate cookie crust.

    If you don’t like mint, add 2 tablespoons of Irish cream liqueur to softened vanilla ice cream. You can also tint the vanilla green with food color.

     
    Ingredients

  • 2 pints mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
  • 1 chocolate crumb crust (8 inches—store-bought or made with the recipe below)
  • 5 Oreo cookies, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chocolate-covered peppermint candies (e.g. Junior Mints)
  • Chocolate hard-shell ice cream topping
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SPREAD the ice cream into the pie crust. Sprinkle with the cookies and candies.

    2. DRIZZLE with the ice cream topping and freeze until firm. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving.
     
    RECIPE: CHOCOLATE COOKIE CRUST

    Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon chocolate wafer crumbs, divided (about 32 wafers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the wafer crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl. Pat the mixture onto the bottom and up the side of a buttered 8- or 9-inch pie plate.

    2. BAKE in the middle of a preheated 450°F oven for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

      

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