St. Paddy’s Day Feast

 Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Anyone who knows me, knows that St. Patrick's Day is my favorite holiday! I am not much of a beer drinker, but am a huge fan of Guinness. I especially love a shot called the Irish Car Bombs, which consisits of Guinness, Bailey's Irish Cream and Jameson Irish Whiskey. We always get together with family and friends to have a St. Patrick's Day feast. If someone were to ask me what I would want my last meal to be, this would be it! Seriously! Maybe it's because I never had corned beef growing up and the first time I had it was five years ago. Our feast usually consists of some staples, like the corned beef, horseradish cream, irish soda bread and honey butter, my infamous Irish car bomb cupcakes and of course lots of Guinness.  Mr. Pea and I have tried to corn our own beef brisket before, but if you ask me it isn't worth the effort! There are two places in Milwaukee that I would recommend  to get corned beef,  If you are going to make it yoursef then go to Ray's Butcher Shoppe on the south side of Milwaukee, if you want to avoid the hassle and have someone else do the cooking then I suggest Benji's Deli. Benji's Deli is the the best Jewish Deli in Milwaukee hands down, and you know how I feel about my Jewish Deli's- love them, best food ever if you ask me. One of the reasons I love them so much is that they make a corned beef sandwhich, called the Gonzo, which is basically a Rueben minus the saurkraut (and I absolutely hate saurkraut). So this year, since St. Patrick's Day landed on a Monday, we decided to pick up some corned beef  and rye bread and make our own Gonzo Paninis (isn't every sandwhich better as a panini???).

Well, cheers everyone and enjoy some of these delicious recipes!

Corned Beef and Cabbage

1098193_792457991254_1673588021_n

Ingredients:
3 Pound(s) corned in brine beef brisket
2 bay leaves
2 Teaspoon(s) black peppercorns
4 whole berries allspice
2 whole cloves
2 Pound(s) (1/2 head cut into 8 pcs) green cabbage
1 1/4 Pound(s) (8 small) halved red potato
6 peeled quartered carrot
1 quartered yellow onion

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Place the corned beef in a colander in the sink and rinse well under cold running water.

Place the corned beef in a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, add water/beer to cover plus one inch, bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice, cloves and onions. Bring to a boil, uncovered, and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Cover and transfer pan to the oven, and braise until very tender, about 3 hours and 45 minutes.

If there is room in the pot, parboil the potatoes and carrots, then add the potatoes, carrots and cabbage to the pot in the last 20 minutes of cooking.

OR

Transfer the corned beef to a cutting board and cover tightly with foil to keep warm. Add the cabbage, carrots and potatoes to the cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a large platter. Slice the corned beef across the grain of the meat into thin slices. Lay the slices over the cabbage and surround it with the potatoes. Ladle some of the hot cooking liquid over the corned beef and season with pepper. Serve immediately with the mustard or horseradish sauce.

Horseradish Sauce:

3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons jarred grated horseradish (with liquid)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, horseradish, zest, and 2 teaspoons salt. Season generously with pepper to taste. Refrigerate the horseradish sauce for at least 30 minutes before serving.

 

Gonzo Paninis

_DSC0400

Ingredients:

 Corned Beef, sliced thick (1/8 lb)

1 Tablespoon Thousand Island dressing

1/4 Cup of Coleslaw

A piece of Swiss Cheese

Rye Bread (Miller's Marble Rye is my favorite)

Place ingredients in between two slices of Rye bread and heat on panini press for 3 minutes.


So I have definitely been in a pie mood lately, I blame Mr. Pea  for getting me the pie plate and cookbook for Christmas. So for dessert this year, instead of the old dstand by Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, I turned those cupcakes into a pie. I made a Guiness Chocolate Silk Pie with Bailey's Irish Cream Whipped Cream- yup I went there, just when you though cupcakes were boozy, they have nothing on this pie.

Guinness Chocolate Silk Pie with Bailey's Whipped Cream

_DSC0382

Crust:

2 Cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Crisco

5 tablespoons ice cold water (may need more,  it shouldn't be dry and it shouldn't be wet- it should hold together nicely)

1/2 cup heavy cream (just to brish onto the surface, you won't need all of it.

Add all ingredients to a bowl, except for the water and use pastry blender or your fingers. Add the ice cold water little by little  you may need a little more, just don't add too much and don't overhandle the dough,  it should come together and then wrap it up in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for 1 hour before rolling it out.

Roll out and place in pie plate, brush with heavy cream and cook in oven at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes it should be a golden brown color.

 

Filling:

3/4 Cup of sugar

3 1/2 tablepoons cornstarch

1/8 tsp. salt

2 1/2 Cups whole milk

4 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate

1 Cup Guinness Stout

In a mediaum saucepan whick together sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in the milk, Guinness and egg yolks until they are combined. Place the mixture over medium-low heat, constantly whisking and scraping the sides of the pan. When the cream begins to bubble and thicken add in 1 tablespoon of the butter at a time, when butter is mixed in add the vanilla. Finally, add the chopped chocolate a little at a time, to give each batch a chance to melt into the filling. Keep the mixture over the heat until the chocolate is smoothly  melted and the cream thickens. Pour into Pie shell and place in fridge, make sure completely cool before adding the whipped cream topping. Also, it is best to leave n the fridge over night to set up before adding the whipped topping.

Bailey's Whipped Cream Topping:

2 Cups Heavy Cream

1/4 Cup confectioner's sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

3-5 tablepoons of Bailey's Irish Cream (depends on how boozy you want it)

Place mixing bowl in freezer for 15 minutes prior to mixing. Add heavy cream and mix in a stand mixer on medium-high until thickens, add the sugar and let it incorporate and thicken more. Then add the vanilla and as much Bailey's Irish Cream as you desire (I think 3-5 Tablespoons is enough).

Enjoy and Happy St. Paddy's Day from Mr. and Mrs. Pea!

1175717_792375232104_1236563699_n

Beef Slow Cooker Chili

Chili is a must this time of year, especially with the frigid cold temperatures we will be having the next few days. I feel like I hear the weatherman say -25 to -60 degrees, but I think to myself "that can't possibly be true, can it?", I guess I am in denial. Let us file this one under "Wisconsin problems".  Anyway, I will do what every other sane Wisconsonite does when it is this bitter cold, hibernate and drink these frigid temperatures away.

This is actually the chili we make for most Packer games, it is kind of festive with the green and gold toppings, too bad the Packers blew it  in the last quarter of the first playoff game (figures), otherwise this would be known as "Packer Victory Chili". We made chili a couple years ago when the Packers won the Superbowl, so ever since it has been kind of the good luck chili, not that I believe in superstitions. Alright, enough about  the weather and sports, and more about this delicious chili recipe.

There are a couple of different chili recipes we make, from a vegetarian version that comes completely from cans to a version made with rehydrated ancho chilies and pinto beans in a dutch oven but  this one is definitely the easiest to make for a crowd- got to love slow cookers!

The recipe is a bit of a hybrid, with all the flavor of slow cooked chunks of tender beef, beans, with a deep complexity and richness, but a bit less fussy. If you have access to Penzey’s spices, use the Arizona Dreaming spice blend over a regular chili powder as it will add more flavor. This chili is not spicy but it has a bit of a kick, so if you like it spicier, I would add more cayenne near the end of cooking or serve with a Mexican hot sauce such as Valentina or Tapatio.

This recipe has a great depth of flavor, almost like a mexican mole which just keeps getting better with every bite you take.  I don't even think you need very many toppings, but like I said I am from Wisconsin, I live in the land of cheese.

Well I hope you enjoy and stay warm!

Beef Slow Cooker Chili

Beef Slow Cooker Chili

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 2.5 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbs Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming or other chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 1 14oz can of crushed tomatoes in juices
  • 1 14oz can of black beans with liquid
  • 1 14oz can red beans, drained
  • 1/2 ounce semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped or chips
  • 1 1/2 tbs masa harina (corn flour, not cornstarch)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seemed, deveined and chopped
  • Salt, pepper and vegetable oil
  • Grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro leaves and broken tortilla chips for toppings

Procedure

  1. Combine the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, oregano, and brown sugar in a small bowl and aside.
  2. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 1 tbs vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and working in batches, brown the beef on all sides, adding more oil if necessary, then transfer it to the insert of a slow cooker, leaving as much oil in the skillet as possible.
  4. Add the onions to the skillet, season with salt and sauté until they soften, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, jalapeño, and spice mixture and cook for 1 minute longer.  Pour in the crushed tomatoes and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the chocolate, masa harina, and a big pinch of salt and cook for 1 minute longer.
  6. Transfer this mixture to the slow cooker along with the drained red beans, black beans and their juices. Stir to combine.
  7. Cook on high for 4-5 hours (depending on the size of the slow cooker), until the meat is very tender.
  8. Serve chili in bowls topped with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro leaves and broken tortilla chips.

Countdown with Cocktails- Day 1: Lemon Cucumber Mint Detox Water

After a long week of eating and drinking, a little detox and rehydration is in order for New years Day. This refreshing drink combines lemons to help cleanse and alkalize the body, cucumber for its rehydration properties and mint for a little natural sweetness and flavor, as well as helping to calm the stomach and aid in digestion.

_DSC0497

Lemon Cucumber Mint Water

  • 4 thin slices cucumber
  • 4 thin slices lemon
  • 2 sprigs of mint

Place cucumber, lemon and mint in a collins or pint glass. Muddle lightly with a muddler or back of a wooden spoon.

Add ice and fill with filtered water, stir to combine.

Countdown with Cocktails- Day 2: French 77

What better way to celebrate New Years Eve than a champagne cocktail?! This cocktail is called the French 77, but the ratio used is very common and can be used to make many different cocktails. The French 77 features the very delicious combination of St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and gin. This combination is very fragrent and full of botanicals. The sweetness of the St. Germain goes perfectly with gin's other classics partners, lemon and carbonation.

If you want to modify this cocktail, try swapping the gin for cognac or the St. Germain for Cointreau (for a sparking White Lady). If you switch out both the gin and St. Germain for cognac and Cointreau, you get a sparkling version of the Sidecar cocktail. You can also do complete makeover and switch out the gin for tequila, the lemon juice for lime juice and the St. Germain for Cointreau to create a sparkling Margarita.

French 77 champagne elderflower

The French 77

  • 2 oz Gin
  • 1/2 oz St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • Dry champagne or other sparkling wine

Shake the gin, St. Germain, cimple syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker with ice.

Strain into a chilled champagne flute and top with the champagne.

Garnish with a lemon twist.

Countdown with Cocktails- Day 3: Chocolate Strawberry Sorbet Cocktail

This next cocktail is the ultimate dessert drink. Mr.s Pea and I were inspired by a cocktail lounge in Portland, Oregon named Fifty Licks, to create a cocktail that you can enjoy sipping and with a spoon. We paired the the traditional flavors of berries and cream with chocolate to create this luscious libation.

_DSC0553

Chocolate Strawberry Sorbet Cocktail

  • 1 oz chocolate liqeuer or Irish cream liqueur
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz cream
  • 1 scoop strawberry or raspberry sorbet

Combine everything but the sorbet in a shaker filled with ice

Shake for 30 seconds so the cream thickens

Put a scoop of the sorbet in a chilled cocktail or margarita glass

Strain cocktail around sorbet in cocktail glass

Garnish with strawberries or rapsberries and mint sprig, serve with a spoon

Countdown with Cocktails- Day 4: Blood Orange Margarita

While the juice of an orange is a little too sweet for a margarita, its cousin, the sour blood orange, a favorite of the Mediterranean, makes a perfect cocktail. In America, blood oranges are just starting to come into season, so now is the perfect time to start looking for them. However, if you like the fruit’s flavor, San Pellegrino makes a sparkling blood orange juice that is available year round at most specialty grocery stores. This drink becomes more like a paloma margarita hybrid, substituting the blood orange soda for the grapefruit but still using orange liqueur.

Blood Orange Margarita

Blood Orange Margarita

  • 2 oz 100% agave blanco tequila
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • Aranciata Rossa San Pellegrino (Blood Orange)

Combine tequila, Cointreau and lime juice in a shaker with ice. Shake for 15 seconds and strain into ice filled rocks glass

Top with blood orange soda and garnish with orange wedge