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.

25 Days of Christmas Cookies- Day 25

Day 25, Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope you enjoyed the 25 Days of Christmas cookies  as much as I enjoyed sharing them with you all. I thought I would share with you my new favorite cookie of the season, now I know I have had some favorites along the way (how could I not), but this one is a new cookie to me and the lemon and chocolate flavor in this cookie is delicious. That citrus and chocolate combo gets me everytime.  Well I will keep this short and sweet, since Mr. Pea and I have some celebrating to do. I wish everyone Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Next up in Mr. Pea's Countdown with Cocktails, to celebrate the New Year! Enjoy!

 

_DSC0707

Lemon Trees

Makes about 80

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. finely grated lemon peel
1 TBsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose flour


Beat butter, sugar, egg, lemon peel, lemon juice and salt together on high speed until pale and fluffy.On low speed, beat flour until just blended.

Divide dough into quarters (dough is very sticky). Wrap individually and chill for 2 hours or until firm.

To make the trees you will need a 3 inch tree-with-trunk cookie cutter, but you can make any shape you wuld like.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

On a lightly floured sheet of wax paper with a floured rolling pin, roll out 1 portion of dough to a 1/4 inch thick at a time (keeep the rest in the fridge until ready to use).

Slide wax paper baking sheets onto baking sheet and place into freezer for about 10 minutes or until firm.

Chill scrapes before rerolling and cutting.
Bake 10-12 minutes until edges are golden. Cool on baking sheet on wire rack for 3 minutes before removing to rack to cool completely.

To Decorate:

Dip tree trunks in chocolae to coat, letting excess drip off. Place on wax paper-lined baking sheets.

Spoon melted green candy into a smallziptop food bag, snip off a corner of the bag and drizzle lines on trees (as shown above).

Sprinkle with nonpareils. Let Stand before storing.

 

25 Days of Christmas Cookies- Day 24

 Merry Christmas Eve everyone! Christmas just wouldn't be the same without this next cookie, Brandy Snaps. I actually can't take credit for these little lovelies. These creations come from the Queen Bee herself, Ms. Sandra Dee. I believe this cookie would win for  "the most tedious cookie of them all" award, but they sure are delicious.  They and very thin almost toffee like cookie that have a crunch, but then just melt in your mouth. I will attempt to make these one day, but for now these are like my little Christmas gift I receive from Sandy every year. Hope you have all enjoyed my 25 Days of Christmas Cookies so far, there is only one more to go! Enjoy!

_DSC0768

 

 

English Brandy Snaps

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup dark corn syrup

1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons brandy

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine flour, salt and ginger. Set aside. Combine butter, sugar and syrup in small saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients. Stir until smooth.

Drop teaspoons of batter on jelly roll pan. Bake 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool about 45 seconds, then using handle of wooden spoon, roll up from underneath. Cool on wire racks.

TIP: Only make 3 per pan. Batter spreads during baking.

25 Days of Christmas Cookies- Day 23

Toffee is my guilty pleasure and now that I finally know how to make it, this is going to be dangerous. At least the batches I made this year will be given away as gifts, because I am pretty sure I would eat it all if I didn't.  I was surprised at how easy it actually was to make toffee.  Some tools you will really need are a non stick pot, I use an All-Clad Stainless Steel Saucie. A rubber spatula, trust me this stuff is stcky. A candy thermometer, this will help you when when it reaches the 280 degree mark where it could easily burn. And I like to use I like to use the flexible cookie tray that you can throw away after you are done, because it can be pretty messy, but anything you get toffee on will come off with hot water.  After a few minutes of constantly stiring, you have a wonderful gift to give for the holiday or a special treat for yourself, which ever you decide.

_DSC0765

English Toffee

Makes 1 1/2 pounds

Ingredients:

Line a cookie sheet with tin foil  (I like to use the flexible cookie trays that you can throw away after you are done, because it can be pretty messy, but  anything you get toffee on will come off with hot water) and sprinkle 1/2 cup of toasted almonds in the pan on the foil.

 In heavy saucepan melt butter.

Add sugar, corn syrup and water.

Cook and stir over medium-high heat to boiling.

Cook and stir constantly over medium heat to 290 degrees using a candy thermometer (soft-crack stage).

Watch carefully and stir constantly, it can burn easily after 280 degrees.

Remove from heat and pour mixture over the nuts in the pan immediately.

 Let stand 5 minutes or until firm but still hot.

Sprinkle with chocolate chips and let the stand for 1 to 2 minutes. When softened, spread chocolate over mixture. Sprinkle the chocolate with nuts. Chill till firm.

Break into peices. Store tightly covered.

 

 

25 Days of Christmas Cookies- Day 22

 These next cookies aren't usually part of the cookie baking that we do for Christmas, but I couldn't deliver you the 25 Days of Christmas Cookies without this recipe. It is one of my favorite cookies I have in my repertoire, because these are called Chai Snickerdoodle Cookies.  I love Chai tea, it is one of my favorite things! So to combine that lovely chai flovor with snickerdoodle cookies, it is like my little heaven on Earth.  The funny thing about these cookies is Queen Bee, Sandy would disapporve of them, because they are not Christmas cookie appropriate size,  but to fix that just use a smaller ice cream scooper  or use about 1 1/2 teaspoons of dough per cookie. Enjoy!

_DSC0756

Chai Snickerdoodle Cookies

Ingredients:

Cookies:

2 1/3 Cups All purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon salt 

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature

1 1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

for the chai sugar:
5 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cookies sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt). Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together chai sugar mix. Set aside.

In stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time.

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix until combined.

Form dough into large balls (I use a medium ice cream scooper, which is about 2 tablespoons of dough rolled by hand, for smaller cookies use about 1 1/2 teaspoons of dough), roll in chai sugar mix.

Place baking sheet. Leave space for cookies to spread.

Bake for 14 minutes and allow cookies to rest for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

Store up to 5 days in an airtight container.