Originally published March 18, 2012.
Cream, rich as an Irish brogue;
Coffee, strong as a friendly hand;
Sugar, sweet as the tongue of a rogue;
Whiskey, smooth as the wit of the land.
-a traditional toast accompanying Irish coffee
The Irish coffee typically served in restaurants here either has cream stirred into the drink, or whipped cream floating on top. The traditional way to enjoy the drink is to gently pour heavy cream onto the surface of the coffee so that it floats, then sip the coffee through the cream.
Let’s discuss ingredients.
The Coffee – Use good coffee. Brew it strong.
The Sugar – Irish coffee is made with brown sugar which has a distinct, cooked, molasses-like taste. … Continue reading.
Originally posted on March 18, 2012
Corned beef, also known as salt beef and spiced beef, is a national dish of Ireland. Recipes vary, but the cure is usually made of kosher salt, curing salt, a heap of brown sugar, and spices like clove, allspice, black pepper, and mustard seed. The cured meat is gently simmered (usually in water, sometimes in beer) until tender, and can be eaten hot or cold.
To clarify, corned beef has nothing to do with maize. “Corn” was once a broad English term for a small bit, whether a grain of wheat, or a crystal of salt. “Corned beef” is beef that has been covered in corns of salt.
Like most charcuterie, corned beef … Continue reading.
Originally published March 16, 2014.
Soda bread is plain quick bread, bread made with a chemical leavener like baking soda instead of yeast.
You’ve no doubt heard of Irish soda bread. The two defining characteristics of the national bread of Erin are 1) the inclusion of lesser parts of the wheat berry, such as the germ and husk, and 2) the use of buttermilk.
One way that my soda bread differs from true old-school Irish soda bread is the inclusion of such luxuries as butter, eggs, and honey. This is emphatically not traditional, but it makes for a moist, delicious bread. Picture a fine cornbread, only instead of corn meal there are coarse bits of wheat germ. The wheat germ … Continue reading.
There are two drinks that we go through in unholy quantities this time of year. The first without question is rum, as it is used in all kinds of preserves, baking, and cocktails. The second is Irish cream, consumed on its own, or diluted with a bit of milk or coffee.
For years my standby has been Bailey’s, but this year I decided to make my own.
Irish cream is comprised of cream, sugar, and Irish whiskey, usually but not always flavoured with coffee. It is around 20% alcohol by volume, and has a rich, viscous mouthfeel. It’s basically an Irish coffee with the ingredients in different proportions.
If you plan on consuming Irish cream in coffee, there’s probably not … Continue reading.