Tag archive for "featured"

Swing into Spring – Roasted Artichoke Hearts and Spring Onions with Skellig Cheddar, Lemon Zest and Cracked Black Pepper

No Comments 23 May 2014

Spring, at long last, is in full swing, and with it all the delights that now crowd farmers’ markets. Asparagus in familiar green and shades from white to purple, favas in their fleeting seasonal bow and artichokes from two-bite babies to ginormous globes all beg to be brought to the table. While all three are delicious steamed and doused with a little butter and lemon, artichokes take on a full-meal heartiness when roasted with spring onions and served under a shower of grated Skellig Cheddar.

When shopping, look for good-sized artichokes with tight, plump leaves and several inches of stem. (Can’t find any with stems? No worries, the hearts are really what you’re after). Tiny spring onions are their ideal partner here, but scallions work perfectly in their place. Roasting these two brings out the nuttiness of the artichokes and gives a sweet, caramelized edge to the onions. Topped with grated Kerrygold Skellig Cheddar, lemon zest and cracked black pepper, this dish makes a full tour of the palate, from sweet and salty to bright and spicy, and the artichokes make it meaty enough to call it a meal. Add toasted slices of garlic-rubbed baguette and a salad of baby greens and your edible ode to Spring is complete!

 

Roasted Artichokes and Spring Onions with Skellig Cheddar, Lemon Zest and Cracked Black Pepper

[Note: Though ultimately an easy dish, with a 20-25 minute cooking time, the artichokes require a bit of prep.]

Ingredients:

  • 3 large artichokes (ideally globe artichokes)
  • 1 bunch baby spring onions or scallions
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground or cracked black pepper
  • ½ cup grated Kerrygold Skellig Cheddar (use the small holes of the grater or better yet, a microplane)
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (again, a microplane comes in very handy) 

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Cutting directly through the leaves, cut off the tops of the artichokes, about an inch above the choke (about 3 inches above the stem). Discard tops.
  • Using your hand, snap off all of the outer leaves. With a heavy duty peeler, peel away all of the green, leaving a whitish bottom and stem. Cut lengthwise into quarters (through the stem and bottom). Remove “choke” (the fuzzy middle and smallest leaves), and cut each quarter in half lengthwise.
  • Trim the fuzzy root end off spring onions (or scallions). If necessary, peel away any bruised or wilting layers of onions. Trim green ends to about 2 inches above the white part of the onion (of course, if they’re red, above the red part!).
  • Toss the artichokes and onions in the oil and lemon juice, and sprinkle liberally with salt and a bit of pepper.
  • Spread on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast the vegetables until lightly browned and tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, toss finely grated cheese and lemon zest.
  • Heap vegetables on a warmed serving plate or deep bowl, cover with a shower of the cheese and lemon zest, and sprinkle with the pepper.

This dish is delicious directly out of the oven, at room temperature, or cold the next day.

Corner background with artichokes

Variations:

  • You can make this a meatier one-dish meal by adding bite-sized chunks of uncooked chicken (boneless, skinless thighs are particularly good) to the vegetables before roasting.
  • Herbs are a perfect addition; Try crumbled oregano or a light sprinkle of chopped rosemary for a Mediterranean touch. Pitted oil-cured olives are another delicious addition.
  • Adding garlic is a no-brainer: Try whole unpeeled cloves, to be squeezed onto the vegetables once all are roasted, or coarsely chopped garlic, added about 5-8 minutes before the dish is fully cooked.
  • Splurge a little and add several tablespoons of pine nuts to the pan about 5 minutes before the dish is done – they double the rich nuttiness of the dish.
  • Try spices – tart sumac, warm cumin, a bit of cayenne, even curry.
  • Other vegetables also roast beautifully with the artichokes:

-Tiny spring potatoes (look for the ones the size of marbles) or quarter slightly larger ones
- Quartered radishes, or whole slender French breakfast radishes
- Asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 3” lengths

  • Or, toss in a cup or so of barely steamed English peas or snap peas once the vegetables are roasted.

This is dish is an enticing way to swing into Spring, fork and knife at the ready. Dig in!

 

 

 

Spinach & Swiss Cheese Egg Cups- for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

No Comments 15 May 2014

Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP is the Editor-in-Chief of www.TheHealthyApple.com. She is a Manhattan based Personal Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, Professional Recipe Developer, Food Photographer and Writer specializing in simple gluten-free ‘Clean’ recipes for the home cook.  Amie recently healed herself from a decade of chronic pain including Lyme Disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Heavy Metals exhausting every doctor in the country and Mayo Clinic; she shares her story of how Clean Eating saved her life and inspires you to Clean up your food, too.  Amie lives in Manhattan, NYC where she cooks for a variety of clients including celebrities and people with busy lifestyles who enjoy healthy, fresh food. Amie’s work appears on Martha Stewart, Fox News Health, WebMD, The Huffington Post, The Food Network, Glamour Magazine, Clean Eating Magazine, SHAPE Magazine, Prevention Magazine, PBS and many others. Visit Amie on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, Google Plus and Pinterest @TheHealthyApple.

Amie Valpone TheHealthyApple.com

These egg cups are a snap to prepare and they make a great snack or main dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Oh, the recipes that come together when your children or loved ones are allergic to gluten! This savory and gluten-free recipe brings out the incredible creamy texture and amazing taste of Swiss cheese, making this a favorite in my home. It’s an uplifting dish that is perfect for the spring and summer when you don’t feel like slaving over the stove for pancakes or waffles.

For a complete breakfast, serve this dish with a bowl of fruit or salad to round out the protein and healthy carbohydrates your getting from these egg cups. Another great thing about these egg cups is that they keep in the fridge for up to three days, If you don’t finish all six, the leftovers are the perfect thing to prep and then take to work or school. And since they’re nut-free, they pass the school test! It can be hard to feed kids, especially if they have allergies, but I’ve found that the little ones love these eggcups too. They’re also fun meal option for a Meatless Monday kids dinner.

My favorite way to enjoy these egg cups? It’s a brilliant approach to sandwiches for a picnic or an evening concert under the stars. Simply assemble these cups a few hours before you plan to eat them and they’ll be perfect. Serve them with salad if you want to make them a finger food! I topped these cups with sesame seeds, which are a nutritional powerhouse- they’re a great source of calcium, iron, and magnesium. They add a crunch and texture to these baked egg cups and are a wonderful finish to recipes!

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Spinach & Swiss Cheese Egg Cups

Serves 6

Ingredients

• 2 Tbsp. Kerrygold Butter
• 6 slices gluten-free sandwich bread
• 2 cups finely chopped fresh baby spinach
• 3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
• 1/2 cup grated Kerrygold Swiss Cheese
• 6 large eggs
• 1/4 tsp. sea salt
• 1/4 tsp. pepper
• 1/4 tsp. chili powder
• 1 tsp. sesame seeds

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 6 cup muffin tin with butter; set aside.
2. Using a rolling pin, slightly flatten each bread slice. Place each slice into each muffin tin cavity. Using a teaspoon, divide spinach, basil, and Swiss cheese amongst the 6 bread cavities. Then, crack an egg on top of each. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, chili powder and sesame seeds.
3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until eggs are set. Remove from oven and serve warm.

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Toasting Mom – Serve Her The Salted Caramel of Morning Toast

No Comments 09 May 2014

Mother’s Day – the unofficial holiday of trashed kitchens and questionable dishes made and delivered by little hands at the crack of dawn, all in the name of love. It’s a sweet day (often sticky sweet) when well-meaning youngsters and earnest dads do their best to surprise Mom with her annual breakfast in bed. Though endearing, the collateral damage of a batter-spattered, syrup-sticky kitchen is a gift that keeps on giving, and we all know who does the mop-up.

This year, why not treat Mom to a mess-free delight? Try these thick, buttery slabs of sweet-salty-caramel-y toast, made of whole grain, ideally artisan, bread. Dressed with a few basic ingredients, it shifts from scrambled-egg sidekick to center of the plate. And note that no kitchen-wrecking caramel was actually used in the making of this toast; the caramel-y flavor comes from the magically delicious combination of rich Kerrygold butter, deep-flavored Grade B maple syrup and a nice pinch of salt.

In this recipe the crucial ingredient is the bread, made by the best artisan bakery you can find. Look for unsliced loaves of crusty whole grain bread; if sandwich-style square loaves aren’t available, round, rustic loaves of sourdough work well. And if none of this eclectic stuff is available to you, grab yourself a loaf of pre-sliced Texas Toast (available in many supermarkets) and go to town. Yes, you could use regular-sliced wheat berry, but the delicious part comes in a having a big ol’ slab of toast that you eat with a fork and knife.

Once you’ve got the bread, all you’ll need is Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, good quality maple syrup (look for Grade B, though other grades will work) and salt. With a toaster oven or a wide-slot toaster, you’re good to go; in a pinch you can even do it in the broiler. From there it’s just toast, slather, drizzle and sprinkle, serve with love and a great cup of coffee. Just be sure to wipe the counters when you’re done.

 

Mother’s Day Toast

 

Ingredients:

  • ¾” – 1” slices of whole grain bread, one or two per serving
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) Kerrygold Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Grade B maple syrup
  • Salt (sea salt or table salt) to taste

Directions:

  • Toast bread.
  • Spread immediately with soft Kerrygold Unsalted Butter – there should be enough to leave a little butter pooled on the surface.
  • Drizzle with maple syrup (the syrup is just one of the flavors; drizzle lightly and evenly over the whole surface of the bread, but do not drown the toast as you would pancakes).
  • Sprinkle quickly with a good pinch of salt.
  • Serve immediately on a warm plate, with knife, fork and a nice napkin.

 

Variations:

  • Mix orange blossom, acacia or any light flavored honey with a bit of grated orange zest and a tiny amount of grated ginger and spread it on the buttered bread. A pinch of salt is nice with this, too.
  • Substitute a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon or a generous pinch of cardamom for the ginger  in the above variation.
  • Mix a tablespoon of dark brown sugar with a large pinch of ground coriander or cardamom (you can always opt for cinnamon, but the other spices are brighter and add more interesting flavor). Spread on heavily buttered toast and run it under the broiler (or place in toaster oven) until the butter/sugar bubbles slightly (2-3 minutes). Be careful not to burn the toast!
  • For a savory version, top the buttered bread with a generous amount of grated Parmesan or Pecorino, a twist of black pepper and a little grated lemon zest. Run it under the broiler for about 45 seconds to slightly melt the cheese.

Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Skellig Cheese Breadcrumb Topping

No Comments 02 May 2014

We are pleased to have Dara Michalski as our guest blogger this week. Dara, a Canadian (“Canuck”) living in the United States, is the recipe developer and photographer behind the healthy recipe and running site, Cookin’ Canuck. Dara has been sharing her easy, innovative and healthy recipes with her readers since April 2009. More recently, she started writing about her adventures with running, including her first marathon.

Starting in September 2011, Dara’s cooking and view on health went through a transformation, leading to a 30-pound weight loss and a new dedication to moderation in eating and exercise. She believes that healthy eating doesn’t need to equal boring food!

 

There are some weekends that you look back on fondly and try to pinpoint exactly why it was so memorable. For me, the answer is usually two-fold: people and food. And if that food includes cheese, then the experience is given bonus points.

Last weekend, I traveled to Temecula, the picturesque wine country of southern California, for the second annual Big Traveling Potluck, a gathering of about 80 food bloggers. The weekend is about sharing information, making real life connections and eating. Always eating.

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The weekend started off with wine tasting and dinner at Callaway Winery. The hors d’oeuvres starred Kerrygold cheeses in all their creamy glory. While I was smitten with the Black and White Pimento Cheese spread and Fig and Olive Tapenade (with cheese!), it was the Cashel Blue-Stuffed Olives that really stole the show. Try it…trust me.

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Each talk throughout the weekend was filled with nuggets of inspiration, and we each took away the thoughts that spoke the most to us.

But true to form (we are food bloggers, after all), we were all excited for the next meal, whether it was smoked lamb, a grains and greens salad bar or egg and avocado-filled breakfast casseroles. I am happy to report that Kerrygold cheeses made their way into almost every meal throughout the weekend.

If you are ever trying to think of a way to kick up the flavor of your salad, I highly recommend sprinkling it with Aged Cheddar with Irish Whiskey. Amazing!

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It wasn’t difficult coming up with this recipe. You see, mushrooms and cheese are two of my favorite foods, and they always make a happy couple. I had to grate twice the amount of the Kerrygold’s Skellig, their sweet Cheddar cheese, because I couldn’t stop popping it into my mouth while cooking.

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These appetizers couldn’t be easier to put together. Simply toss the mushrooms in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then top with garlic, tomato slices and a topping of Skellig Cheese , crispy panko breadrumbs and fresh basil.
If you want to make a full meal of these cheesy mushrooms, allow for two mushrooms per person and serve them on top of a bed of spinach.

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Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Skellig Cheese Breadcrumb Topping
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 portobello mushrooms, stems & gills removed
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tomato, cut into six ¼-inch slices
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp (packed) Kerrygold Skellig Cheese
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 basil leaves, thinly sliced

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Place the portobello mushrooms in a baking dish.
  • Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, and rub the mixture on the mushrooms.
  • Sprinkle the garlic over the mushrooms, lay one tomato slice on each mushroom, and roast for 10 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the Skellig cheese, breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil and salt. Sprinkle the cheese mixture evenly over the mushrooms.
  • Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are light golden brown. Serve.

Quick and Easy Herbed Hollandaise, Served Cold

No Comments 25 April 2014

Hollandaise sauce, that finicky delight, has been many a cook’s Waterloo. It’s so easy to curdle the sensitive yolks, so simple to make the delicate emulsion separate like an unhappy couple. It’s a short-lived luxury, with a life span of a few fleeting hours. Or so you’ve been led to think.

With the simple recipe that follows, it’s possible to make the entire thing, in your blender, and keep it for at least 24 hours, chilled. And there’s no annoying water bath to reheat the sauce, because you serve it cold. Cold Hollandaise? Really?! Yes, and it’s wicked delicious.

The secret with cold Hollandaise, besides the blender prep and the ability to be chilled and held, is that it comes to life when served with hot food. A dollop flavored with dill over seared salmon fillet? Dreamy. Tarragon-scented, (technically, that’s Béarnaise) with steamed asparagus, salt-baked new potatoes or leg of lamb? Drool-worthy. Roasted shrimp with golden, saffron-tinged sauce? O.M.G. So, drop that whisk back in the drawer, melt that butter, crack those eggs and get ready to whirl your way into the sauce maker’s Hall of Fame.

Herbed Cold Hollandaise (an adaptation of a recipe from Delia Smith)

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh dill, snipped
  • 12 oz (350 g) Kerrygold Butter
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • Large pinch salt

Directions:

1. Melt butter in small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heating butter slowly until it just starts to bubble.
2. In another small pan, bring lemon juice and white wine vinegar to a boil, lower to a simmer.
3. Meanwhile, put the yolks and a pinch of salt into blender (or food processor), blending yolks well on high speed. With blender still running, gradually add all of the vinegar-lemon juice mixture. Then, with blender still running, add butter very slowly to the mix in a very thin trickle.
4. Once butter is completely incorporated and sauce has thickened, pour Hollandaise in a small bowl and stir in the dill.
5. Let cool for a half hour or so, then cover with plastic wrap (poke a couple of small holes in wrap). Place in fridge and chill until sauce is cold and set.

Keeps for 24 hours or a little longer.

Before using, stir well to blend sauce, especially if it has separated.

Variations:

Tarragon – add 1 to 1.5 tablespoons snipped tarragon. Dried tarragon may also be used: simply  add to wine/lemon mixture for a few minutes to re-hydrate.

Saffron – Steep ¼ teaspoon whole saffron in lemon/vinegar mixture as it is boiling, then add to yolks.

Other tasty herbs to use: basil, mint (fabulous with lamb), rosemary (use a half teaspoon, finely minced- rosemary can be very overpowering in large quantities).

Spices (add to lemon/vinegar while boiling): Freshly ground black pepper, curry, smoked paprika.

The Great, Big Beautiful Easter Egg of Cheese (and How to Make It)

No Comments 16 April 2014

We are pleased to have Marge Perry back again as a guest blogger this week. Marge is the publisher and author of the blog, A Sweet and Savory Life and her food writing appears frequently in Cooking Light, Everyday with Rachael Ray, Self, and more. She writes the daily Ask the Expert column for MyRecipes.com and is a long time newspaper columnist. She recently was awarded the Association of Food Journalists award for Best Food Essay of the Year.  Visit her blog and learn more about Marge.

You can have your charcoal pencils, palettes of colorful paint; keep your clay, plaster and papier-mâché and even your pastry bags with all the fancy tips. My new medium is cheese.

It began when I met a woman at a party and instantly liked her. It turned out she wrote a cookbook called Great Balls of Cheese- and then I liked her even more. (Because of course I would like someone who created an entire book on cheese balls).

For her book, my cheesy new BFF, Michelle Buffardi, created all kinds of enchanting, clever, witty and delicious cheese ball snacks and desserts. There’s the wise owl on the cover, the adorable little Mouse Bites (make ‘em with Kerrygold Skellig!) the Pigskin (a cheese football coated in crumbled bacon) Date and Blue Cheese Pops (move over cake pops!) and many other recipes ranging from kitschy to sophisticated and from savory to sweet.

The very best thing about the book for me, though, is that I found it inspiring. Every photo and recipe made me want to create a cheese ball of my very own*. With Easter just around the corner, I adapted the Ham and Cheese Easter Egg to serve as an appetizer for my holiday brunch. It was genuinely fun to make, and as I “worked” I found myself dreaming up all kinds of variations.

I’ll serve my Easter Egg of Cheese with seeded flatbread and baby carrots. I know it will be a conversation piece; a dish that will make people smile both before and while they eat it.

*or with kids!

The Great Easter Egg of Cheese
Adapted by Marge Perry from Great Balls of Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 slices (3 ounces) ham
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 1 7-ounce block Kerrygold Dubliner, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small orange bell pepper
  • 4 chives
  • 1 scallion
  • other vegetables for decorating as desired

Directions

1. Chop 2 slices of ham in 1/8-1/4-inch pieces: you should have about 1/3 cup. Set aside the other slices.
2. Using a stand mixer or bowl and spatula, combine the chopped ham, cream cheese, Dubliner, shallots and mustard. Form into an egg shape (with a flat bottom) and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours until the cheese ball is fairly set and firm.
3. Cut the vegetables in decorative shapes; cut one slice of the ham in ½-inch wide strips and the other in decorative shapes (such as diamonds, hearts, circles, etc.)
4. Place the cheese ball on a serving plate and use the vegetables to decorate it as you would an Easter egg. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Note: The ball itself will hold well for more than a week, but the decorations should be placed on within one day of serving or they will dry out.

 

Irish Potato Cakes- A Recipe from Clodagh McKenna

No Comments 09 April 2014

We are delighted to share a recipe from television food and travel personality, beloved Irish chef and acclaimed restaurateur Clodagh McKenna. She brings us all into her kitchen as she guides us through a year of cooking with Clodagh’s Kitchen Diaries: Delicious Recipes throughout the Year, published by Kyle Books.

Clodagh’s talents, lauded in her homeland, have also been praised in the U.S. Forbes magazine said, “McKenna is Ireland’s answer to Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart, a multi-talented food and home personality at the head of a fast growing media empire,” and Saveur called her “a natural cook, with her head straight on and a confident hand.”

In her book, Clodagh begins each season with advice on what to eat and when, along with tips for preserving the harvest from your own kitchen garden or the local market. She gives readers a year’s worth of menus and recipes for all occasions.

See her delicious Potato Cakes recipe below, or watch the video on You Tube.

Potato Cakes

“You can make this the night before and then just reheat in the oven the next day.” – Clodagh McKenna

(Makes 6 potato cakes)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 pounds potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Kerrygold Irish Butter

 Directions:

  • Cook the potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender. Drain, transfer to a bowl, and mash with a potato masher.
  • While the potatoes are still hot mix in the crème fraîche, egg yolk, mustard, and salt and pepper. Mix in the scallions, cheese and thyme.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the flour to the mixture to help make the consistency suitable for rolling out and sprinkle the remaining flour on your work surface. Roll the potato mixture out to 2 inch thick using a rolling pin and cut it into circles using a 4-inch cookie or biscuit cutter.
  • Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the potato cakes on both sides until golden brown.

Recipe adapted from Clodagh’s Kitchen Diaries, Kyle Books (2013)

 

A Visit to a Four-Star Restaurant, and a Recipe from Cathal Armstrong; Kerrygold Butter-Poached Lobster with Parsnips

No Comments 04 April 2014

 

In Alexandria, Virginia, some people say Cathal Armstrong, chef-owner of Restaurant Eve, put their little town on the map. It wasn’t the rich colonial history, the charming brick buildings or the picture-perfect views. It was the food.

When Dublin-born Armstrong, who had cooked for years in the nation’s capital, located his first restaurant across the Potomac to Alexandria, the world took notice. So exquisite was the cooking that it soon attracted a celebrity clientele. It was the place President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama chose to celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary.

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Recently, Kerrygold added to the celebrity roster by inviting members of the national food media to take the Amtrak from New York City to experience Armstrong’s talents and to celebrate the publication of his first cookbook, My Irish Table, co-written with David Hagedorn and published by Random House. The nine impressive media guests have a combined circulation of 21 million and monthly unique visitors of 9 million through their websites.

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The celebratory lunch began with a selection of Kerrygold cheeses, served with chutney and accompanied by beautiful house-made breads.

015- Lobster

The first course was luscious Kerrygold Butter Poached Lobster with Parsnip Purée, Braised Parsnips and First of the Season Morels. Out came the cameras and cell phones as everyone started clicking.

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The main course of Roasted Loin of Dublin Spiced Lamb with Heirloom Carrots and Brown Bread Cream followed, drawing murmurs of appreciation and more photography.

017- Dessert

To finish, Armstrong presented Kerrygold Brown Butter Cake with Meyer Lemon Curd. Every plate went back empty, with contented sighs.

Kerrygold has played a part on Armstrong’s menus at Restaurant Eve since the beginning. “Kerrygold butter is just simply the best,” Armstrong says. “It gives me a sense of nostalgia. It was the only butter I had growing up in Ireland. It is also the best butter product on the market. It has a rich, creamy taste on the palate, and there is no waxiness that you get with conventional butters. It is the only butter I will use at my restaurants.”

Armstrong’s advocacy isn’t just an Irish thing. “We even did a blind taste test with my chefs, and they all chose Kerrygold,” he adds.

Of his menu, Armstrong explains that it “…reflects the Virginia growing season and features the best hand-fed, farm-raised, organically grown bounty our region has to offer. We support humane, sustainable and responsible farming practices for the simple fact: local food, raised and produced by people who care tastes better.”

His leadership in the sustainable food movement is another reason Armstrong champions Kerrygold. “Besides the inherent quality of Kerrygold, another bonus for me, personally, is that because Kerrygold dairy products are produced by a co-op of farmers, some with as few as four head of cattle, I am supporting the small business model, as well as a more sustainable practice of farming,” he explains.

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After lunch, editors took a brief tour of Alexandria, visited Society Fair, Armstrong’s food emporium, and then headed home, laden with goodies from Society Fair and from Kerrygold, and knowing more about the remarkable chef in Alexandria, Virginia, who put a little town on the map.

Here’s a recipe for the Kerrygold Butter-Poached Lobster Tails, from Armstrong’s book, My Irish Table.

 

Kerrygold Butter–Poached Lobster with Parsnips

Cooking lobster in two steps, first just enough to be able to remove it from the shell, and then poaching gently in an emulsion of butter and water (known as beurre monté) imparts a smooth, silky mouthfeel and ensures that the meat will not be rubbery. Although clarified butter is a well-known condiment for lobster, it can be unctuous and leave your palate greasy. A much worthier foil is a butter emulsion such as the one in this recipe, made with lobster stock.

In the Restaurant Eve kitchen several years ago, I gathered our team of chefs to blind-taste some of the world’s great butters. Unanimously, Ireland’s own Kerrygold was the top choice. It’s made with milk from grass-fed cows raised on co-ops of small farms. Its sweetness enhances breads and potatoes beautifully.

The lobster can be cooked and shelled the day before serving. The parsnips can be blanched and the lobster stock made the day before, too. Warm the stock in a saucepan over low heat for a few minutes before using it to finish the parsnips. You will need poultry shears and a very large stockpot for cooking the lobsters.

Serves 4 

Lobster

  • 4 (1 1/2 -pound) live lobsters
  • 1 gallon plus 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 pound cold unsalted Kerrygold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Micro cilantro, for garnish

Lobster Stock

  • 1/4 cup unsalted Kerrygold butter
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 2 shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh tarragon

Parsnips

  • 1/2 pound parsnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 13 tablespoons cold unsalted Kerrygold butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup lobster stock
  • Claw meat (reserved from the cooked lobsters)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Cook the lobsters:

With your hands, pull the tail sections and whole claws off the lobsters’ bodies. Set aside the bodies. In a large stockpot, bring 1 gallon of the water and the vinegar to a rolling boil. Add the tails and claws. After 2 minutes, remove the tails. After 5 additional minutes, remove the claws.

Remove the meat:

While the lobsters are still warm, remove the meat from their shells. Using poultry shears, slit the underside of each tail shell and pull out the meat, then, using a chef’s knife, halve the meat lengthwise and remove the center vein from both sides. Place the claws between two kitchen towels and whack them with the back of a sturdy knife. Then use the shears to cut through the shells lengthwise, far enough so you can pop out the claw meat. Remove the cartilage from the centers of the claws and then dice the claw meat into 1/2-inch pieces. Reserve all shells for the sauce. Cover the tail and claw meat separately and refrigerate both.

Make the lobster stock:

Use poultry shears to split the reserved lobster bodies in half lengthwise. Inside the head on both sides, you will see feathery gills. Cut away and discard them. Use a cleaver or chef’s knife to chop the bodies into approximately 2-inch pieces. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the 1/4 cup butter. Stir in the celery, shallots, fennel, and carrots and let them sweat until soft but not at all brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lobster shells (including the tail and claw shells) and tomato paste. Add enough water to cover the shells by 1 inch. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the liquid to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium and maintain the simmer for 45 minutes. Throughout the simmering, skim and discard any foam or impurities that rise to the top. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and tarragon and cook for another 10 minutes. Strain the stock through a large-mesh sieve into a large container. Clean the pot and strain the stock into it through a fine-mesh strainer. Simmer the stock over medium-high heat until it is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, blanch the parsnips:

Put the parsnips, salt, and sugar in a heavy saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the parsnips are tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pan to the sink and run cold water into it in a thin stream for about 6 minutes to slowly stop the cooking process and cool the parsnips completely. Drain the parsnips. If more than a few minutes remain to complete the stock, refrigerate the parsnips.

Finish the parsnips:

In a slope-sided sauté pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the 13 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the ginger and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the blanched parsnips and lobster stock. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Stir in the remaining 12 tablespoons of butter. Once it is incorporated, add the claw meat, lime juice, and cilantro. Keep warm over very low heat.

Poach the lobster tails:

Run a bamboo skewer lengthwise through each tail half to keep them from curling when poaching. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the remaining 3 tablespoons of water to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and whisk in the cubes of the pound of butter one by one until completely incorporated. Then decrease the heat to low, add the reserved lobster tails, and poach them until a cake tester inserted into the center of one and pressed to your lips feels warm, about 8 minutes. (Be careful not to overcook the lobster or it will be tough.)

Present the dish:

Divide the parsnip mixture among 4 pasta bowls and top each with 2 lobster tail halves. Garnish with micro cilantro and serve immediately.

Kerrygold Cheesy Chicken Fajita Subs

No Comments 28 March 2014

Roast Chicken Fajitas and Irish Cheddar On a Sub? What’s Not to Love?

Roast chicken, fresh from the oven. Crisp brown skin, moist flesh, bones to pick…it’s a delight from start to finish. Whether from your own oven, or the supermarket’s rotisserie, it’s a great dish to build a meal around. But then, on day two or three, when the skin’s been snitched by the lucky and the swift, and the legs and bits of breast meat are all that cling to the carcass, it’s time to step in with a little imagination and turn this bird around.

One way to please your entire crew and still make a healthy dish is to turn it into fajitas. Shred the chicken and toss it in the pan with sautéed sliced red and yellow peppers, onions and a seeded jalapeño if you like a little heat. (If you’d like a little smoke with that heat, finely slice a chipotle pepper or two, straight from the can.)

Once you’ve got the fajita portion of this dish under way, slice a baguette lengthwise, remove a bit of the middle and toast it lightly under the broiler.

When the chicken and vegetables are ready, top the bottom half of the baguette with the chicken mixture and a couple of good handfuls of grated Kerrygold Aged Cheddar, (or Dubliner, if you prefer). Run the open sub under the broiler, briefly, until the cheese melts and browns just slightly. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and chopped scallions, and press top down on all that cheesy, chicken-y goodness. If you’re really going for broke, generously spread the inside of the top of the baguette with guacamole before you stamp it down. By this point, no one you’re feeding will either know or care that the chicken was on its last, um, leg.

Cheesy Chicken Fajita Subs

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup each sliced red and yellow bell peppers (substitute green pepper for either)
  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced jalapeño or thinly sliced canned chipotle pepper (optional)
  • 4 cups shredded or cubed roast chicken
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 cups (or more) grated Kerrygold Aged Cheddar (or Dubliner)
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
  • Guacamole (optional)

Directions:

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet
  • Sauté peppers and onions (including jalapeños or chipotles) until just tender
  • Add chicken and warm through
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Remove from heat, toss with salsa
  • Toast baguette
  • Top with fajita mixture and cheese
  • Broil just until cheese melts and browns a wee bit
  • Remove from broiler
  • If using guacamole, pile it on
  • Close sub, press halves gently together
  • Using serrated knife, slice into 4” pieces, using a gentle sawing motion
  • Enjoy with your favorite soda or brew!

Light Baked Potato Soup Recipe

No Comments 22 March 2014

Diana Johnson is a recipe developer, food photographer, writer, and cooking instructor. She is also the creator of Eating Richly Even When You’re Broke at EatingRichly.com, focused on healthy affordable recipes rich in nutrition and flavor. She lives in Auburn, Washington with her husband, baby boy, and several furry family members. Diana loves helping people solve their food dilemmas, and her current passion is creating recipes specifically for tired and hungry breastfeeding moms.

diana-johnson-2014

I am finally able to start working a little bit of dairy back into my diet, a full year after having to stop eating dairy while breastfeeding. I still need to do small amounts (like a little milk in my tea, or one serving of cheese), and I can’t have it every day. Since dairy cheese is still a rare treat, I definitely want the good stuff, and that means Kerrygold.

I’ve been a big Kerrygold fan since trying their Dubliner for the first time, years ago. When the opportunity came up to be a part of their blogger network, I was one of the first in line. Being a part of the network means getting a first look at new products, an insider scoop on announcements and campaigns, plus great coupons and samples. Pretty sweet right?

The latest cheese Kerrygold sent me to try is their Reduced Fat Dubliner, and I have to admit that I was skeptical. Dubliner is such a wonderful, rich, flavorful cheese. Why would you mess with a good thing?

Then I tried a piece…and I didn’t notice a difference. Somehow, Kerrygold managed to capture the beautiful aged flavor of Dubliner, with 33% less fat. Now fat in food isn’t bad for you, but too much fat is. So reduced fat cheese means you can just eat more of it, doesn’t it?

The really great thing about the Reduced Fat Dubliner is that, because it has such great flavor, you don’t need to add a lot of additional fat for flavor when you cook with it. I decided to feature this feat of flavor in a creamy baked potato soup. This soup is rich and flavorful as well, but the flavor comes from the Dubliner, not from the addition of cream, sour cream, or cream cheese, which is used in pretty much every other baked potato soup recipe I’ve seen.

I also use some turkey bacon, which pairs really well with the cheese, and onions. But really, it’s a simple recipe, and Reduced Fat Dubliner is the star.

How would you use Reduced Fat Dubliner?

 

light-baked-potato-soup-kerrygold

 

Light Baked Potato Soup Recipe
 
Author: Diana Johnson
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 8
  • Serving size: 1.5 cups
  • Calories: 408
  • Fat: 8.71g
  • Saturated fat: 5.22g
  • Carbohydrates: 63.93g
  • Sugar: 4.83g
  • Sodium: 1069.58mg
  • Fiber: 6.79g
  • Protein: 19.8g
  • Cholesterol: 23.13mg
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Light Baked Potato Soup is still rich and creamy, but actually good for you!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon Kerrygold Unsalted Butter
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 large russet or baking potatoes (about 5 pounds), cut into large chunks
  • 2 quarts (64 ounces) chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 5 strips cooked turkey bacon, chopped
  • 7 ounces Kerrygold Reduced Fat Dubliner Cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a large pot on medium high.
  2. Add the chopped onion and cook for one minute until onion is soft.
  3. Add the potatoes, and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, until they get a little color on them.
  4. Pour in the chicken stock, and add the salt and pepper. Bring heat up to high.
  5. Cook the soup for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are completely soft and easily pierced with a fork.
  6. Turn off the heat, and use an immersion blender to carefully puree the soup. You can make it as smooth or chunky as you’d like. We prefer ours with some bite sized potato chunks.
  7. Stir the bacon and cheese into the soup. Add additional salt or pepper to taste as needed.
  8. Dish the soup up and top with chopped green onions.
Notes
Approximate cost/serving: I find the Reduced Fat Dubliner runs around $6 for a 7 ounce package.You can save money by making your own stock, and by regrowing your cut green onions in water. I find this batch of soup to cost around $12, which means just $1.50 per serving.Vegetarian/Gluten Free: You can make this vegetarian by skipping the bacon, though it will still have dairy. Make sure if you use boxed or canned stock that it’s gluten free.

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