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Cheddar Chive Beer Bread

March 17, 2013

Cheddar Chive Cheese Bread

Fresh bread has a way of transforming any meal into something special, but add cheese… and beer… and you have something to get really excited about.  Combine that with the fact that this bread takes only minutes to put together and it is hard to come up with an excuse NOT to make the bread.

Cheddar Chive Beer Bread is moist, cheesy, oniony goodness with just the right amount of tang from the beer.  A quick brush of butter over the top before baking makes for a crunchy buttery crust.  Any kind of beer will do.  I have made this with everything from a light pale ale to a rich Guinness.  Keep in mind that the more flavorful the beer, the more of the beer taste will come through in the finished loaf.  The alcohol however cooks off in the process, so do not hesitate to serve this up to the kids.  My kids love it! Read the rest of this entry »

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Irish Watercress Soup

March 15, 2011

St. Patrick’s Day in the United States is best known for the table top spread of corned beef, cabbage, and generous glasses of Guinness.  While my family does enjoy this time-honored meal (I am curing my own brisket for the occasion as we speak), there are many other dishes that can also serve to mark the day.  This year, I made Irish Watercress Soup in addition to the standard fare .

Watercress first came into my awareness while reading the children’s classic, Trumpet of the Swan.  Reportedly, it is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables to play a role in the human diet.  It comes from the same family, Brassicas, as broccoli and mustard, and the same genus as nasturtiums. The peppery bite is very reminiscent, though milder than the spicy taste of nasturtium flowers.  Blended into a traditional potato leek soup, it imparts a beautiful green color and bright peppery flavor.  This soup has a rich taste, despite being vegetable based and fairly low-fat.  It is hardy enough to serve as a main dish with a side salad and crusty bread.

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