To nourish your mind as well as your body

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.

-Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Fruit Brack

Irish Fruit Brack
(serves 4-8)

2 lb mixed dried fruit (I use dried Bartlett pears, blueberries, dark cherries, and golden raisins)
6 oz brown sugar
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup hot strong tea (I use English breakfast, but any black tea will do)
4 tbsp Irish whiskey
4 eggs worth of egg whites
3 large spoonfuls whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Place fruit, sugar, lemon juice and zest, tea, and whiskey in a large mixing bowl and let it soak for about four hours.
Preheat oven to 300 F.
Spray an 8x8 cake pan with butter Pam or brush it with melted margarine.
Pour eggs and vanilla extract over the soaked fruit and mix thoroughly.
Sift flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon together. Add to fruit mixture until dry ingredients and mixed in and moistened.
Pour bowl's contents into greased cake pan and bake for two hours.

Serve and enjoy. :)

Steak and Guinness Casserole

Many traditional Irish foods are laden with potatoes and butter and other delicious, high calorie-high carb foods. In this case, I tried a "healthier" spin on the traditional for St. Patrick's Day.

Steak and Guinness Casserole
(serves 6-8)

2 lbs steak (1 lb lean angus steak and 1 lb non-lean), cubed
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp brown sugar
2 large red onions, chopped into tiny pieces
1 bag sliced white mushrooms, chopped into tiny pieces
2 11.2 oz bottles Guinness draught
2 cups beef broth
2 large carrots, chopped into tiny pieces
2 baby green cabbages (halved, outer leaves removed, then the inside chopped up)
3 cloves garlic
thyme, a few pinches
olive oil

Mix flour, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Prepare a large pan with a couple teaspoons of olive oil.
Coat 1 inch cubes of steak in seasoned flour and brown them in the pan over medium heat. When meat is browned, remove steak to an extra large pot.
Lightly brown onions, garlic, and mushrooms in the meat juice (add a little extra oil if needed), then add to the beef in the pot.
Into the pot, add chopped cabbage, carrots, thyme, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt.
Pour Guinness and beef stock into the pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Spoon meat and vegetables out of the pot with a slotted spoon into a large casserole dish.
Reduce the remaining liquid to a gravy by simmering for 30 minutes over high heat.
Layer the large outer cabbage leaves over the top of the meat and vegetables, sprinkle a little brown sugar over the tops of the leaves.
Set the oven to 300 F.
Once the gravy is reduced, pour the thickened liquid over the top and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Serve hot in a bowl. Go on. Have a peace. It's good for you. :)