Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gourmet Club: Irish Style!

Even though we only have gourmet club every 3 months - it feels like it happens every time I turn around. Life is happening at warp speed - isn't it! This time I got the honor of hosting and if any of you remember what the last one was like at Robin Sue's house - you know I had big "Boots" to fill! Take a look at the Hoedown she put together - HERE!

With St. Patty's Day right around the corner I knew what I had to do - A Night at the Shamrock Saloon!
The idea started with a little sign I picked up at Michael's which said "Welcome to the Shamrock Saloon" - and with that it all fell into place!

I got the recipes to all the guests 2 weeks before the actual party date. That way if they had an odd ingredient they could figure out where and when to get it throughout the course of those two weeks. This menu happened to be pretty straight forward - so no one needed to stress. Robin Sue (From Big Red Kitchen) and "Himself" (Robin's Hubby) were on the guest list.... well as Sabrina (From Britikibar) and Her Hubby (The Man )! We rounded out the night with my carpool buds Michelle and her hubby Roy! Roy is in the picture below on the far left.

Michelle is in the picture below, second from the right. Best laid plans ( I meant to get a picture of each couple - and then the food called my name and I left the camera in the dust!)

On the Menu for a Night at the Shamrock Saloon:

Irish Soda Bread - Martha Stewart Living March 2009
Beets with Watercress and Bibb Lettuce - Martha Stewart Living March 2009
Corned Beef with Boiled Veggies smothered in Horseradish Gravy - Bobi's Bites
Banoffee Pie - Paula Dean

Beets with Watercress and Bibb Lettuce
1 Bunch medium red beets, trimmed and scrubbed(4 to 6 beets)
3 Tablespoons white-wine vinegar
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
1 Tablespoon finely chopped shallot
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons, extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch (6 oz) watercress, tough stems trimmed
1 medium head (5 ounces) Bibb lettuce, leaves torn into 1 inch pieces freshly ground pepper.

Preheat oven to 425. Divide beets between 2 parchment-lined pieces of foil. Fold each in half, crimping edges to seal. Place packets on a baking sheet, and roast until beets are tender, about 1 hour, 20 minutes. Peel, then cut into 1/2 inch-thick rounds and wedges.
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, shallot, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add oil, whisking until emulsified. Arrange greens and beets on a platter. Drizzle with dressing, and season with pepper.

Irish Soda Bread

• 4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
• 2 cups golden or dark raisins (Robin used 1 cup dried cherries instead - yum!)
• 1 1/2 scant cups buttermilk
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 large egg yolk
• 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and caraway seeds until well combined.
2. Using a pastry cutter or two knives in scissor fashion, cut in butter until the mixture feels like coarse meal. Stir in raisins until evenly distributed.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and baking soda until well combined. Pour buttermilk mixture into the flour-and-butter mixture all at once, and stir with a fork until all the liquid is absorbed and the mixture begins to hold together. It should resemble a rough biscuit dough. Using your hands, press the dough into a round, dome-shaped loaf about 8 inches in diameter. Lift the loaf from the bowl, and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet.
4. In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk and cream together. With a pastry brush, brush the egg wash over the loaf. With a sharp knife or razor, incise a cross, about 1/2 inch deep, into the top of the loaf. Transfer to the oven. Bake, rotating halfway through, until it is deep golden brown and a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center, about 70 minutes. Remove from oven, and transfer bread from the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool. Makes 1 loaf.

Banoffee Pie
• 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
• 10 tablespoons butter, softened
• 2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
• 3 large bananas
• 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
• 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix graham cracker crumbs with softened butter and press mixture into 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes.
Lower the oven to 300 degrees F for the toffee filling.
To create toffee filling, caramelize the sweetened condensed milk. Pour the condensed milk into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Cover with foil and place dish inside a larger poaching pan. Add water to poaching pan until half way up sides of baking dish. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Once both the crust and toffee filling are cooled, spread half of the filling evenly inside crust. Slice the bananas and layer on top of filling. Pour remaining half of filling over bananas, spreading evenly. Whip the cream with the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and spread on top of toffee filling and bananas.

I wish this picture did it justice - It was AMAZING!

No Gourmet club would be complete without a little goody for the guest to take home. This was just a little "Thank you for coming" gift of a clip board and Thank you cards! I love those girls - and I wanted them to know!

Tune in Friday for Bobi's amazing Horseradish gravy that smothered everyone's plate! No St. Patty's day celebration would be complete without it!


Robin Sue said...

This was so much fun! I will have to make that pie again but I will use dulce de leche, I don't have Roy's patience. That beef was awesome! And the gravy to die for!

tamilyn said...

Wow, that looks like such a fun party! Bet everyone had a great time. Loving those green shades!

Sheila said...

Great menu! The flowers are amazing; I just love roses and hydrangeas and what subtle, beautiful colors.

You guys are so creative and fun!

Sabrina said...

Rindy... everything was wonderful. We had so much fun. All the food was amazing. I have already bought a corned beef to make for St Patty's day. I can't wait. And Eddie has enjoyed his 'special' treat bags immensely. I hang my head in shame...

Karen said...

Everything looks good - beautiful table. I bet you all had a great time!

noble pig said...

OMG please tell me you have a picture of the inside of that pie!

Elyse said...

What a great party! I just found your blog from Robin Sue's post about your Supper Club, and I'm so glad I did. The blog is great, and all of the festivities surrounding your Irish Dinner are just fabulous!

Suzy said...

Looks like a great party. I'd love to be a part of a group that did this regularly! I have those same pink plates that you have your meal on. :-)