Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Cabbage Family

Lately I have been craving brussel sprouts. One of the better things I have craved, so I'm not complaining! This vegetable is packed with vitamins: A, K, C, B6, and B1.  It's also been known to help fight cancer and it's full of fiber which will aid in digestion. It's also a low calorie veggie! This is a simple snack or side that you can make with little effort.  I got this whipped up in under 15 minutes, so it's perfect if you don't have a ton of time to spare!

What you'll need:
Brussel Sprouts (Organic is best!)
Olive Oil
Parsley leaves (chopped)

Pour 3 table spoons of olive oil into a skillet and put your burner on medium heat.  After about a minute, place your brussel sprouts in the skillet, stirring and flipping over your brussel sprouts so they do not burn.  After another 2-3 minutes, turn down the heat to low.

Add your garlic and parsley leaves, and continue to stir and flip the brussel sprouts for another 5 minutes on low heat.

Stir in freshly chopped tomatoes, and continue the "stirring and flipping" for another 2 minutes.

And that's it!  Pretty simple, and really good!

P.S.  If you want your brussel sprouts more cooked in the middle, try steaming them first and then sautee.  :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Delicious Farl Soda Bread

      It's a tradition in our family to make soda bread for St. Patrick's Day, (actually it's so good we make it year round!).  My grandmother is from Ireland, so I grew up eating a fair amount of Irish food, and this recipe is no doubt one of my favorites.  This bread is different than a lot of soda bread served in American-Irish pubs (which I have found tends to be of the baked brown variety).  There are many soda bread recipes, my grandmother happens to be from Northern Ireland, so I grew up eating "farl" soda bread.  This soda bread is cooked on a griddle, more savory tasting than sweet, it's also very dense...and very delicious!  My grandmother and I got together last weekend to bring our recipe to you.  Hope you enjoy!

What you'll need:
A griddle (pre-heated to 350 degrees F.)
Large Bowl
Wood mixing spoon (important that it's wood*)
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp of salt
1 1/2 cups of cultured low fat buttermilk
2 1/2 cups of Flour (gold medal is best, and should be for bread making)

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl

Make a well in the dry mixture and pour the buttermilk in, using a wooden spoon to mix

Keep mixing!

Sorry for the blurry picture, but I hope you can get the want to form the dough into a ball.

Place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface and kneed about 8-10 times and form into a circle.  When you've made your circle, cut the dough with a knife into four equal pieces...these are your farls!

Gently place each piece on your pre-heated griddle.  You may have to adjust the heat, as griddles can be a bit fickle at times and you don't want to burn your bread.  Generally speaking, it takes about 7-8 minutes for each side to cook.

If it's looking like're on the right track, the bread is already turning a bit gold in color, it just needs a few more minutes!  If you have cracks in the bread like we's normal, just as long as the cracks are not too deep that the bread is falling apart.

Make sure you cook the sides...this can be a bit of a balancing act.  For this step it's best to prop them up along side each other.

To be safe, you might want to stick a toothpick in the bread to make sure it has thoroughly cooked.  If the toothpick comes out clean, you're good!

After you've finished, place the bread on a cooling rack and let the farls cool for a few minutes before serving.

Top with butter and serve with a hot cup of tea!  

If you want to save the bread for later, you can always put it in the toaster on low to re-heat.

By the way...Happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone!!