Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Irish Soda Bread

T U E S D A Y S   W I T H   D O R I E
Special thanks to this week's hostesses:  
Cathy of My Culinary Mission & 
Carla of Chocolate Moosey

Irish soda bread without butter? Without caraway seeds? Without currants? Say it isn't so. I'm rather partial to a beloved recipe that incorporates all of the above. A soda bread as basic as this just can't be as good. Of course, Mr. Leprechaun seems to think differently. 

This Baking with Julia recipe is courtesy of Marion Cunningham, contributing baker. A traditional Irish bread - made from the simplest of ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk - is quite wonderful on its own. Marion suggests adding chopped dried fruit - I threw in some currants (also traditional) as well as some apricots, both soaked in dark rum. I also added some orange zest - just for kicks. Being that there is no fat (butter) in this recipe, it turned out surprisingly delicious - and not dry in the least. It has a simple, not-too-sweet flavor that is perfect on its own or as an accompaniment to another traditional Irish dish, Corned Beef & Cabbage.

Special thanks to Cathy and Carla for hosting this week's recipe - visit their blogs to get the recipe.

– mike

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sitrus Sunday Sorbet : Meyer Lemon

 Meyer has always been an unattainable fruit for me. It wasn't until our brand-spanking-new flagship Trader Joe's (heck, it's our one and only) rose from a vacant parking lot last October, that I was able to find Mr. Meyer. I was overjoyed. And to celebrate, he is  reincarnated as a zesty sorbet - to ring in Citrus Sunday from Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook.

Bunky of was the inspiration for this citrus sunday. (Don't you just love the name Bunky)? I chose Bunky's recipe over powerhouse ice cream aficionados, David Lebovitz and Jeni, because of two reasons:  a beaten egg white and a tablespoon (or two) of vodka. Both additions help emulsify and prevent that dreaded "icy" texture to ice creams and sorbets. And who am I to question adding a little liquor in anything? 

The resulting sorbet was more than just quite tasty - I wasn't expecting much tartness, knowing Meyer is rather a sweet lemon. It is a marriage of both tart & sweet that shines. Smooth, almost creamy and deliciously refreshing! If Mr. Meyer hangs around for the summer, more of this sorbet will be made. Maybe even on a Monday.

A special thanks to Di for heading up this Citrus Round-Up. Be sure to stop by her blog to view all the fruit-filled entries!

– mike

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*  M E Y E R  L E M O N  S O R B E T  * 
Adapted from BunkyCooks

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 large egg white, at room temperature
3/4 cup Meyer Lemon juice (about 4 Meyer Lemons)
2 tsp. grated Meyer Lemon zest

1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. vodka
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and boil 1 minute.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg white until foamy. Slowly beat in the hot syrup mixture. Continue to beat until the mixture cools down slightly. Add the Meyer Lemon juice. Cover and chill until cold or overnight. The mixture will have the egg white foam on top, but it will mix in when placed in the ice cream freezer.

Place the mixture in a well chilled ice cream freezer. Mix in the zest and the vodka and freeze until it is the consistency of a soft serve custard. Remove from ice cream freezer and place in another container. Freeze overnight.
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