It has been a long time since I wrote the blog. I've been busy, but that's not much excuse. I am going to try to write at least weekly. I also finally restarted my Examiner.com column, celebrating "Pi Day" earlier this week and today writing a long article on Irish food and drink. To show that I really do cook what I write about, I thought I would write up what I prepared today.
The soda bread was made for lunchtime, since I have a class on Saturdays and we get food there. Although you should let soda bread rest a bit after it comes out of the oven, as you can see I wasn't very patient:
My recipe was simple: One cup of unbleached flour, a half-cup of whole wheat flour, and a half cup of oat flour made by buzzing American oatmeal in a grinder, to which I added a half-teaspoon each of baking soda and baking powder. While the last isn't traditional if you use buttermilk, I didn't have that so was using evaporated milk, and without the chemical reaction of the buttermilk with the soda, you need to add a bit of baking powder. As noted, I then added about five ounces of milk, until I achieved a soft dough. Carefully patting it into a round, I made a deeply slashed cross in the top and baked it at 400(F) for about forty minutes.
While it baked, I had an onion in its skin in a small pan with some water, also baking. When I took the bread out I added a bit more water and let the onion finish roasting until it was quite soft inside. It was easy to reheat at suppertime.
For the main course, I made potato cakes, or "boxty", with smoked fish. To do this I created mashed potatoes with about ten ounces of potatoes, some chopped garlic scapes, salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg, and about an ounce of butter. When it was all nicely beaten, I added a third of a cup of unbleached flour and an egg. it was a bit soft so I just dropped scoops into hot butter and fried them on both sides until done.
As you can see, I have some Irish butter that I used to fry the potato cakes. It also went onto the soda bread. The fish were small chubs, and the flaked meat warmed nicely on the hot cakes. Then I sauteed some kale and cabbage together for a side dish, and here is the finished supper:
If you think the amount of flaked fish looks like less than two fishes worth, it is. I mixed the rest of the flaked fish into the remaining potato mixture and created two fishcakes. These I fried and put into the refrigerator with the remaining greens and half the onion - tomorrow's meal is ready to heat!
Very, very yummy. I didn't make any of the dessert recipes in my article, but with all this I don't need any.