I really enjoy St. Pat’s. Especially because I’m one-quarter Irish and my husband is half. We definitely have the gift of gab and I certainly feel lucky from time to time.
I thought a lot about what recipe to give you this year. I was leaning heavily towards corned beef & cabbage, but at the end of the day, I just couldn’t do it. Instead, I want to give you something salty AND something sweet.
For the salty, I decided on the Scotch Egg. I know, it’s really English, not Irish. But I had one yesterday at an Irish pub and it really hit the spot. So there…
Yield: 4 eggs (1 per serving)
1 1/4 lbs bulk country-style or herbed sausage
1 tsp crumbled dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
1/4 tsp cayenne
4 hard-boiled large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 raw large eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
vegetable oil for frying
In a large bowl combine well the sausage, the sage, the thyme, and the cayenne, divide the mixture into 4 equal portions, and flatten each portion into a thin round. Enclose each hard-boiled egg completely in 1 of the sausage rounds, patting the sausage into place. Dredge the sausage-coated eggs in the flour, shaking off the excess, dip them in the raw eggs, letting the excess drip off, and roll them gently in the bread crumbs, coating them well. In a deep fryer heat 2 1/2 inches of the oil to 350°F. and in it fry the Scotch eggs, 2 at a time, turning them and transferring them to paper towels to drain with a slotted spoon as they are done, for 10 minutes
For the sweet… Irish soda bread is such a source of contention, (who’s recipe is REAL?) I decided to go chocolate with Chocolate Irish Whiskey Cake. There’s WHISKEY in it!!!
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
6 ounces bittersweet (70% cocoa) chocolate (such as Scharffen Berger or Lindt), chopped
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 6 tablespoons hot water
1/3 cup blanched almonds (about 2 ounces), lightly toasted
6 tablespoons all purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
7 tablespoons vanilla sugar , divided
3 large eggs, separated
Pinch of fine sea salt
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter and flour 8-inch-diameter springform pan.
Boil 1/2 cup whiskey in small saucepan until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 2 minutes. Combine bittersweet chocolate, espresso powder mixture, and 1/4 cup boiled whiskey in small metal bowl. Place bowl over saucepan of simmering water; stir until mixture is smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Finely grind almonds with 2 tablespoons flour in processor.
Using electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and 6 tablespoons vanilla sugar in medium bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg yolks 1 at a time, then sea salt. Fold in chocolate mixture, then ground almond mixture. Using clean dry beaters, beat egg whites in another bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold whites into batter alternately with remaining 4 tablespoons flour in 3 additions. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 30 minutes. Remove pan sides and cool cake completely.
Combine semisweet chocolate and remaining 2 tablespoons whiskey in small metal bowl. Place bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Add remaining 1/4 cup butter to chocolate mixture, 1 small piece at a time, whisking until each piece is melted before adding next. Place bowl over larger bowl of ice water. Using electric mixer, beat icing until thickened to spreadable consistency, about 1 minute. Spread icing over top and sides of cake. DO AHEAD Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover with cake dome and let stand at room temperature.