Welcome to the fifth edition to my dinner and a song list series. If you missed the first installment, “Italian Night; Spaghetti Bolognese” you can find it here, the second installment; Memphis BBQ Night see it here, the third; Old English Chaucerian Night with Baked Cod and Bragot or the fourth
Hungarian Night with Paprika Chicken, Esterhazy Torte and Exquisite Violin, see it here.
I’m hoping, with this series, to not only bring some new tastes of food and music to your palates, but also something for your minds to chew, gobble and feast upon that might enlighten or enrich your evening meals and create a most memorable evening to share with your loved ones. And as they say in Gaelic, “Is maith an t-anlann an t-ocras.” (hunger is a tasty sauce).
What better way to get your “Luck ‘O the Irish” night going than to put on some fun Irish pub tunes to liven up the kitchen while you’re preparing these magnificent morsels. These songs will really put you in the mood for dancing a jig while perfecting your festive meal. Start out with Happy To Meet, Sorry To Part: Classic Recordings of Traditional Irish Dance Music. This one lends a helping hand with it’s bright melodies and happy tunes to really get things going in the kitchen.
Drinks; Irish Spring Cocktails for the ladies and of course Guinness for the guys
Starter; Deviled Eggs with Mushroom Bits find the recipe here.
Salad; Cabbage Salad; this recipe is on the same webpage as the deviled eggs recipe (clancian-carroll.com) look for the one including apples as it’s the better of the two cabbage salads.
Entree: Limerick Ham with Champ and steamed/buttered Brussel sprouts (see recipes below)
Dessert; Michaelmas Pie and Traditional Irish Toffee – Yellowman
If you’re wonderin’ why you don’t see Irish Stew with Guinness on the menu, well, see I was goin’ to give the recipe for an authentic Irish Stew, but historically, only Ireland’s wealthy dined on the delicacy of beef, as cows were kept for their milk. So pigs and old hens were more likely an Irishman’s dinner, and so when I came across a this lovely Limerick Ham recipe I completely changed my mind. But for those that would rather; here’s an Authentic Irish Stew With Lamb And Guinness recipe.
Entree: Limerick Ham
The juniper berries and gin mixed with the mustard and brown sugar make for a really great flavor and easy to make. And while you’re at it, use some of that left-over gin to make some fabulous cocktails for the ladies called Irish Spring Cocktails which employs 1 oz of celery juice (from 1-2 ribs of celery grated, mashed and “sieved” to obtain the juice), 1 1/2 oz gin, 1/2 oz simple syrup, 1/2 oz lime juice (fresh), 5-6 mint leaves for garnish. Read here on how to make them. Give the guys Guinness and they’ll be a’ smilin’ , and don’t forget to say “Sláinte!” (that’s “cheers” in Gaelic, see resources for how to say it”).
Limerick Ham Ingredients:
One ham-cured and cooked- not a salted country ham.
1/4 cup juniper berries (if dried soak until soft)
1 1/2 cups French style mustard (country style coarse if possible)
1 cup Gin
1 cup brown sugar
Score the ham to a depth of 1/2 inch on all sides. Rub juniper berries into the cuts all over the ham. Next, mix the gin, brown sugar and mustard and cover the ham with the mixture. Bake in a hot oven covered with foil until heated through. Remove foil and bake until skin is crisp. From time to time baste with liquid from bottom of pan.
And what better to go with your lovely limerick ham then potatoes! Everyone knows the Irish have a thing for potatoes. People in Ireland talk about potatoes like the French talk about wine; this year’s potato harvest, last season’s “earthiness” and “potato vintages” are common dinner conversation. So to honor them, it would only be proper to serve your lovely limerick ham with colcannon or champ of course! (since I don’t care too much for cabbage, I chose to add the recipe for champ; it sounded better) and steamed and buttered brussel sprouts on the side.
Champ recipe Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. cooked potatoes,
4 oz scallions,
1/2 cup milk,
salt and pepper,
4 large pats butter.
Peel potatoes and boil the in salted water. Drain and allow them to dry out completely. Trim and wash the scallions. Slice them finely including he green parts and put them in a pan with the milk to simmer gently until soft. Drain scallions and keep the milk. Beat scallions into the potatoes then gradually add the hot milk until you have a fluffy mixture. Season with salt and pepper and make into four servings. Make a mound with a dent in the center for an ample quantity of butter. As you eat the mixture you dip it into the butter in the center. (real butter is best for this!)
Soda Bread – Farl;
An absolute MUST for Irish dining is the ever famous Soda Bread, as a true Irishman could not sit down to dine without it! Here’s a great Video Tutorial for Making Soda Bread.
Soda bread comes in two main colors, brown and white, and two main types: cake and farl. People in the south of Ireland tend to make cake: people in Northern Ireland seem to like farl better — though both kinds appear in both North and South, sometimes under wildly differing names. Best Authentic Recipe for Farl.
And for Dessert; Well, I couldn’t choose between the two of these, and why not make both?
Michaelmas Pie and Traditional Irish Toffee – Yellowman
Michaelmas Pie is basically a blackberry and apple pie, here is a classic Irish Michaelmas Pie recipe, but instead of making the crust from scratch, just use a ready made pie crust to make things easier, and it’s best served hot with ice cream or fresh double (whipping) cream. And if you haven’t had enough sweets; try the toffee; here’s the recipe for Traditional Irish Toffee – Yellowman. (There’s a cute story that goes along with this recipe on the Irish Culture and Customs webpage above.)
Since there are so many traditional Irish party cd’s out there, and since we’ve already played Happy To Meet, Sorry To Part: Classic Recordings of Traditional Irish Dance Music, I picked some lovely Celtic/Irish music that would be more suitable and calming for a nice quiet candlelit dinner.
My favorite is Enya, here’s a new one; The Very Best Of Enya
Don’t forget to include; Most Beautiful Melodies of Irish Music
“This is without a doubt the most beautiful, tranquil, and wonderful collection of Irish music ever. The choice of tunes transpose you to a realm above. When you hear Gentle Breeze by Eileen Ivers, there will not be a dry eye in the house. The entire selection of music will make an Irishman out of us all. This is truly the pinnacle of quiet Irish songs.”
This beautiful fusion of folk, pop and classical influences is a debut release from Ireland’s Celtic Woman ensemble. The brainchild of Sharon Browne, Dave Kavanaugh (founders of Ireland’s successful Celtic Collections label) and young Riverdance touring company musical director David Downes won’t disappoint.
Last Night’s Fun – Irish Music in America great fun with Irish Music (after dinner of course!)
or; if you’re into vinyl; try this one; A BIT OF IRISH FUN.
Irish / Gaelic Blessings;
“Irish Gaelic blessings are a massive part of the Irish language. Irish culture has traditionally respected the wisdom of the elders, and their accumulated knowledge.” To learn how to speak Gaelic visit this interesting and informative website; http://www.irish-sayings.com.
Here’s a few to get you started:
“Sláinte!” (pronounced-sloynta) (Cheers!)
“Rath Dé ort! “(prononunced- rah jay urt ) – (May the grace of God be with you!)
“Éirinn go Brách!” (pronounced Erin guh brawk) – (Ireland forever!)
…..and if ya’ don’ like it, you can “Póg mo thóin!” (pogue muh ho-in)- “kiss my a**!”
har har har!
Stay tuned for the next installment of Music Pairings; Dinner and a Song List- Recipes for a Memorable Dining Experience Series.
And above all, sing loud, dance your heart out and love with everything you’ve got!
The Very Best Of Enya
“Italian Night; Spaghetti Bolognese” www.associatedcontent.com/article/5603864/music_pairings_dinner_and_a_song_list.html?singlepage=true&cat=22
“Memphis BBQ Night” www.associatedcontent.com/article/5607882/music_pairings_dinner_and_a_song_list.html?singlepage=true&cat=22
” Old English Chaucerian Night with Baked Cod and Bragot” www.associatedcontent.com/article/5611296/music_pairings_dinner_and_a_song_list.html?singlepage=true&cat=22
“Hungarian Night with Paprika Chicken, Esterhazy Torte and Exquisite Violin” www.associatedcontent.com/article/5618184/music_pairings_dinner_and_a_song_list.html?singlepage=true&cat=22
Irish Culture and Customs; http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/
how to say “cheers” http://www.irish-sayings.com/cats/irishwords/
limerick ham; http://www.weareirish.ca/dynpage/316
Video Tutorial for Making Soda Bread
Michaelmas Pie; http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/2Kitch/rDessert2.html#MichaelmasPie
Irish recipes http://clancian-carroll.com/recipe.shtml
Yellowman toffee recipe http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/2kitch/rDessert1.html
Most Beautiful Melodies of Irish Music
Celtic Woman http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007GAEGC?ie=UTF8&tag=yellowessent-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0007GAEGC
A BIT OF IRISH FUN