Crusty Irish White Bread

5 cups all purpose flour
3 t. baking soda
2 1/2 t. salt
3 cups buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place dry ingredients in mixing bowl and stir vigorously with a whisk to fully incorporate. Create a "well" in the center and pour in half of the buttermilk. Using a mixing spoon, pull the flour from the sides into the buttermilk and mix. Add remaining buttermilk. At this point, it is helpful to use your hands to incorporate the dough. Combine thoroughly. Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface. Knead for about 2 minutes, adding additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Shape dough into a loaf and place in a well greased, medium size loaf pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake additional 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Wonderful served with Irish butter!

Fresh Irish Pub Salad

Layer in a serving bowl any of the following fresh ingredients:

Fresh greens (Bibb lettuce, spinach and watercress work well)
Thinly sliced cucumbers
Sliced red onion
Chopped tomato
Sliced celery
Sliced hard boiled eggs
Shaved Irish Cheddar Cheese or crumbled Irish blue cheese

Drizzle with Irish Sour Cream Dressing.

Irish Sour Cream Dressing

1 (8oz.) container sour cream
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup half-n-half
1/2 t. salt
2 t. sugar
1 t. dry mustard
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. If you prefer a chunkier dressing, then coarsely chop the eggs and combine the ingredients in a bowl by hand.

Dublin-Style Roasted Potato Soup

3 large baking potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 large onion, chopped
4 T. oil
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 T. butter
1 1/2 t. salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place potatoes and onions in single layer on large baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and toss to coat thoroughly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing occasionally, until onions are soft and potatoes are golden brown.

In large saucepan, heat 2 cups chicken broth, whipping cream, butter and salt until piping hot. Add roasted potatoes to saucepan and boil gently 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a hand-held emulsion blender, carefully puree the mixture until smooth and creamy. (Note: If you do not have an emulsion blender, you can transfer the mixture to a blender - in 2 or 3 batches - and blend until smooth; then return to the saucepan). Add remaining 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and heat soup until piping hot. Serve as is, or top with a sprinkling of cheddar or Irish cheese and sliced green onions. If mixture is too thick, it may be thinned with additional chicken broth.

Serves 6

Shrimp and Crab Newburgh in Phyllo Purse

1 cup small or salad shrimp, fresh or frozen, peeled and deveined
4 oz. crab claw meat (1/2 of an 8 oz. container)
2 T. butter
1/8 cup sherry
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1/4t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. salt

1 pkg. frozen phyllo dough sheets (8 sheets will be used)
4 T. melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Follow package instructions for defrosting phyllo dough sheets. Keep sheets covered with damp paper towels to ensure phyllo dough does not dry out.

Melt 4 T. butter in skillet or small dutch oven. Add shrimp, crab and sherry. Heat through.

In small saucepan, whisk egg yolks into cream. Heat mixture over medium heat until thickened, 4-5 minutes. Add salt and spices. Add half of the cream mixture to the shrimp and crab. Reserve the remaining cream sauce for serving.

Take 4 sheets of phyllo dough and trim to form a 9" x 9" square.
Repeat with a second set of 4 sheets. Brush melted butter between each phyllo sheet. Divide shrimp mixture into 2 portions and place in the center of the phyllo sheets. Gently pull up the sides of the phyllo square, joining the edges at the top. Squeeze firmly to seal the top. Brush with a little of the remaining melted butter.

Bake for approx. 25 minutes or until golden brown. Spoon warm cream sauce over phyllo purses just before serving.

Warm Forelle Pear Salad

A Serving for Two:

2 Forelle pears, cut in half and cored
1/4 cup sugar
3 T. oil
2 T. white wine vinegar
2 T. sugar
2 cups fresh greens (spring mix or bibb lettuce works well)

Place cut pears in a saucepan with boiling water and cook 13-14 minutes until tender. Remove from water.

Heat small skillet over medium heat. Place 1/4 cup sugar on plate
and press each pear half into sugar on both sides, coating generously. Place pears on dry skillet and cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Flip pears and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
Important Note: Keep the heat at medium to medium-low so the sugar darkens, but does not burn.

Remove pears from skillet and place 2 halves on 1 cup of greens. Repeat with remaining 2 pear halves.

To the skillet with the pear drippings and sugar, add 1/4 cup water and cook for 1 minute until syrupy. Add oil, vinegar and remaining 2 T. sugar. Whisk vigorously over medium heat until warm and fully incorporated. Spoon immediately over pears and greens. A nice addition: top with crumbled gorgonzola and toasted nuts.

Serves 2

Dark Chocolate Fondue for Two

Treat yourself - and your honey - to this dark and decadent dessert for two. The great will only take a few minutes to whip up!

1 (12 oz.) bag Ghiradelli dark chocolate morsels
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Warm the cream in a double boiler - or a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the dark chocolate morsels and stir until melted, smooth and glossy, 2-4 minutes.

Transfer chocolate to a small serving bowl, fondue pot or tiny crock pot.
Serve with your choice of dippable items: strawberries, raspberries, bananas, marshmallows, chunks of pound cake, pretzels, etc. Use small salad forks or fondue forks. Enjoy!

On the Show - January 19 - Succulent Balsamic "Every Day" Pot Roast

What are the three essential steps to a perfect pot roast every time? Brown..Deglaze...and Braise. The browning and deglazing intensifies the flavors while the braising ensures your roast is moist and succulent.

The most difficult part of this fabulous pot roast will be waiting the 2 hours while it slow braises in your oven! Warm, tender and bursting with deeply infused flavor, it is the ultimate comfort food. Try serving it atop Creamy Horseradish Whipped Potatoes (recipe below).

3 1/2 - 4 lb. chuck roast
4 T. oil plus 2 T. oil
2-3 large onions, quartered and sliced thick
1 (8 oz.) package sliced baby bella mushrooms

1 (3 oz.) package sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup beef broth or stock
1/3 cup bals
amic vinegar
2/3 cup red wine
3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 t. smoked paprika
2 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper
2 T. flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Trim the c
huck roast, removing large strands of visible fat and cutting the roast into 6-8 pieces.
In a 5-7 qt. du
tch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat in a single layer and brown for 3-4 minutes on each side (meat may need to be browned in 2 batches).

Remove the meat to a plate. Add remaining 2 T. oil, onions, mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes to the dutch oven. Saute until the onions are tender. Add the flour and stir. Add the beef stock and deglaze the pan by scraping up any brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan (they have intense flavor). Add the balsamic vinegar, red wine, garlic, smoked paprika and salt and pepper. Stir until ingredients are combined, then return the chuck roast pieces and juices to the dutch oven.

Lay a piece of aluminum foil on top and carefully press down until it touches the entire surface of the pot roast. Tightly seal the edges of the foil, crimping them over the top of the dutch oven. Put lid on top. Place in the lower half of the oven and allow to braise for 2 hours. Excellent served over white rice or Creamy Horseradish Whipped Potatoes.

Substitutions: Try experimenting with different combinations of liquids and spices. 2 cups of liquid and a few teaspoons of spices for a 4 lb. roast is a good rule of thumb. Water, red wine, beef broth or stock, and beer are are excellent liquid choices. Garlic, rosemary, thyme and paprika (sweet or smoked) make wonderful spice additions to your roast. Salt and pepper is always a must.

Creamy Horseradish Whipped Potatoes - Short Cut Version

If you are serving more than 4 people, you'll want to double this recipe.
This short-cut version calls for refrigerated fresh mashed potatoes which will save you a good deal of time. It is an acceptable substitute to hand-mashed potatoes, especially considering you will be embelishing them with milk, butter, salt and horseradish. You can increase the amount of horseradish if you like more zip.

1 (24 oz) package refrigerated fresh mashed potatoes.
2 T. butter
1/4 cup milk or half-n-half
2 t. prepared horseradish (not horseradish sauce)
2 t. salt

In a medium saucepan or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add mashed potatoes and stir until smooth. Add milk, salt and horseradish and continue to stir over medium heat until piping hot. Serves 4.

Cool Weather Citrus Salad with Sweet Sesame Dressing

This fresh citrus salad is divine in its simplicity. The winter months produce the sweetest oranges, tangelos and tangerines. Do what I do and ask your produce grocer, "What's best this week?" He'll be happy to tell you. The week I prepared this dish for the Every Day show, Mineola tangelos were superbly sweet. So that's what I used. Florida or California navels, Valencia or even those cute little Clementines would also work well. (Hey, if you're in a real pinch, open a can of mandarin orange segments..with this recipe, you'll have a new appreciation for canned fruit.)

4 cups orange segments (peeled with toughest membranes & seeds removed)
1 (4 oz) pkg. crumbled feta cheese
1 (3 oz) pkg. sliced or slivered almonds
2 T. butter
1 t. salt
1 recipe Sweet Sesame Dressing

Melt butter in microwave. Toss with almonds and spread on baking sheet. Broil in oven until golden and toasty, tossing once or twice for even browning. (Watch carefully) Sprinkle with salt. Set aside to cool.

This salad is best assembled right before eating. Arrange orange segments on platter, shallow bowl, or individual salad plates. Drizzle with a generous amount of Sweet Sesame Dressing. Sprinkle with the desired amount of feta cheese and toasted almonds. Serve and enjoy!

Sweet Sesame Dressing
This recipe produces about 2 cups of dressing which is more than needed for 4 servings. It will keep for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator and is excellent on green salads and all kinds of fruit.

1/3 c. cider vinegar
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. paprika
1 cup oil
3 T. sesame seeds (buy them on the Asian food aisle - much cheaper than the spice aisle!)

Mix vinegar and dry ingredients (except sesame seeds) in blender until smooth. Gradually add oil until fully incorporated. Transfer to bowl, serving jar, or storage container. Stir in sesame seeds by hand. Shake or stir before serving. Keeps up to 3 weeks in refrigerator.