Posts tagged Irish
Irish Cream & Reishi Mushroom Coffee Cordial
Irish Cream & Reishi Mushroom Coffee Cordial

Well la de da, I guess it's already mid March and time for another round of me remembering that I'm of Irish descent (very much so, in fact) and breaking out some basic Irish recipes. I love Irish food. I'm one of those few Americans who are obsessed with a traditional Irish breakfast, my absolute favorite part being the blood sausage. That paired with tomatoes and beans make for the perfect comfort food in my book. The Irish seem to have a knack for comfort and good hearty food; at least from what I understand from the meals that have been popularized here in the States. Dense soda bread, boiled potatoes with corned beef and root vegetables, dark, frothy beer... the Irish have a good sense of foods and libations that are made to satisfy and soothe. 

Bailey's Irish cream was first created in 1973 by two men in Essex. According to their tale, the idea was birthed in minutes and the actual product was mixed up within one hour. It was a daring move, to add cream to the beloved Irish whiskey, but they made it work and it sold - a lot. Its low percentage of alcohol made it the perfect paring for other spirits, therefore creating space for people to purchase more booze to mix with it. Ka-ching, am I right? 

While mulling over what to create for my second annual "oh right, I'm also Irish" recipe, I knew I wanted to do something with liquor and after some research, this was the thing that stood out most to me. I still haven't been to Ireland and none of my immediate family immigrated from there, so my ancestral connection to that side has yet to be fully experienced. But I know it will some day and until then, I'm going to keep on making Irish recipes and learning the folklore. And hell, maybe I'll even try my hand at making my own blood sausage. I'll keep ya updated on that one. 

Traditionally, instant coffee is used when making Irish cream. However, being the herbal cordial nerd that I am, I wanted to try something different and infuse my whiskey before adding the cream and chocolate. This version is less sweet than Bailey's, so feel free to adjust the maple syrup, or add 1/2 a cup of raw sugar to the cordial while infusing. 

The Cordial

1 pint Irish whiskey
3 slices reishi mushroom, chopped
1/4 cup crushed coffee beans
2 cinnamon sticks
 

The Mix

1 cup infused whiskey
2 cups heavy cream
1 tbs cocoa powder
1-2 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

In a glass jar (I used a wide mouth pint size jar) place the coffee beans and lightly crush with a wooden spoon or muddling tool. Add cinnamon sticks, chopped reishi and cover with whiskey. Cap tightly and infuse for 1-3 weeks. After infusion time, strain the cordial and transfer to a clean jar. ((For this recipe, I honestly forgot to make my cordial a couple weeks in advance, so I infused it over the course of a few nights. It wasn't as strong as I would have liked, but it was still so good!!))

After straining the cordial, place all the cream, cordial and remaining ingredients in blender and mix until smooth. The liquid will be a little frothy, so let it settle for a bit before transferring to a clean bottle or jar. It will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Serve with coffee or on the rocks. 

 

Irish Cream & Reishi Mushroom Coffee Cordial
Elderberry & orange zest soda bread
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I dream some nights of a funny sea, 
as soft as a newly born baby. 

It cries for me so pitifully! 
And I dive for my child with a wildness in me, 
and am so sweetly there received. 

But last night came a different dream; 
a gray and sloping-shouldered thing
said "What's cinched 'round your waist, Colleen? 
is that my very own baleen? 
No! Have you forgotten everything?

- From Colleen, a Celtic inspired song by Joanna Newsom

While ancestral traditions mean a great deal to me, I realized I don't speak much about my Irish heritage. Perhaps it's due to my disconnect from the Irish side of my family or because I grew up with a Swedish grandmother who made Scandinavian traditions a big part of our holidays. Either way, I'm incredibly Irish. Take one look at my scarily pale complexion or my last name and you'll see it. 

Ireland holds a great deal of whimsy and mystery for me. I've never been but I often fantasize about working on a sheep farm somewhere amongst those emerald hills. Perhaps I will start honoring the Irish side of myself by researching more recipes and customs and lore that I am not yet familiar with. If you have any suggestions, send them my way! 

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Bread

4 cups flour  
1 teaspoon baking soda  
4 tablespoons cane sugar or honey
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/3 cups buttermilk  
1/2 (4 tablespoons) stick unsalted butter
1 egg
1/4 cup dried elderberries soaked  
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

Start by soaking elderberries in water for about 20-30 minutes. In a large bowl or stand up mixer, add flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Cut butter into small cubes and mix into flour by squeezing the butter with your hands until its combined with flour. In a separate bowl, beat egg and add to buttermilk along with your orange zest. Strain the elderberries and mix those in as well. Stir and pour into flour bowl and mix well. Your dough will be very sticky and wet. On a floured surface, knead dough for 1-2 minutes then shape into a roundish form. Place on baking sheet prepared with parchment paper. With a serrated knife, cut an X into the top of your dough. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until bread sounds hollow.

Honey butter  

1 stick softened butter  
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon  
A pinch of salt  

Cut butter into cubes and mash with a fork. Add honey, salt and cinnamon and mix into butter.  Place onto parchment paper and roll into a log shape then twist ends. Your finished product should resemble a wrapped candy. Keep in fridge to harden. 

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