I don’t know why holidays often baffle me when it comes to food, but they do. You would think that someone who spends the kind of time thinking about food like I do would have no issue. But not so, in my case. I think the idea that I must deliver something extraordinary puts me into a tailspin.
I plan to serve up the obligatory corned beef. I may even get as pedestrian as serving it with cabbage, but not likely. More likely I will serve it up with some strong Stout Mustard (recipe below) and some roasted root veggies. Maybe a sandwich is in order. Maybe some roasted, smashed potatoes with an au jus or something. Who knows yet.
I am a converted Catholic, but shortly after completing my RCIA, my spouse decided to leave the church, so… I never really got a good stronghold on the religious holidays. The only certainty I have about this Irish-themed religious holiday is that we will be eating Chocolate-Irish Cream Cream Puffs. They are light and delicious. I would eat a dozen of them, but fortunately for me, the recipe only makes a dozen to begin with.
Phew! That was a close one!
Chocolate-Irish Cream Cream Puffs (choux pastry adapted from Joy of Baking
1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) room temperature unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup water
2 large eggs, thoroughly beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
In a bowl whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
Place the butter and water in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. (Make sure that the butter melts before the water boils to reduce the amount of evaporation.) Remove from heat and, with a wooden spoon, add the flour mixture, all at once, and stir until combined. Return saucepan to the heat and stir constantly until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a thick smooth ball (about 1-2 minutes). Transfer the dough to your the bowl of your electric mixer and beat on low speed to release the steam from the dough (about a minute). Once the dough is lukewarm slowly start adding the lightly beaten eggs (dough will separate and then come together) and continue to mix until you have a smooth thick paste (dough will fall from a spoon in a thick ribbon). Spoon or pipe 12 small mounds of dough onto the baking sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. With a wet finger, push down any bits of dough that are sticking up.
Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue to bake for a further 30 minutes or until the shells are a nice amber color and when split, are almost dry inside. Turn the oven off, poke a hole in each puff and, with the oven door slightly ajar, let the shells completely cool (and dry out) in the oven.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 T. fine sugar or powdered sugar
1 T. Bailey’s Irish Cream Liquor
1/4 cup dark chocolate, coursely chopped
Place the cream into the bowl of your mixer and place in the refrigeratore for at least an hour. Place the whisk attachment in the freezer for the same time period. Over a simmering doubleboiler, melt the chocolate. Allow to cool slightly. With the mixer on high, blend the cream with the sugar and Bailey’s until peaks are starting to form. Slowly add the chocolate. Scrape down the sides and blend until the cream holds its shape. Using a pastry bag, insert the end into the cut made earlier in the pastry and fill with cream. Serve at room temperature.
Stout Mustard from Bon Appetit
1/2 cup coarse-grained Dijon mustard
2 T. regular Dijon mustard
2 T. Guinness stout or other stout or porter
1 small shallot, minced
1 tsp. brown sugar
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Best if made several days ahead.