An Irish(ish) Breakfast

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I know that things have been quiet here at O-YUM-G, but it's our 4th Anniversary, and that calls for a celebration with a new post and a new resolve to post more in the coming year!

This year, I've had the opportunity to host a small group of people from my church for a Lenten Bible study.  We meet every Saturday morning and I provide a breakfast for them each week, ranging from the classics like pancakes and eggs & bacon to the more exotic fare of casseroles and bread puddings. 

Since it's St. Patrick's Day, I thought I'd do something special and make an Irish(ish) breakfast.  After searching for what is traditionally included in an Irish breakfast (eggs, bacon/sausage, baked beans, grilled tomatoes) and determining that that wasn't quite what I was in the mood for, I came across something called "Bubble & Squeak".  With a name like that, how could you not be tempted to find out more?  Well, it's basically a hash made with leftover vegetables and mixed together with mashed potatoes.  It can be served with an egg or you can mix in bacon or sausage.  Recipes vary, as it's really more of a concept vs. a prescribed list and order of ingredients.  It came about as a way of using leftover potatoes, vegetables and whatever else was on hand.  They can be made large and cooked in a skillet or made in more individual patty-like servings and cooked on a griddle or even baked.  It sounded easy enough to me - so I added it to my menu.

Next, I wanted a baked good, maybe slightly sweet, to help balance the savoriness of the bubble & squeak.  I went back to my archives and found a recipe for Irish Soda Bread Scones that looked pretty good.  Called for browned butter (always a plus), buttermilk and cream (again, no complaints here!) and used dried cherries instead of raisins (sign me up!).

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Now here comes the "ish" part of this breakfast menu - Shamrock Rice Krispie Treats.  I had been shopping at Aldi (my new fav grocery store) last week, and they had a giant box of Lucky Charms with all shamrock marshmallows.  It just leapt into my cart (even though I don't really like Lucky Charms) and I knew I'd figure out something to do with them.  I just can't ever pass up a seasonally-related food item.  But here's the thing, I wanted to do something with the shamrock marshmallows, but not necessarily with the rest of the Lucky Charms cereal.  So I sat there and picked out all the marshmallows and made traditional Rice Krispie treats and then mixed in the green shamrocks - best of both worlds!

To round out our breakfast, I also cooked up some smoked bacon and prepared a pot of Irish Breakfast tea. Our meal was complete!

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BUBBLE & SQUEAK

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  • 2 cups roasted vegetables (brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes, onions, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup frozen petite green peas
  • 3-4 cups mashed potatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large bowl, add roasted vegetables and peas.  Mix together.
  2. Add 3 cups of mashed potatoes and mix to combine.  Add additional mashed potatoes as needed, until mixture comes together and holds.
  3. Divide mixture into 8 parts.  Form each part into a patty.
  4. Cook patties on a griddle or skillet until browned on both sides and heated through.
  5. Top each patty with a fried or poached egg, if desired. 
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IRISH SODA BREAD SCONES (adapted from Baker By Nature)

  • 1/2 stick (4oz) salted butter
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cups rolled or quick-cook oats
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream + 3 Tbsp (divided)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Sparkling or demerara sugar, optional
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown it on medium heat.  Let cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and dried cherries.
  4. Add browned butter, heavy cream, buttermilk, egg and vanilla.
  5. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula until the mixture starts to comes together; use your hands to mix in anything hanging out at the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Turn the mixture out on a lightly floured surface and gently knead until the dough comes together.  Don't overwork the dough.
  7. Divide the dough into two balls; flatten each ball into a disc and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Cut each round into 6 wedges.  Loosely separate each piece from the round (this allows for more even baking).
  8. Brush the tops of each scone with reserved 3 Tbsp cream and sprinkle with sparkling or demerara sugar, if desired.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tops and edges are a nice golden brown.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Summer Sangria

In the summertime, cool cocktails are a must, especially when faced with hot, humid nights.  My solution is to make a pitcher of this super easy, super tasty summer sangria!  It all starts with one of my favorite wines, a sweet shiraz by Jam Jar.  Add some fresh strawberry puree, orange juice and a little triple sec and you've got yourself a winning concoction! 

Summer Sangria

  • 750ml sweet shiraz or other sweet red wine
  • 4oz orange juice
  • 4oz fresh strawberry puree (about 1/2 cup whole strawberries)
  • 2oz triple sec
  • fresh strawberries and blueberries

In a large pitcher, add wine, orange juice, strawberry puree and triple sec.  Stir.  Add in fresh sliced strawberries and blueberries. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.  Add additional fresh fruit per glass, as desired.