The best of IRELAND.Byline: Randi Bjornstad The Register-Guard
With St. Patrick's Day coming up next week, here's some good news for cooks who view every holiday in terms of its gustatory gus·ta·to·ry or gus·ta·tive
Of or relating to the sense of taste. possibilities: There's a lot more to the cuisine of Ireland than corned beef, cabbage and potatoes, potatoes and more potatoes.
No one knows that better - or has done more to prove it - than Eugene resident and food lover Betty Speck, who has been putting on an all-Irish meal for family and friends this time of year for more than three decades.
The annual dinner has become such a tradition that Speck and her husband, retired lumberman Harvey Speck, even have given their house a restaurant name - The Soused souse 1
v. soused, sous·ing, sous·es
1. To plunge into a liquid.
2. To make soaking wet; drench.
3. To steep in a mixture, as in pickling.
4. Herring - and have printed up a menu so their guests will know exactly what their mouths are watering about.
This year, the event features a recipe dating to 1666 for Stewed stewed
1. Cooked by stewing: stewed prunes.
2. Informal Intoxicated; drunk.
1. Beef With Sippets - soda bread used to mop up the meat juices in an era when spoons and forks hadn't been introduced yet to the Emerald Isle. The dish will be served alongside a tasty carrot and parsnip Parsnip, river, Canada
Parsnip, river, c.150 mi (240 km) long, rising in central British Columbia, Canada, and flowing northwest to join the Finlay River at Williston Lake and form the Peace River. puree pu·rée or pu·ree
tr.v. pu·réed or pu·reed, pu·rée·ing or pu·ree·ing, pu·rées or pu·rees
To rub through a strainer or process (food) in a blender.
n. , baked onions and a cold tomato souffle souffle /souf·fle/ (soo´f'l) a soft, blowing auscultatory sound.
cardiac souffle any cardiac or vascular murmur of a blowing quality. . All that follows the first course of Mushroom Soup Chanterelle chanterelle
Highly prized, fragrant, edible mushroom (Cantharellus cibarius, order Polyporales), rich yellow in colour, found in woods in summer and autumn. Its similarity to the poisonous jack-o-lantern (Clitocybe illudens, order Agaricales), an orange-yellow fungus of with pratie oaten oaten
pertaining to or emanating from oats. (potato and oatmeal) wafers.
To top it off - after a bit of a rest - Speck will bring out her famous Irish whiskey cake and whip up a round of Irish coffees.
"You'll notice there's no wine or other alcohol on the menu," she says. "That would be too much."
Of course, the 82-year-old Speck, who's a quarter Irish herself, doesn't cook just Irish food.
"I do all the traditional meals - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter - and I used to do a Mother's Day dinner - but the Irish dinner is the one I enjoy most," she says.
Born Betty Busch, Speck spent her early years in Idaho before moving with her parents - her father worked as a meatcutter - to Oakland, Calif., "where I had my first exposure to fresh salads and all kinds of vegetables, especially avocados," she remembers.
"I had never had garlic until we went to dinner at the home of an Italian man my father met, and ate meat cooked with garlic. My mother had seen garlic, but she didn't know what to do with it. After that, we used a lot of garlic."
Her family moved to Eugene just before World War II; her father, Theodore Busch, cut meat at the Groceteria - a meat and produce market on the southeast corner of Broadway and Olive Street in downtown Eugene.
The senior members of the Long family, longtime owners of Long's Meats in Eugene "were trained by my daddy," Speck says.
As a young wife and stay-at-home mother of two, she honed her skills in everything from cooking and baking to canning, pickling and freezing foods.
In 1956, she entered every food category and took the most blue ribbons at the Lane County Fair The Lane County Fair is an annual celebration held in Eugene, Oregon every August featuring food, music and other entertainment. It is held at the Lane County Fairgrounds. , winning the title of Lane County Kitchen Queen. She got her picture in the newspaper, showing then-Gov. Elmo Smith personally placing the crown on her head, with Speck dipped in a deep curtsey.
"I had to curtsey - I was a lot taller than he was," she says. "But it was a really tough competition. In those days, Lane County was known as the biggest, toughest fair in the state."
In a spare bedroom that doubles as an office in the family home on the north edge of College Hill, Speck keeps shelf after shelf of cookbooks, looseleaf binders filled with more recipes, and notebooks with narratives, recipes and pictures chronicling her annual Irish meals.
Some things - notably the carrot and parsnip puree, baked onions and the Irish whiskey cake - appear on the menu every year. Other dishes - such as pratie oaten, roasted stuffed chicken, ham stuffed with greens and a dessert called Dublin Rock - make occasional appearances.
She's especially proud of her Sproutin' Potatoes, a confection con·fec·tion
A sweetened medicinal compound. Also called electuary. made of French chocolate cream called "ganache ga·nache
A rich icing made of chocolate and cream heated and stirred together, used also as a filling, as for cakes or pastry.
[French.] ." It's formed in the shape of tiny potatoes and served spilling out of a miniature burlap bag stamped with the name of her grandfather, Thomas E. Downs.
"He was the sole distributor of Luther Burbank seed potatoes in Ontario (Canada) - they were developed to be immune to the potato blight - and everyone called him the 'potato king,' ' Speck says proudly. If Ireland could have had those seed potatoes, there never would have been a potato famine."
Mushroom Soup Chanterelle
3/4 cup chopped scallions, about 4 bunches
1/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups chopped mushrooms
3 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper
Saute chopped scallions in butter over low heat 5 minutes or until tender, covered with a round of waxed paper and the pan's lid.
Heat the milk and chicken broth together in a separate pan; set aside.
Add mushrooms to the scallions and cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in the flour and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat, add the milk-broth mixture in a stream, whisking the soup mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then simmer 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
1 1/4 pounds (about 2 medium-large) russet rus·set
1. A moderate to strong brown.
2. A coarse reddish-brown to brown homespun cloth.
3. A winter apple with a rough reddish-brown skin.
4. A russet Burbank.
1 cup fine (quick) oatmeal per 2 cups mashed potato
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
Butter for frying
Boil potatoes, without peeling, until tender. Drain, peel and mash or put through a ricer. For each 2 cups of mashed potatoes, add 1 cup of oatmeal. Work together with fingers.
Add melted butter and salt; mix well.
Turn dough onto a floured board. Roll to desired thickness, <21>-inch for wafers or 1/2 -inch for patties. Use cookie or biscuit cutters, using up to a 2-inch cutter for wafers or a larger cutter for patties.
Fry in a small amount of butter over medium heat until well browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve wafers hot with soup or salad. Patties taste good for breakfast, as a side dish to eggs and bacon or sausage, or with jam.
Depending on thickness, yields up to 60 wafer-thin cakes or a dozen patties.
Stewed Beef With Sippets
3 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1/2 -inch dice
1 1/2 cups butter, divided
1 1/4 cups stout beer, such as Guinness
1 1/4 cups red wine
1 onion, chopped fine
1 lemon, thinly sliced, divided
1 anchovy anchovy: see herring.
Any of more than 100 species of schooling saltwater fishes (family Engraulidae) related to the herring. Anchovies are distinguished by a large mouth, almost always extending behind the eye, and by a pointed snout. , mashed
Pinch of ground mace
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary, chopped
1/4 cup minced parsley
1 teaspoon dried savory
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Brown the diced meat in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the butter, as needed as needed prn. See prn order. . Place in a heavy kettle; add stout, wine, onion, half the remaining butter and half of the sliced lemon. Bring just to a boil, then reduce heat to just bubbling, stewing for 30 minutes. Add the anchovy, mace and herbs, and mix. Stew for another 60 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove meat to a bowl. Make a sauce by adding the rest of the butter and lemon to the broth, and bring it to a boil.
Place a thick slice of coarse bread (see Irish Soda Bread Noun 1. Irish soda bread - round loaf made with soda and buttermilk; often containing caraway seeds and raisins
quick bread - breads made with a leavening agent that permits immediate baking ) on a plate. Spoon a portion of the meat onto the bread and top with some of the sauce, which will soak into the bread.
Irish Soda Bread
3 cups unbleached flour, plus a little more for handling
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar cream of tartar, white crystalline powder. Chemically it is potassium hydrogen tartrate, KC4H5O6, the acidic potassium salt of tartaric acid. It is used as the leavening agent in baking powders.
2 tablespoons butter or corn oil margarine, plus more for baking sheet
1 1/3 cups buttermilk buttermilk
residual fluid after removal of fat from milk in butter manufacture; a protein-rich supplement fed to pigs.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl. Blend in the butter or margarine, using fingertips or a pastry blender, until flour resembles coarse cornmeal corn·meal also corn meal
Meal made from corn, used in a wide variety of foods. Also called Indian meal.
Noun 1. . Stir in buttermilk to make a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured board; knead knead
tr.v. knead·ed, knead·ing, kneads
1. To mix and work into a uniform mass, as by folding, pressing, and stretching with the hands: kneading dough.
2. to make a smooth ball, adding small amounts of additional flour as needed. Divide kneaded dough into 2 parts; form each into a ball.
Place balls on a buttered baking sheet, and flatten into rounds 2 inches thick. With a floured or greased knife, score the tops deeply lengthwise length·wise
adv. & adj.
Of, along, or in reference to the direction of the length; longitudinally.
Adj. 1. lengthwise and crosswise, to within an inch of the edges.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until firm and lightly browned. Remove to a rack to cool.
Carrot and Parsnip Puree
1 1/2 pounds (4 to 5 medium) parsnips
1 1/2 pounds (about 9 medium) carrots
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter to finish
In a saucepan, boil the parsnips whole - do not peel first - in enough salted water to cover, about 20 to 30 minutes until tender. Drain and peel under cold running water.
Peel the carrots and boil them in another saucepan of salted water, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Puree the parsnips and carrots by passing them through a food mill, food processor or a blender, either smooth or with small chunks remaining. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Scald scald (skawld) to burn with hot liquid or steam; a burn so produced.
To burn with a hot liquid or steam.
A body injury caused by scalding. the cream in a saucepan by heating it to just below boiling; while still hot, add the 1/4 cup butter and stir until it melts. Stir into the pureed vegetables and add the nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Transfer to a buttered 1 1/2 -quart baking dish. Dot with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Bake for 20 minutes.
1 small onion per person
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Fill a metal baking pan with 1 inch of water. Place unpeeled Un`peeled
a. 1. Thoroughly stripped; pillaged.
2. Not peeled. onions in the baking pan and bake for 2 hours. If using medium to large onions, bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 2 hours longer.
Cold Tomato Souffle
2 pounds (about 4 medium slicing tomatoes) ripe tomatoes
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin gelatin or animal jelly, foodstuff obtained from connective tissue (found in hoofs, bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage) of vertebrate animals by the action of boiling water or dilute acid.
1 1/4 cups warm stock or water
1 cup mayonnaise
1 small onion, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup cream
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley for garnish
Skin and dice tomatoes; scalding scalding
plunging of pig or poultry carcasses into very hot water to facilitate scraping and dehairing and plucking. Chicken scalding water is 130°F for broilers (larger birds higher) applied for 1 to 2 minutes. Modern pig abattoirs use steam at 144 to 147°F for about 3 minutes. in boiling water makes skinning easier.
Soften gelatin in warm stock or water until granules Granules
Small packets of reactive chemicals stored within cells.
Mentioned in: Allergic Rhinitis, Allergies dissolve.
Set aside half of the diced tomatoes for garnish. Puree the rest of the tomatoes in a food processor and pass through a sieve to remove seeds and lumps. Flavor the mayonnaise with the onion and blend that mixture with the pureed tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the dissolved gelatin.
Whip cream until it holds a peak. Fold in the whipped cream until smooth and completely absorbed.
Put in serving dish - a clear bowl shows the color nicely - and chill thoroughly.
When ready to serve, spoon the reserved, diced tomatoes around the edge of the bowl and sprinkle the parsley in the center.
Serves 6 to 8.
Betty's Irish Whiskey Cake
For the batter:
2 cups butter, warmed to room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
10 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons Irish whiskey
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted after measuring
1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter
4 tablespoons Irish whiskey (1 more if glaze becomes too thick)
Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees with rack in the middle of the oven.
Beat 2 cups of butter until light and creamy. Slowly add the granulated sugar, beating well after each addition.
Separate the egg yolks from the whites, dropping the egg yolks into a bowl one at a time, beating after each addition until the yolks become light and lemon-colored.
To the butter-sugar mixture, add the beaten yolks, the lemon zest, 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. Fold in the flour by hand. Set batter aside.
Beat egg whites until foamy foam·y
adj. foam·i·er, foam·i·est
1. Of, consisting of, or resembling foam.
2. Covered with foam.
foam . Add lemon juice and beat until whites form soft peaks; do not overbeat so that whites become dry. Fold beaten egg whites into the batter with a rubber spatula spatula /spat·u·la/ (spach´u-lah) [L.]
1. a wide, flat, blunt, usually flexible instrument of little thickness, used for spreading material on a smooth surface.
2. a spatulate structure. .
Spoon batter gently into the Bundt pan. Bake for an hour or until a toothpick toothpick,
n a wood sliver used to cleanse the interdental space.
toothpick, balsa wood,
n a triangular wedge of balsa wood used to clean the teeth interproximally and stimulate the interdental gingival tissues. inserted away from the edges comes out clean.
Remove from oven; cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Loosen from pan and invert in·vert
1. To turn inside out or upside down.
2. To reverse the position, order, or condition of.
3. To subject to inversion.
Something inverted. onto a foil-covered round (cardboard or a flat plate) the diameter of the cake.
To make the glaze, beat the powdered sugar, melted butter and 4 tablespoons of Irish whiskey smooth, using a fork or whisk, adding a little more whiskey if the glaze seems too thick to pour.
With the cake still warm, cover it with the whiskey glaze. Transfer the cake to an airtight container. Age at least two days before serving, preferably on a pedestal On a Pedestal is an EP by the Swedish band Adhesive, released in 1998. Track listing
v. sculpt·ed, sculpt·ing, sculpts
1. To sculpture (an object).
2. To shape, mold, or fashion especially with artistry or precision: ganache candies)
8 ounces semisweet sem·i·sweet
Having a small amount of sweetening: semisweet chocolate.
Adj. 1. semisweet - having a taste that is a mixture of bitterness and sweetness
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup orange liqueur
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 tablespoons confectioners' (powdered) sugar
1 tablespoon pine nuts
Heat the chocolate, whipping cream and liqueur in the top of a double boiler over boiling water, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.
Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes. Whip to soft peaks.
Sift cocoa and confectioners' sugar twice; set aside.
While cold, form the ganache mixture into small, potato-like shapes, about 1 1/2 -inches-by- 3/4 -inches in size.
Using a toothpick, poke a few holes in each to simulate potato "eyes." Cut pine nuts in half lengthwise, then poke into the holes to look like sprouts. Refrigerate until served.
Yields about 34 small "potatoes."
An Irish dinner includes beef with sippets, parsnip and carrot puree, baked onions, ganache candies and an Irish whiskey cake. Confections called Sproutin' Potatoes spill from a tiny bag. Thomas Boyd / The Register-Guard Betty Speck talks about the Irish dinner she serves to friends each year around St. Patrick's Day.