Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today, in many homes across the world, families are making their favorite Irish traditional dishes: Corned Beef and Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread, Shepherd’s Pie. I too wanted to participate in this nod to my Irish ancestry, but with the hectic day that I had, I decided to go with something a bit less usual. Fondue. My family loves Fondue. We have been enjoying the delicious (and traditionally Swiss) meal for years and every time we make it, and we try to make it slightly different each time, we look at each other and promise to make the quite simple dish more often. Here is a recipe that was modified from a previous German Stout and Cheddar fondue that we have made in the past.
I’ve also included a recipe for Irish-American Soda Bread. Irish-American soda bread is a sweeter, lighter take on the traditional bread. This one has currants and caraway seeds in it as well. This is my first time making it and it was a success. Delicious!
2 apples, cored & cut into chunks
Ingredients for fondue
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cups of sweet gherkin pickles (surprisingly delicious with fondue)
2 cups baby carrots, each halved
1 baguette (or any bread with lots of crusty crust)
lil’ smokies sausages or pigs-in-blankets
1 lb good aged cheddar, grated
2 ½ tbs all-purpose flour
8 oz. Guinness stout + more if needed
6 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 tsp powdered mustard
1 tsp finely minced garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp olive oil
Mix in the cheese gradually
Cut the bread into 1” squares. You may want to toast the bread. If your bread is day-old, skip this step.Turn oven to 250F. Toast bread pieces for 15 minutes. Remove and cool.
Make fondue: Toss grated cheese with the flour (a very important step!). In your fondue pot over low heat, or in a saucepan, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and garlic. Fry until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn heat to medium-high. Add Guinness, apple juice concentrate, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Bring to boil. Add cheese a little at a time, stirring constantly until fondue is smooth and melted. Thin with more Guinness, if needed throughout the meal. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve: Arrange bread, vegetables and fruit around the table. Enjoy!
Irish-American Soda Bread
Fondue and dipping ingredients
From King Arthur Flour.com
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1/2 cup yogurt)
1 cup (5 ounces) currants or golden raisins, firmly packed
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 tablespoon milk, for glaze
1 tablespoon coarse sugar, for topping
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, and beat on high speed until the mixture is thick and light-colored, about 2 minutes. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then 1 cup of the flour. Gently beat in half the buttermilk (or milk/yogurt mixture), then another cup of the flour. Add the remainder of the buttermilk, and the final cup of flour, mixing until smooth. Stir in the currants and caraway seeds.
Spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 8″ x 3 1/2″ round pan (or a 9″ x 3″ round pan), one whose capacity is at least 5 1/2 cups. A souffle pan or panettone pan is a good choice. Drizzle the milk atop the batter, and sprinkle with the sugar.
Bake the bread in a preheated 325°F oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Tent a sheet of aluminum foil over the top for the final 15 minutes, if it appears to be browning too quickly. Remove the bread from the oven, wait about 5 minutes, then carefully turn it out onto a rack to cool. Allow the bread to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing. Yield: about 12 servings.