Saturday, March 17, 2012

Irish Soda Bread

The BEST Irish Soda Bread
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Two years ago today we celebrated with Ashley MacIsaac in Whistler B.C., last year we went to a local Irish pub for traditional beer and Irish food and this year we decided to stay in and have a home cooked meal.  I’m making corned beef served with homemade sides consisting of: marbled rye, crisp red cabbage slaw, sauerkraut (yes homemade sauerkraut…we’ll see how it goes), and Irish Cream chocolate cake.  I will definitely be taking pictures and posting about the meal if it all goes according to plan. I’m especially excited about the marbled rye bread. I’ve been prepping my sourdough starter all week just in case I want to make a sour rye loaf.

I decided that my recipe for Irish Soda bread would be perfect to share with you today. It’s an easy no fuss recipe that comes together in minutes, gets popped into the oven for an hour and voila! You have a gorgeous warm, slightly sweet yet nutty and savory loaf of deliciousness. I’ve fine tuned this recipe and attempted to make it vegan but I didn’t like it as much. The eggs and the Greek yogurt give this loaf a certain je ne sais quoi!

I baked the loaf pictured yesterday morning and we ate half of it while watching Extreme Couponing. Honestly one of the best things about working 50-60 hours a week (besides the money) is being able to TOTALLY veg out on the weekend with absolutely no guilt!

Warm, moist Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread
By Kaitlyn McFadden

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 cups AP flour
  • 1 cup of whole wheat AP flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 1/2 cups raisins
  • 1 1/4 cups soy milk 
  • 1 tbsp of vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup non fat greek yogurt
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 inch cake pan. 
  2. Measure out the 1 1/4 cups soy milk into a small bowl or largeish measuring cup and stir in the vinegar. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flours, baking powder, baking soda and raisins. Form a well in the center of the dry mixture.
  4. In a medium sized bowl add the eggs, yogurt, and soy milk mixture, whisk together. Pour into the well of the dry ingredients. And stir together.
  5. Mix until all the dry flour has been absorbed. The 'dough' is more like really thick batter and will be very sticky.
  6. Plop...yes plop that dough into the prepared pan and pat down and shape it as best as you can into a roundish shape. I find that a silicone spatula works best. You can slice the signature cross into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife but my batter is always too sticky for that to work.
  7. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes. 
  8. Let rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving with butter and preserves.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Mexican Lasagna

A nice BIG slice of Mexican Lasagna is perfect after a morning on the XCountry trails.
For warmth during these cold and frankly pretty blistery months a lot of us turn to comfort foods to warm up and relax after a long day at work or on the slopes; hopefully the latter!

 Mac & Cheese is popular here in the US but all that cheese and cream and pasta just doesn’t appeal to us. When Shawn and I want comfort food I make slow cooked roasts with red wine and balsamic gravy, yummy baked enchiladas or even curry.

One of our new favorites however is Mexican Lasagna. It’s inspired by a recipe I found in the Williams Sonoma catalog a few months ago. I love it because I can bake it in my round Dutch oven which is the perfect width for large flour tortillas. Just grease the Dutch oven, layer the ingredients, bake, let cool 10 minutes, loosen up the edges with a silicone spatula and slice and serve. The presentation is gorgeous and the taste even better. Now THIS is comfort food!

Mexican Lasagna
Mexican Lasagna
by Kaitlyn McFadden

  • 1 3 1/2-quart round wide Dutch oven
  • 1 tsp of olive or canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 pound of lean ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of siriacha sauce
  • ½ tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp of prepared mustard
  • 1 3/4 cups enchilada sauce (recipe here)
  • 9 corn or flour tortillas, each about 6 inches in diameter (recipe here)
  • 2 cups of a ‘Mexican’ blended cheese mix (pepper-jack, cheddar, mozzarella)
  • Sliced green onion tops for garnish
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

1.       Preheat an oven to 375°F.
2.       Grease the Dutch oven with the oil.
3.       Sauté the onions and peppers with the ground turkey.
4.       Add the soy sauce, siriacha sauce, red pepper flakes and mustard. Mix into the meat mixture and cook until browned.
5.       Spread 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the Dutch oven.  Arrange 3 tortillas in a single layer on the sauce, overlapping them and positioning them to completely cover the full diameter of the Dutch oven. (Important since homemade tortillas aren’t perfectly round)  Top with a slightly heaping 1 cup of the turkey mixture, approximately 1/2 cup of the sauce and approximately 1/4 cup of the cheese. Repeat the layering 2 more times, alternating the direction of the tortilla layers. Use your discretion with the amounts but leave enough sauce and cheese to coat the top layer.
6.       Place in the oven and bake until the ingredients are heated through and the cheese is melted, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with green onions and cilantro.
7.       Serves 6-8 when paired with a healthy green or black bean salad.