So you’ve seen every episode of Ida’s Barefoot Contessa show and own of her cookbooks on throwing a dinner party. You’ve even written in or called Martha Stewart for tips.
Well actually you’ve done neither because all though everything they do on television looks fabulous, it also looks time consuming and only attainable with a production stff to continuously pour liquid over the corn beef as it’s being taped.
Throwing a dinner party doesn’t require a staff and creating your guest list and sending out your invitations in advance are half the battle. Let me share with you a recipe for a hearty, traditional Irish meal that can stretch to serve plenty and create a cozy, family feeling over the dinner table.
Lamb stew is Irish penicillin: a rich stew full of potatoes, leeks and carrots that’ll cure whatever ails you. In traditional fashion, nothing here is browned first, just all stewed together. To keep it healthy make sure to trim the lamb of any visible fat before you cook it.
2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 3/4 pounds white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 large leeks, white part only, halved, washed (see Tip) and thinly sliced
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Combine lamb, potatoes, leeks, carrots, celery, broth, thyme, salt and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir to combine. Put the lid on and cook on low until the lamb is fork-tender, about 8 hours. Stir in parsley before serving.
TIPS & NOTES
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Tip: To clean leeks, trim and discard green tops and white roots. Split leeks lengthwise and place in plenty of water. Swish the leeks in the water to release any sand or soil. Drain. Repeat until no grit remains.
Serve this stew with that fabulous Irish Soda Bread recipe I posted yesterday and a huge salad and hope that everyone saves room for this dream dessert.
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
6 tablespoons key lime juice
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped, divided
1 graham cracker crust (9 inches)
In a large bowl, combine milk and lime juice. Refrigerate 1/4 cup whipped cream for garnish. Fold a fourth of the remaining whipped cream into lime mixture; fold in remaining whipped cream. Spoon into crust. Cover and freeze overnight.
Remove from the freezer 10-15 minutes before serving. Garnish with reserved whipped cream. Yield: 6-8 servings.
That’s for the adults of course. Because the kid in all of us will love these:
3 tablespoons butter
4 cups large marshmallows (about 40)
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
6 cups crisp rice cereal
6 ounces white candy coating, coarsely chopped
4 drops green food coloring, optional
In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add marshmallows; cook and stir over low heat until melted. Remove from the heat; stir in extract and cereal. With buttered hands, press mixture into a greased foil-lined 13-in. x 9-in. pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Turn onto a cutting board; remove foil. Cut with a 3-in. shamrock cookie cutter; reshape shamrock stem if needed (save scraps for another use).
In a microwave, melt candy coating at 70% power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth.
Stir in food coloring if desired. Spoon over cutouts and spread evenly. Decorate with sprinkles. Let stand until set. Yield: 15 servings.
Tune in for decor ideas and what drinks to serve at your party.
Thanks for visiting Diva (in Demand). My blog escapades have followed me across 4 states, 3 jobs, a business venture, and a new husband. There are no mini divas yet but I have loads of nieces and nephews to slobber and wipe their dirty hands on me. I am an amateur pastry chef, certified cake decorator, and seasoned home cook who knows how to pair French cuiseine with fine wine, collard greens and cornbread. You'll find a little bit of everything around here.....where I take talking to myself to a whole new level.