St. Pat’s small plates: Gaelic Glamour

It’s time for St. Pat’s revelry.  Elegantly.
Think of classic favorites…with magical Gaelic glamour.
Also fabulous for small plate presentation.
The Menu Shoppe has it covered…great finds for great menus.
Guinness Onion Soup with Irish Cheddar Crouton
Baked Rock Oysters with Bacon, Cabbage and Guinness Sabayon
Guinness and Stilton Pate
Irish Coffee Granita
                                         Irish Whiskey Pudding
Cheers to your celebration! Slainte!
Guinness Onion Soup with Irish Cheddar Crouton 
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves minced garlic
8 cups onions  (thinly sliced)
grey salt
1 tbsp fresh thyme (leaves chopped)
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups Guinness Stout
6 cups beef stock
1/2 lb cheddar (irish, sliced thin)
6 slices rustic country bread ( cut 1/2 inch thick toasted )
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and cook briefly to release aroma. Add onions, season with salt and cook for about 5 minutes stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden brown. Add the thyme, vinegar, and beer. Reduce beer by half and add the beef stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes. Preheat the broiler. Transfer soup to an ovenproof serving dish or individual ovenproof soup bowls.  Top with toasted bread slices and sliced Cheddar. Broil until cheese melts and starts to brown slightly.  Serve piping hot.
Baked Rock Oysters with Bacon, Cabbage and Guinness Sabayon
2 egg yolks
1/2 cups Guinness Stout
 dash of fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper–to taste
1 cup unsalted butter (melted)
4 green cabbage
(outer green cabbage leaves finely shredded)
1 tsp canola oil
4 slices bacon
24 oysters ( shell )
To make the sabayon, in a double boiler, whisk the egg yolks, Guinness, lemon juice, salt and pepper together. Place over barely simmering water, and whisk for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from the heat, and gradually drizzle in the melted butter until the sauce is well blended. Cook the cabbage in salted boiling water for 1 or 2 minutes, or until slightly wilted. Drain, and immerse in cold water. Drain again. In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook the bacon until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Preheat the broiler. Shuck the oysters over a small bowl. Reserve the deeper half of each shell, and rinse them under cold water. Place the shells on a bed of rock salt in a small, sided baking sheet. Divide the cabbage among the shells; put an oyster on top of each, and sprinkle the bacon over the oysters. Spoon some of the sabayon over each.  Place under the broiler 4 inches from the heat source, and cook for about 3 minutes or until the sauce is browned and bubbling.  Serve.  Enjoy.
Guinness and Stilton Pate
4 oz Stilton cheese ( crumbled )
2 oz Guinness Stout
2 oz butter
1 shallot ( finely chopped )
1 garlic clove ( minced fine )
1/2 lemon zest
1 bunch fresh parsley ( finely chopped )
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a saucepan and gently sweat the shallot and garlic until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.  When cool, add the Guinness and stir gently for 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Transfer to a blender and process until the mixture has bound. Season to taste. Divide between individual ramekins and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Serve with Irish soda bread or crackers.
Irish Coffee Granita
3 cups  freshly brewed espresso coffee
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup Irish whiskey
Place a shallow metal container in the freezer to chill. Place the coffee in a large heatproof jug. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Set aside for 30 minutes or until cooled completely. Add whiskey to the coffee mixture and stir to combine. Pour into the chilled metal container. Cover with foil and place in the freezer for 2 hours or until icy around the edges. Remove from the freezer and use a balloon whisk to whisk and break up granita. Cover with foil and return to freezer, whisking every 30 minutes, for a further 2-3 hours or until slushy. Spoon granita among serving glasses and serve immediately.
Irish Whiskey Pudding 
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 tablespoon whiskey * or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 pecan shortbread cookies–crumbled
1 cup whipped cream
Combine sugar and water in a heavy, medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil, without disturbing, over medium-high heat; continue cooking, without stirring, for 5 minutes, until mixture turns golden. Swirl pan and cook for about 1 more minute, until caramel is a deep amber color. Carefully and slowly pour in cream. Whisk caramel over low heat until smooth. Whisk 1/2 cup milk, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs, whiskey and vanilla with a fork.  Add remaining 2 cups milk to caramel mixture and bring to a boil. Whisk milkcornstarch mixture again, then whisk into hot mixture. Bring to a simmer; cook, whisking for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk 1 cup hot mixture into eggs, then whisk eggs into pan. Whisk while mixture cools, for 2 minutes. Stir butter in–strain through a fine sieve. Let cool, whisking occasionally.  Cover and chill for 2 hours. Spoon chilled pudding into glass bowls; top with cookie crumbs and whipped cream.
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
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