With St. Patrick’s day sneaking up on us, we wanted to offer our two-cents. No, not a green color palette for the living room or Irish-inspired furnishings. We’re talking food. And not just any food– comfort food.
There is little debate the delicious soup doesn’t solve all of life’s ailments, especially the wardrobe debacles that happen during this in-between season we’re in. Few people don’t melt into a pool of happiness when presented with a hot bowl of soup on a cool evening. Mushroom soup is one of those dishes that speak to the soul with hearty helpings of veggies and creamy broth. Not to be confused with lumpy cans of store-bought soup, our mushroom soup recipe strikes a chord of pure elation with a little bit of creme fraiche, sherry, and lots of fresh mushrooms. After one helping you’ll notice your hand gravitating toward the serving spoon for a second bowl of this delicious and cozy dinner delight.
Wild Mushroom Soup
This recipe is the quintessential busy week night dinner, with a fresher, creamier spin.
Makes 8 Servings
1 oz dry wild mushrooms
¾ cup sherry
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
1 pound fresh mushrooms, brushed, cleaned and sliced
6 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup crème fraiche
Rinse wild mushrooms well under running water; then soak in sherry for an hour. Drain the mushrooms and rinse off any remaining sand; pass sherry through fine strainer and reserve. Leave whole or chop mushrooms coarsely.
Melt butter in 8-quart soup pot, add the flour, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the chopped onions, fresh and wild mushrooms. Add the stock and reserved sherry and bring soup to boil, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat, cover partially, and simmer an hour or until the mushroom are very tender. Add seasonings, taste and adjust. Remove from heat and let stand 5-10 minutes before stirring in crème fraiche.
Ready to toss things up a bit? No dinner is complete without a salad, it’s just tradition. However, seldom is the dressing the star of the show. Picking the right salad dressing could make or break your favorite green dish, and the task shouldn’t be taken lightly. Great news! We have the best homemade salad recipe in town, and it’s easy to make, too. Grandma Mary’s Simple Dressing is called ‘simple’ for a reason: Most of the ingredients already live in your pantry, and others your neighbors are sure to have (but you’ll probably have to share if you have any leftovers!). Let’s get to it.
Grandma Mary’s Simple Dressing
Grandma Mary lived through the Great Depression, so she knows a thing or two about making the most of what you’ve got. This dressing is savviness in a bottle.
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 shallot, finely minced
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcester
Salt and pepper to taste
Squeeze of lemon
Blend in mini food processor or shake in tightly sealed glass jar.
Pour over your favorite leafy greens—we love it with butter lettuce.
Calling all carnivores! This next round of recipes will make you quite cozy. The Pork Wellington sounds stuffy, but we consider it the grown-up version of a pig in a blanket. Pork wellingtons are a crowd pleaser that are sure to impress, yet few people know how to whip up these quick and easy entrees. Perfect for a St. Patrick’s day dinner spent at home, the Wellingtons are substantial and decadent, offering a flaky golden crust and a meaty center filled with garlic and garden fresh herbs. Bon appetit!
Grandma Mary loved this dish with simple salad and a little brown gravy.
1 ¼ pound unseasoned pork tenderloin
3 tablespoon butter
1-6oz Package portabella mushrooms
2 tablespoon minced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
½ 17-oz Package frozen puff pastry, thawed, 1 sheet
1 egg beaten
¼ cup plum preserves
½ cup sweet wine
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Rinse pork and pat dry. Cut into 4 equal pieces and pound with meat mallet to flatten slightly. Melt 1 tbsp. of butter in medium skillet; add pork and sear well on both sides. Remove from skillet and set aside. Melt remaining butter and add mushrooms, shallots and garlic and cook over medium heat form 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Continue to cook until all excess liquid has cooked off. Season with rosemary, salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unfold pastry and cut into 4 squares. Place equal amounts of mushroom mixture in the center of each pastry square and top with piece of pork tenderloin. Brush pastry edges with beaten egg and fold in pastry to enclose pork and mushrooms; pinch edges to seal well. Place seam side down on baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Bake for 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden brown. To make balsamic wine sauce, simmer preserves, wine and vinegar in small saucepan for 5 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve with Wellingtons.
There’s nothing better than settling into your seat after a hearty meal, sipping fresh coffee. Actually, sipping Irish coffee is better. And what kind of St. Patrick’s day dinner would this be without a nod to one of their favorite ‘dishes’?
Traditional Irish Coffee
Perfect after dinner (or before, during, in-between– we don’t judge!)
1 tbsp. whipped cream
1 shot of Irish whiskey
1 mug of fresh coffee (decaf or regular)
1 shot of Bailey’s liqueur