Alright, friends, have we all agreed to stop buying frozen, grocery store hamburgers and unanimously decided instead to try making our own patties this summer? Have the last couple days of me preaching from my soapbox convinced you that there are better ways to barb-e-que? Yes? Good. Now we can move on to fantastic salads to accompany those delicious burgers! Below are two, super easy salads that pretty much go with any main dish. Continue reading
When I was a kid, backyard BBQ’s were a simple affair: frozen hamburgers, Oscar Meyer hot dogs, and pot-luck side dishes were about as elaborate as we’d get – and there’s nothing wrong with that. But now that I’m older and have a backyard of my own, I find myself wanting to put a more grown-up twist on my BBQ’s. I want to prepare food that my friends will remember and that will bring them back next summer. I’m talking about good quality food: gourmet burgers, interesting salads, and easy but fun desserts. So that’s what I’m cooking up for you this week! Continue reading
Dublin Coddle is a traditional Irish comfort food that dates back to the seventeenth century. Because practicing Catholics are prohibited from eating meat on Fridays during Lent, it is thought that this dish came about as a way to cook up leftover meat at the end of the week. The first time I tried it was at an Irish Festival in Weston, MO and I was surprised at how flavorful it was for its simple ingredients – onions, potatoes, sausage, and bacon – but wow, I was impressed! Ever since then Dublin Coddle has singlehandedly replaced Chicken Pot Pie as my all-time favorite Irish meal! (Recipe slightly adapted from The Complete Irish Pub Cookbook)
- 1 lb. bacon strips
- 8 good-quality port sausages
- 4 onion, sliced
- 1 leek, some green tops included, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs thyme
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 6 starchy potatoes, such as russets, peeled and cut into 2 or 3 large chucks
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 300°F. In a large skillet, cook bacon until just starting to crips. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Let cool, then slice in thirds widthwise, set aside.
In the same skillet over medium heat, add the sausages to the bacon fat and cook, turning, for about 15 minutes, until evenly browned. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into thirds, widthwise, set aside.
Also in the same skillet, gently cook the onions for 7-8 minutes, until soft but not colored.
Layer the onions, sausages, and bacon in the bottom of an oven/flame proof casserole dish (or Dutch oven) with a lid, seasoning each layer with plenty of black pepper. Add the leek, herbs, and garlic, and finish with a layer of potatoes. Season with a little more black pepper, then pour in the stock.
Cover the casserole dish tightly and bring to a boil on top of the stove. Transfer to the preheated oven and cook for 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
Sidekicks: Serve with plenty of dark Irish soda bread to mop up the juices and a Guinness.