Irish soda bread √

Makes 2 loaves (24 slices).

Note: This is a version of white soda bread. If you use raisins, it becomes a Spotted Dog. From Kim Ode.

• 3 c. all-purpose flour

• 1 c. whole-wheat flour

• 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 c. raisins, optional

• 2 c. buttermilk, divided


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Combine flours, baking soda and salt, and whisk until well combined. Stir in raisins, if using, to coat them with flour.

Make a well in the center of the flour and add about 1½ cups buttermilk.

Stir quickly and thoroughly, adding more buttermilk as needed to make a moist dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until smooth. Divide in half and shape each piece into a round.

Place the round on a baking sheet and gently flatten it. Dust with flour. With a paring knife, cut an X across the top, about ½-inch deep.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

To test, tap the bottom of a loaf; if it sounds hollow, it's done. If you hear a dull thump, return the loaf to the oven for another 5 minutes and check again. Cool on a wire rack.

Nutrition information per each slice:

Calories 82 Fat 0 g Sodium 200 mg

Carbohydrates 16 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 28 mg

Protein 3 g Cholesterol 1 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 bread/starch.

Irish Coffee √

Serves 1.

Note: From "The Ultimate A-to-Z Bar Guide," by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst.

• 1 1/2 oz. (3 tbsp.) Irish whiskey

• 1 tsp. sugar

• About 6 oz. ( 3/4 c.) hot coffee

• Heavy whipping cream or whipped cream


Combine whiskey, sugar and hot coffee in warm mug, stirring to combine. Float cream on top by slowly pouring it over the back side of a spoon; don't mix. Or top with a large dollop of whipped cream.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 136 Fat 2 g Sodium 7 mg

Carbohydrates 5 g Saturated fat 1 g Calcium 9 mg

Protein 0 g Cholesterol 8 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: None.

Beef In Ale with cheese cobbler

Serves 6.

Note: From "The Irish Spirit," by Margaret Johnson.


• 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 1/2 lb. beef chuck or round, cut into cubes

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and diced

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 2 carrots, peeled and diced

• 3 ribs celery, diced

12-oz. Irish ale (such as Killlian's or Smithwick's)

2 c. homemade beef stock or canned low-sodium beef broth

• 1 tbsp. tomato paste

• 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

• 1 sprig fresh thyme


• 2 c. self-rising flour

• 1/2 tsp. dry mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

3 tbsp. cold, unsalted Irish butter

• 1 c. shredded Dubliner cheese

• 1/2 tsp. hot sauce

• 1/2 to 2/3 c. water

• 1 tbsp. milk for brushing tops


To make the casserole: In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the beef in the flour mixture and set aside.

In a large ovenproof skillet, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until soft but not browned. Add the beef and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Add the carrots and celery and stir to coat. Stir in the ale, stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Uncover and cook 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the meat and vegetables are tender and the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from the heat.

To make the cobbler: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour and mustard into a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Add the butter, and pulse 4 to 5 times, or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cheese, hot sauce and ½ cup water. Process for 8 to 10 seconds, or until a soft dough forms. Add more water, if necessary.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Roll it out to ½-inch thickness. With a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 7 to 8 rounds; reroll and cut out more rounds to make 12. Arrange on top of the meat mixture, overlapping in a decorative pattern. Brush the tops of the cobbler with the milk.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cobbler is golden and the mixture is bubbling. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 564 Fat 29 g Sodium 810 mg

Carbohydrates 41 g Saturated fat 13 g Calcium 294 mg

Protein 32 g Cholesterol 108 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 bread/starch, 1 other carb, 4 medium-fat meat, 2 fat.

LEEKS Au Gratin √

Serves 6.

Note: From "The New Irish Table," by Margaret Johnson.

• 8 large leeks, white part only, halved lengthwise

• 1/2 c. heavy cream

• 2 c. shredded Irish Cheddar

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• 1/2 c. seasoned breadcrumbs


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an ovenproof baking dish. Cut each leek half into a 6-inch length and rinse well under running water. Cook in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, or until slightly tender; drain.

Put the leeks, cut-side up, in the prepared dish, pour in the cream, and sprinkle with the cheese, salt and pepper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cream has thickened and the cheese has melted.

Remove from the oven and preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the leeks with the breadcrumbs, then place the dish under the broiler, 4 inches from the heat source, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 322 Fat 21 g Sodium 1,000 mg

Carbohydrates 24 g Saturated fat 12 g Calcium 295 mg

Protein 12 g Cholesterol 62 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2 vegetable, 1 bread/starch, 1 high-fat meat, 2½ fat.