A home meal worth a mention. I had an idea of making irish stew and soda bread for friends on St. Patrick’s day but had to cancel because the host (John) was stuck in bad weather in NY and the hostess (me) had spent part of the morning throwing up (much to the consternation of young Nick — WHAT is Mama doing ??). So dinner that night was no-spice pad thai from No Thai. Surprisingly soothing. (Note to self: do NOT go near South U on St. Patrick’s Day ever again. Boorishness reigns). Several days later, I made the NYT version of soda bread with some house-made lamb sausage from Sparrow (very tasty, but be warned, the links pour out grease), some Irish cheddar and apples. Good food on a cool night. Washed down with a fine day old half-bottle of Charles Shaw Syrah. Recipe for the bread after the jump. I swapped in fennel seeds for caraway and went light on the raisins because there weren’t many in the house.
Skillet Irish Soda Bread Served With Cheddar and Apples
New York Times 3/14/07
Time: 1 1/2 hours
Butter for greasing pan plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups raisins or currants
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
Good aged Cheddar cheese, for serving
Tart apples, cut into slices, for serving.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch oven-proof skillet and line with parchment or waxed paper. (Deb note: Mine came out a bit taller, as my cast-iron is 8-inches and deep.)
2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in the raisins or currants and caraway seeds.
3. Pour batter into skillet. Brush top with remaining butter. Bake until golden and firm to touch, about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving with Cheddar and apples.
Yield: 1 10-inch loaf.