Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Feast

My heritage is nearly entirely Irish with just a sprinkling of German.  Growing up, my parents would eat corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day while my siblings and I looked on in disgust.  I was not an adventurous eater and only started trying new foods as a teenager.  I never became a huge fan of corned beef and cabbage, but I have always been a huge fan of potatoes.  All of my ancestors came to America (including the German ones) during potato famines.  Go figure.  Tonight, I decided to make potato, broccoli, cheese soup.  Potatoes to represent my Irish passion for these root vegetables, broccoli for a little bit of green, and cheese because... well... because I adore cheese.

Pot of Soup
I sort of improvised the soup as follows:
  • Cook one chopped onion and two minced garlic cloves in butter
  • Add 1/4 cup flour, a dash of paprika, salt, pepper, & nutmeg
  • Mix well
  • Add 4 cups of chicken stock
  • Add 2 cups of milk (I used 1%, but I don't think it matters)
  • Add about 5 peeled and chopped potatoes, 5 peeled & cut carrots, & a bag of frozen broccoli
  • Add some more salt and pepper
  • Cook for 30 minutes
  • Add about 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley (more green for St. Patrick's Day & fresh flavor)
  • Simmer another 15 minutes
  • Let sit for 10 minutes
  • Use immersion blender to blend until smooth
  • Put back on low heat and add 2 cups of grated cheese (I used cheddar, comte, & bit of parmesan)
As the soup was simmering, I started to worry about the lack of warm bread to go with it.  Most of the dinner roll recipes online required at least two hours and huge quantities of sugar (which we are almost completely out of).  I found a recipe on the King Arthur Flour website for "Big Batch Quick Dinner Rolls." Click here for the recipe.  Since there are only two of us, and the recipe was for 24 rolls - holy cow- I halved it.

Buns fresh out of our oven - they turned out great.  My first time baking rolls ever!!

The recipe gave the option of brushing the rolls with melted butter - no brainer.

I garnished our soups with fresh parsley...

and away we went into our St. Patrick's Day feast.

I couldn't believe I made these - the bottoms were perfectly golden brown.

Tonight was one of those rare nights, where I felt like a domestic goddess.  It wouldn't have been possible without the help of my following friends:

Le Creuset Dutch Oven

Kitchenaid Immersion Blender

Kitchenaid Standing Mixer - its dough hook was essential to the dinner rolls turning out well

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