The Kitchen of the Midnightferret

Crunchings and Munchings with the Midnightferret!

Archive for August, 2007

Irish Soda Bread

I first tasted Irish Soda bread at O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub in New Orleans.  Sadly, this pub is no more, due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  When I worked for a tour company that was based in O’Flaherty’s, I ate huge amounts of Shepherd’s pie and soda bread.

2 cup whole flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 level tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sugar
2 cup buttermilk (approx.)
2 egg yolks for brushing.

Preheat oven to 400° F, then reduce to 350° F. Mix dry ingredients well. Add milk by degrees until flour is absorbed – not too wet – just enough to knead. Knead for 5 minutes. Shape into a round loaf. Place in a lightly greased 9″ cake tin – Cut a cross in the top (about a 1/4 in deep). Brush top with egg yolks. Bake until brown on top (50 – 60 min) Remove – cool pan and bread on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove bread from pan and fully cool on wire rack.

Homestyle Louisiana BBQ Shrimp

Many commercial recipes for Louisiana barbecue shrimp are pretty complicated. In some, the main cooking method is to sauté the shrimp and then make a complicated sauce for them. Some involve heavy amounts of butter or cream. These recipes are wonderful if your aim is to impress or if you are running an upscale Louisiana restaurant, but sometimes we only want a low maintenance and tasty dish to serve at home.
Use 10 to 15 count shrimp. One pound can usually feed two adults. Wash shrimp and place in ovenproof dish. Season with salt and cracked black pepper on them: remember that you are seasoning through the shells. They should be black when they’re done. Drizzle with olive oil.

Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Dot with butter. There should be a good deal liquid in the pan. Broil for about 15 minutes per pound, checking for doneness and to make sure they don’t burn. Serve with French bread and salad. I ladle them into big bowls and use newspaper spread on the table for shells, and spillages.

You can serve the shrimp with either beer, wine, or iced tea. Actually, because of the heavy seasonings, just about any wine will work, although I wouldn’t recommend sweeter varieties like White Zin or Chardonnay.

This meal is wonderful for casual, intimate dining. Because most of the work is done in the oven, you won’t spend your time in the kitchen while your spouse or your guests are chatting in the dining area or living room.