The Luck of the Irish

I have been saving this post in order to honor both St. Patrick’s Day and my own handsome Irishman:

 
My Irishman
The fiance and me at a brewpub in Manchester, NH

The story is as follows: H (the Irishman) came up with a brilliant idea a few months ago, which entails one of us coming up with a surprise Friday night dinner for the other, and then turning our apartment into a restaurant in the theme of whatever type of cuisine has been selected.  So far we have had Italian, Japanese, Cajun, Middle Eastern, and finally, Irish.

Irish night was my surprise for H, and I did it about a month ago.  The menu was as follows: fish and chips with curry sauce, Irish soda bread, and of course, Guinness and Jameson.

 

Irish Soda Bread (recipe below)


My “fish,” which was made of tofu sticks that I had frozen and thawed (recipe below)


Oven chips (recipe below) with curry sauce (purchased from a local pub that we love)


Eat, drink, and be merry!

All in all, it was a very successful restaurant night!  And what better day than today to recap it? 🙂

 

RECIPES AND REVIEWS

A. Irish Soda Bread (from VegNews magazine)

Makes one loaf

What You Need:
1-1/4 cups soymilk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins

What You Do:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine soymilk, vinegar, and oil and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until blended. Stir in raisins. Add soymilk mixture and mix well to make a stiff dough.

3. Shape dough into a round loaf and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Pat the top down slightly, then use a sharp knife to cut an x-shaped slash on top. Bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Review: This was delicious, especially with a little vegan butter spread on it.  Even dogs like it, as I found out the next day when I brought the leftovers to share with friends we were visiting, and accidentally left it on a dining room chair.  They never got to try it, but their boxer-mix gave it two paws up!

 

B. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips (from Fitness magazine)…veganized below:

Ingredients
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
1 1/2 pounds  russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
4 teaspoons  canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons  Cajun or Creole seasoning, divided
2 cups  cornflakes
1/4 cup  all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon  salt
2 large egg whites, beaten
1 pound  Pacific cod, (see Note) or haddock, cut into 4 portions

 

Directions
1. Position racks in upper and lower third of oven; preheat to 425 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Set a wire rack on another large baking sheet; coat with cooking spray.
2. Place potatoes in a colander. Thoroughly rinse with cold water, then pat dry completely with paper towels. Toss the potatoes, oil and 3/4 teaspoon Cajun (or Creole) seasoning in a large bowl. Spread on the baking sheet without the rack. Bake on the lower oven rack, turning every 10 minutes, until tender and golden, 30 to 35 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, coarsely grind cornflakes in a food processor or blender or crush in a sealable plastic bag. Transfer to a shallow dish. Place flour, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon Cajun (or Creole) seasoning and salt in another shallow dish and egg whites in a third shallow dish. Dredge fish in the flour mixture, dip it in egg white and then coat all sides with the ground cornflakes. Place on the prepared wire rack. Coat both sides of the breaded fish with cooking spray.
4. Bake the fish on the upper oven rack until opaque in the center and the breading is golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes.

Review:The tofu “fish” was a totally blind experiment, but it actually came out pretty good!  I used the above recipe, subbing tofu for the fish, obviously, and a little arrowroot mixed with water instead of the egg to bind the crust to the tofu.  I also added a little extra seasoning.

For anyone interested, either because you eat fish or you love someone who does, the original recipe got rave reviews from H, who enjoyed his with cod.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

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