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Recipes in General.

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Some More Great Recipes;

 Recipes in General – Irish in particular

Tea Brack Recipe

Irish Tea BrackHoney Coated Irish Tea Brack Made With Irish Whiskey. Thanks to Kees Huyser.

This traditional Irish family recipe given below comes from Winifred Abbe, Co. Offaly, Ireland. In 1971 she said, “My grandmother (late 1800s) used half tea and half whiskey, which made her bracks very popular with the gentleman”. In Ireland Tea Braks after baking were cut and the slices (often buttered) were ostensibly an afternoon cake for guests, or was something to eat after the main evening meal with the family.

In the 1800s and 1900s very often several Tea Brack’s were baked at once, and when stored they lasted the whole week; the dried fruit and whiskey (if used) helping preserve them. Tea Braks are also excellent when they are a few days old if toasted and then spread with a little butter.

Original Tea Brack Recipe c. late 1800s

Mrs. W. Abbe, Co. Offaly, Ireland (Grandmother’s Recipe)

1lb sultanas; 1lb brown sugar; 1lb raisins; 3 cups milkless tea, or half tea and half whiskey; 1lb flour; 3 beaten eggs; 3 tsp baking powder; 3 tsp mixed spice if liked. Honey.

The quantities make three loaves for tin size 8in by 4in and 3in high. Soak the fruit and sugar in the tea/whiskey overnight. The next day add the flour and beaten eggs, mix. Finally add the baking powder and if a spiced brack is liked, add the mixed spice. Turn into three greased loaf tins and bake for one and a half hours in a moderate oven. When cool brush the top with melted honey to give it a fine glaze.

Tea Brack Recipe

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 500g sultanas
  • 500g raisins
  • 500g natural brown sugar (Demerrara)
  • 500g plain flour (sifted)
  • 500ml of tea (milkless)
  • 3 eggs (well beaten)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tsp mixed spice
  • 3 tblsp honey (runny) to coat the baked Tea Brack’s

If using Whiskey – reduce the amount of tea

  • 150ml Whiskey (Irish Whiskey – Jameson or Bushmills)
  • 300ml tea (milkless)

Recipe Method:

At least two hours beforehand, or even overnight, place the dried fruit in a large, non metallic mixing bowl, pour over the tea (left to cool) and then pour over the whiskey – if using. Stir and then cover with a clean cloth for the dried fruit to plump up.

The next day – or 2 hours later

In a large mixing bowl sift in the plain flour, baking powder, sugar and ground mixed spice – mix thoroughly. Tip in the soaked dried fruit and any liquid left in the bowl – mix with a wooden spoon. Then add in the beaten eggs and stir to mix everything together, then leave for a few minutes. The cake batter should just be slightly wetter than a ‘dropping’ consistency i.e. the batter will easily drop off the spoon when tilted upright – adjust with extra water (if too dry) or extra flour (if too wet).

Preheat the oven to 160C and grease 2 large loaf tins with butter.

Pour equal amounts of the Tea Brack mixture into the two large loaf tins. Make sure the batter only comes up two-thirds of the way to allow for expansion during baking. Use a spoon and stir the batter mixture in the loaf tins to get rid of any air pockets and to bring any dried fruit which sunk during pouring off the bottom, so that it is mixed evenly throughout the cake batter.

Bake these loaf tins in the oven for 70 to 90 minutes at 160C. Test after 70 minutes to see if the braks are done by pushing a metal skewer into the centre to see if they come out clean and hot. If the braks need longer cover the tops with some foil to stop the braks from browning too fast.

Once baked remove from the oven, after 20 minutes of cooling turn them out of the tins to cool further on a cake rack. While the bracks are still warm brush over some runny honey and allow to further cool before slicing into and serving. You can drizzle over some extra whisky (2 tbsp per cake) to soak in before coating in honey if you plan on ageing the Tea Brack’s, or want extra flavour from the whiskey – although this is entirely optional: once the cake batter is baked the whiskey flavour is muted and very well balanced with the fruit.

Tea Brack can be served as slices on their own or with some good quality butter (Irish if possible). These Tea Brack’s can easily last several days, and improve in flavour, if kept stored in an air tight container.

Halloween Colcannon Recipe


  • 3 lbs potatoes, peeled, roosters work well
  • 1 head of curly kale, well washed and finely chopped (or cabbage if you can’t source the kale), just cooked, drained and finely chopped,
  • 6 scallions, (spring onions) finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Colcannon - Halloween Treats in IrelandColcannon – More tasty than scary, really.

    Grease-proof paper

For the treasure:

  • 1 ring
  • 1 dried pea
  • 1 small piece of cloth
  • 1 button
  • 1 coin
  • greaseproof paper for wrapping


  • Steam the potatoes over a pan of boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes until tender
  • After the potatoes have cooked for 5 minutes, steam the kale just as the potatoes.
  • When the kale is cooked, strain and leave aside, covered to retain heat.
  • Heat a knob of butter and two tablespoons of water in a heavy-based pan with a lid.
  • When the butter has melted and formed an emulsion, add the kale with a pinch of salt. Cover, shake well and cook over a high heat for 1 minute.
  • Shake the pan again and cook for another minute.
  • Drain off any liquid and then season the kale with pepper.
  • Once cooked, add potatoes to a pot, add in the milk and mash until smooth, then beat in the kale and the remaining butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Wrap ‘treasure tightly in greaseproof paper and add to the colcannon

If curly kale is not available you can use finely chopped scallions which you add into the potatoes with the milk. Savoy cabbage also works well – use the same method as for the kale.


Another great easy-peesy recipe from TreeHugger;     Original link;

Baked Eggs with Tomato and Sweet Pepper


© Sabrina Modelle
This recipe was created by Sabrina Modelle of The Tomato Tart exclusively to pair with a 2009 Jacuzzi Family Vineyards Sangiovese. This medium bodied red is warm and round with red fruits on the nose, and a balanced acidity. It pairs perfectly with this spicy baked egg dish. Savor the last of the season’s tomatoes and some sweet pepper.

  • 4 farm fresh eggs
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 sweet pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 teaspoons cream
  • 4 leaves of basil, finely cut (chiffonade)
  • fresh grated parmesan (plus more after cooking, shaved)
  • dried red pepper (optional)
  • butter, to grease ramekins
  • salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease four ramekins.

2. Slice the tomatoes, garlic and sweet pepper.

© Sabrina Modelle

© Sabrina Modelle

3. Layer a slice of tomato, chopped peppers, garlic on the bottom of each ramekin top with one teaspoon of cream.

© Sabrina Modelle

4. Crack on egg atop each and top with basil, grated parmesan, salt, pepper, and dried red pepper.

5. Bake for 13-15 minutes until whites of eggs are completely set.

© Sabrina Modelle

Visit the Green Wine Guide for more vegetarian recipes and wine pairings.

Follow us on Twitter @GreenWineGuide or meet our chef @JerryJamesStone

Seasonal recipes: 5 for butternut squash

from Robin Shreeves;food blogger at Mother Nature Network.

As summer vegetables fade, squash dominates the farmers market tables.

Mon, Sep 19 2011 at 11:51 AM EST
Butternut squashPhoto: Jeremy Keith/Flickr

Summer comes to its official end in a few days, and the fresh, local summer vegetables are getting harder to come by. In place of tables full of tomatoes and corn on the cob, farmers are starting to bring autumn squashes like butternut squash to the market.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of this fall vegetables isbutternut squash soup, but squash is very versatile. Here are five recipes to use up all that delicious, healthy butternut squash available this time of year. And, because today is Meatless Monday, I’ve chosen all meatless recipes.
  1. Butternut and Barley Pilaf – Squash and barley are simmered together in chicken or vegetable broth (use vegetable broth for the truly meatless version) and parsley, garlic and lemon round out the flavors. One commenter suggested adding beans to the pilaf to make it a complete meal.
  2. Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushroom Lasagna – A vegetarian lasagna that uses a sauce of pureed squash and onion instead of the traditional tomato sauce. Great option for anyone allergic to tomatoes but doesn’t want a lasagna made with white sauce.
  3. Butternut Squash Clafoutis, Frangelico Whipped Cream and Hazelnut Praline Crunch – If you’re looking for a brunch dish to impress this fall, check this recipe out. You’ll need to start the recipe a full day ahead, but this looks like it’s absolutely worth the work.
  4. Curry Roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpeas – An Indian twist is put on nutrition powerhouses butternut squash and chickpeas in this easy recipe that includes a cilantro-yogurt sauce to cool the spiciness.
  5. Butternut Squash Crumble – You can eat your vegetables for dessert with this crumble that mixes squash and apples. Yum.
What’s your favorite way to use the fall’s bounty of butternut squash?


Crushed tomato sauce

500g cherry or vine tomatoes, approximately

80ml olive oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

Big bunch of finely chopped parsley

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

200g black olives, roughly chopped

Few splashes Tabasco

1 tsp caster sugar

Slice the tomatoes in half and scatter on a roasting tin. Drizzle with a splash of olive oil. When the meatloaf is about 20 minutes away from the end of its cooking time, bake the tomatoes until slightly charring. Transfer to a bowl. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well, but try not to break up the tomatoes too much. Taste, season and serve with the meatloaf.

Puy lentils with sundried tomatoes and Cashel Blue

Serves 4-6 as a generous main course

I used the dried sundried tomatoes but you can also use ones in oil. But then you need to reduce the olive oil in the recipe slightly and rinse the tomatoes and pat dry with kitchen paper, as they tend to soak up and ooze too much oil.

500g puy lentils

2 red onions, peeled and very thinly sliced

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

Pinch of caster sugar

80ml olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1 big bunch coriander, roughly chopped

100g sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced

100-150g soft blue cheese, such as Cashel Blue

If you can soak the lentils for 10 minutes, do. Either way, rinse them well and then cook in boiling, salted water until tender. This will take anything from 15-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, marinate the red onions with the red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar so that the onions “cold cook” in the vinegar.

When the lentils are cooked, drain, rinse until warm, and place in a bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic, herbs and sundried tomatoes, along with the onions and mix very well. Season and serve in bowls with some blue cheese dotted on top.

See also


Twice Baked Potatoes – with kale, onion and cheese – oh and some stout.

Click on;     VIDEO

I like baked potatoes, but the only green I’ve ever added to them have been chives. These potatoes are filled with kale and onions that have been cooked in stout. Topped with melted cheese, it all sounds so delicious, doesn’t it?

Irish Fish Pie  (

Fish Pie from the Belle Isle School of Cookery – Belle Isle Castle Estate

Serves 5-6  Preparation time 20 minutes Cooking time 30-35 minutes


1kg/2¼ lb floury potatoes

225g/8oz monkfish/cod/snapper

225g/8oz salmon fillets

225g/8oz smoked fish, cod/haddock/coley

150g/5oz cooked king prawns

600ml/1 pint full fat milk (plus extra milk for mashed potatoes)

Fish PieBelle Isle’s luscious Fish Pie

2 bay leaves

4-6 peppercorns

110g/4oz butter

50g/2oz plain flour

½ glass white wine

450g/1lb fresh spinach

Salt and freshly milled black pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp flat leaved parsley/basil, finely chopped


Preheat oven 160C/325F/Gas 3.

  • Peel and cut the potatoes into quarters and boil in salted water until tender.
  • Remove the sinew from the monkfish, if using, then place all of the fish in a roasting tin with the milk, bay leaf and peppercorns, and put into the oven.
  • Cook for the fish for 10 minutes, then leave to cool.
  • Sieve the milk from the fish, reserving it for the sauce.
  • In a new pan melt ½ the butter and then stir in the flour.
  • Add the wine and then pour in the milk from the fish little by little, whisking as you go and making sure there are no lumps.
  • Add the rest of the milk.
  • Add the spinach a handful at a time until the volume goes down- it doesn’t take long to cook.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and then add the lemon juice and zest.  Stir in some nutmeg.
  • Remove all the bones from the fish and separate into small pieces
  • Gently mix the fish with the prawns into the sauce.
  • Taste and add more lemon juice as necessary.
  • Pour into an ovenproof dish.
  • Mash the potatoes very well, add the rest of the butter and add some milk.
  • Stir in the parsley/basil and arrange neatly on top of the fish.
  • Cook in a preheated oven (180C/350F/Gas 4) for 30-35 minutes.

Serve with a fresh green salad, lemon vinaigrette and a kiss!




About pfiddle

Fiddle teacher - mostly Irish trad. Fiddle, mandolin and concertina. Eco-warrior, won E.U. Green Flower Award for Eco Accommodation. Also Irish (Gold) GHA. Green Hospitality Award. Mad keen on self-build - especially straw-bale and cob. 55 with a full head of (slightly) graying hair. No tattoos or piercings. Fond of animals - but legally so. Fond of food - I eat nothing else. Vegetarian by choice, Irish by the grace of birth, Munster by force of (rugby) arms.

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