March 10, 2013 – March 16, 2013

Rachel Allen's Brown Soda Bread

For many years, I assumed that Irish soda bread always meant a slightly sweet, caraway and currant laced bread easily mistaken for a giant muffin. Frankly, I never liked this version of the quick bread, much preferring to eat "real bread" with my soup. It's a good thing I was mistaken about the scope of soda breads. Most of these loaves, like those featured in Rachel's Irish Family Food, are a much simpler (and more appealing) combination of flour, baking soda, and buttermilk. Rachel Allen's brown soda bread adds a bit more oomph with a hefty dose of whole wheat flour, a couple tablespoons of mixed seeds, and just a touch of butter. The resulting bread is an exemplary accompaniment to any number of soups, pickles, marmalades, or a generous swipe of butter. More

DIY Root Beer Liqueur

The woodsy, complex flavors of root beer are right at home in a liqueur. Use it in cocktails like you would an amaro or in sweet concoctions for a bold and unusual flavor. More

Buena Vista Fizz

You wouldn't think that citrus and coffee would go together, but we absolutely love this cocktail from Tradition in San Francisco, which brings together Jameson and chicory-infused rye whiskey. More

Blarney Stone

This easy highball is adapted from a recipe from Brian Means of The Fifth Floor in San Francisco. You can adjust the lime juice to your taste depending on how sweet your ginger beer is. More

Kaya Jam

This quick version of the popular caramelized coconut-pandan curd is spread over toast with lots of butter. Serve with soft boiled eggs and a coffee for a real Singaporean kopitiam breakfast. More

Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie

Even if you live in a place where the closest thing to a snowman is a snow cone, this Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie will tickle your senses and warm your taste buds in a way that will have you dreaming of a nice, warm mug of cocoa and a roaring fire. More

Rachel Allen's Irish Stew

As Rachel Allen explains in her new book, Rachel's Irish Family Food, there is no definitive recipe for Irish stew. The meat and vegetable stew is often a household specialty with its own family tricks and tweaks. Allen's take is a no-frills version with a short ingredient list. Her technique, however, builds a good amount of flavor and body with so few components: She picks bone-in lamb shoulder chops for the bulk of the stew, which contributes extra body to the broth and keeps the lamb succulent. In addition to browning the chops, Allen also browns the vegetables to build extra fond and give the usually wan roots more color. The stew is finished with a generous sprinkling of both chives and parsley to give a final burst of freshness. More

Chicken Ghee Roast

Chicken Ghee Roast has nothing to do with an oven, but 'roast' is a term that is used quite loosely in the south of India to describe a dry dish which uses more of a braising technique. The ghee adds huge amounts of flavor to this dish which is simply finger-licking awesome. More

Make-Ahead Marinated Mushrooms with Kale, Shaved Carrots and Parmesan

The beauty of marinated mushrooms is you can't really go wrong; you can marinate them in pretty much whatever you have on hand. If you have fresh herbs, definitely throw those in there, and minced shallots would work great, too. This is ideal for a lunch box because the mushroom marinade doubles as your salad dressing, and because this salad is all about sturdy vegetables, nothing will wilt before lunchtime. More

Rachel Allen's Mussels with Garlic and Bread Crumbs

According to Rachel Allen, mussels with bread crumbs were immensely popular in Ireland back in the 1980s. Yet their retro appeal holds true today and her version in Rachel's Irish Family Food, is anything but kitschy. In it, plump, just-steamed mussels get a quick trip under a hot broiler topped with super buttery breadcrumbs laced with garlic and parsley. The final result is a briny, succulent bite, colorful and rich. More

Chocolate Decadence Cake

As far as chocolate cakes go, this one is the ultimate in decadence, hence its name. The moist cake is hugged tightly by smooth buttercream, and thick blanket of ganache on top seals the goodness in with a kiss. There's no escaping this cake, so don't even try. More

Rachel Allen's Homemade Pork Sausages with Colcannon and Applesauce

I'll admit it: I have a hard time saying the name "bangers and mash." It comes in a close second to that other British speciality, "spotted dick," in the list of foods I can't even begin to picture without giggling. Yet Rachel Allen's take on bangers and mash in her new book Rachel's Irish Family Food is sophisticated enough to warrant my serious attention. Her simple pork sausages are bound lightly with egg, bread crumbs, and a bit of garlic and parsley to season. Instead of going through with the trouble of casing the mixture, she simply rolls them into small, breakfast-sized links and gives them a slow brown on the stovetop. And in lieu of ordinary potatoes to serve alongside, Allen advocates for a verdant colcannon mash made velvety soft green cabbage buttery mashed russets. A dollop of quick stovetop applesauce adds a contrasting sweet-tart tang to each bite. More