Category Archives: St. Patrick’s Day

Irish Coffee

The Boozy History of Irish Coffee

What do flying boats and Irish coffee have in common? Everything, and more.

I should know: my family tree has a direct bloodline to Joe Sheridan, the legendary chef who invented this classic Irish cocktail. Nutty and caramely, it’s a rich, hot blend of dark coffee, fiery whiskey, brown sugar and a swirl of thick whipped cream. An Emerald Isle favourite for over 70 years, this quintessential Irish beverage has unorthodox beginnings.

Tracing the roots of Irish coffee requires venturing to Foynes, a tiny town on Ireland’s west coast that was once the epicentre for the aviation world. During World War II, Pan Am’s famed flying boats (a.k.a. clippers) transported a range of people, from celebrities such as Ernest Hemingway and John F. Kennedy, to refugees (children fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe). It’s here that commercial air travel was born — as well as Irish coffee.

Irish Coffee

One wintery night in 1943, a clipper departed from Foynes to North America, but the flight didn’t get far. After battling bad weather conditions for several hours, the captain decided to return to Ireland. As the weary passengers offloaded into the airport’s restaurant, Chef Joe Sheridan decided to prepare a special treat to spread some cheer. He brewed dark, bitter coffee, and to each cup added a shot of Irish whiskey, a little brown sugar and whipped cream on top. As the perked-up passengers slurped up the steamy drink, one asked, “Is it Brazilian coffee?”

“No,” Sheridan said. “That was Irish coffee!”

With those four words, a classic Irish drink was born. However, it took almost a decade before the toasty tipple traveled worldwide. In 1951, Stanton Delaplane, a travel journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle, took his first sip and was instantly hooked. Back home, Delaplane raved about the newfangled Irish coffee drink to Jack Koeppler, owner of the Buena Vista Café. The duo tried to re-create Sheridan’s recipe, stirring and sipping all night, but the taste was off and the cream collapsed on the surface.

Enjoy Sheridan's original recipe for Irish coffee at the Foynes Maritime Museum

Enjoy Sheridan’s original recipe for Irish coffee at the Foynes Maritime Museum.

After a slew of taste tests and a “research” trip to Ireland, the two men finally cracked the code: the tricky cream only floated when aged and frothed to a precise thickness. Regardless, they decided to poach another key ingredient: Chef Sheridan himself. In 1953, Joe Sheridan immigrated to the United States and started working at the Buena Vista Café.

Chef Sheridan’s original recipe is still served at the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco and the Foynes Maritime Museum, where there’s a small exhibit dedicated to the drink. Of course, virtually all bars and restaurants in Ireland have this boozy beverage on their menu, though flavours may vary.

However, there’s no need to travel across the pond for a mouthful of this hot cocktail. Just gather all the ingredients in your kitchen and follow these instructions. If you’re really looking to impress guests, pair the drink with a plate of Irish Coffee Pie or Anna Olson’s Irish Creamy Fudge.

valerie's irish coffee

Once you’ve mastered the recipe, get playful and try this decadent recipe for Valerie Bertinelli’s Irish Coffee, made with espresso and topped with Lemon-Vanilla Whipped Cream. Or, delight guests with Irish coffee with a Canadian twist, spiked with Canadian whisky, a drizzle of maple syrup, and maple-laced whipped cream.

For a fancy after-dinner nightcap, make a batch of Nancy Fuller’s Dressed Up Irish Coffee, sprinkled with shaved dark chocolate, it’s almost a dessert in a glass. The options are endless.

This St. Patrick’s Day, I’ll be celebrating my bloodline to booze legend, Chef Joe Sheridan, by raising a glass of Irish coffee. From my family, to coffee and whiskey lovers everywhere, I say: you’re welcome and Sláinte!

How to Make Irish Coffee

Irish coffee is a hot cocktail made with strong coffee, Irish whiskey, brown sugar and topped with cold cream. This classic drink was created in Limerick in the 1940s by Joe Sheridan, a chef who offered this warming beverage to winter travellers at Foynes Port. Since then, the drink has made its way over the Atlantic, into our favourite pubs and satisfied bellies.

In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, treat yourself to your own tasty Irish cocktail. Here’s how to do it in a few simple steps!

See more St. Patrick’s Day recipes here.

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

This bread is a quick and simple one to enjoy whether your favourite St. Patrick’s Day meal is a potato soup, beef stew or green eggs and ham.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6-8

888_Irish-Soda-Bread

Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons caraway seeds or cumin seeds
1 teaspoon baking-soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (about) buttermilk

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Lightly flour baking sheet.
3. Mix flour, cumin/caraway seeds (if using), baking soda and salt in large bowl.
4. Mix in enough buttermilk to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball.
5. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead just until dough holds together, about 1 minute.
6. Shape dough into 6-inch-diameter by 2-inch-high round. Place on prepared baking sheet.
7. Cut an “X” 1-inch deep across the top of bread, extending almost to edges.
8. Bake until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 35 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.

amanda riva Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients. 

Amanda Riva is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

blog_network_banner

Bangers and Green Mash with Onion Gravy

Saint Paddy’s day; when everything is green and made with Guinness. I don’t recommend the green beer, but I will happily take a green bagel though. Bangers and Mash is actually a British dish in origin, but when you make the gravy with beer and switch out that basic, boring mash for colcannon, you’ve got yourself some delicious Irish pub fair. Colcannon is normally made with kale, but I’ve decided that Swiss chard would also be excellent and I’ve even added some sautéed leeks to the mash. Now that lowly potato seems a bit more posh. Eat well, drink safely and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serving Size: 4 servings

Banger_and_Mash_Danielle_Oron-8

Ingredients:

Green Mash (Colcannon):
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, white and light green part sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper

Banger_and_Mash_Danielle_Oron-1

Bangers and Onion Gravy:
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 links pork sausages (can be doubled for larger servings)
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup Guinness
3 cups beef stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon whipping cream
Maldon salt, garnish

Banger_and_Mash_Danielle_Oron-10

Directions:

For the Green Mash:
Heat the butter and olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
Add the leeks to the pan and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Set aside
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and prepare an ice bath in a large bowl.
Blanch the Swiss chard 1 1/2 – 2 minutes. Immediately remove the leaves with tongs or spider skimmer and shock in the ice bath for 1 minute.
Remove the leaves and squeeze out as much water as possible.
Roughly chop the chard, set aside.
Bring the pot of salted water back to a boil and drop in the potatoes.
Boil until fork tender, about 16-18 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and push them through a ricer into a large bowl. Alternatively, you can mash them by hand.
Stir in the leeks, chard, butter and whipping cream, and salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Don’t over mix! Taste and add more butter, cream or salt accordingly.

Banger_and_Mash_Danielle_Oron-2

For the Bangers and Onion Gravy:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 375°F.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
3. Sear the sausages on each side until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Turn the heat off and transfer the sausages to a baking sheet.
4. Roast them in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
5. In the meantime, make the gravy by adding the butter to the residual sausage oils in the skillet. Turn the heat to medium-low.
6. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and sprinkle the sugar over top.
7. Sauté the onions, stirring occasionally, until they have softened and browned, about 12 minutes.
8. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute.
9. Turn the heat up to medium-high and deglaze the pan with the Guinness, making sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet as it bubbles.
10. Stir in the beef stock and allow the gravy to reduce by at least half until it is thick and flavourful.
11. Turn the heat off, stir in the salt, pepper and cream. Add the sausages into the gravy.

To serve, place the green mash on each dish, top with a sausage (or two), onions and lots of gravy. To make it fancy, sprinkle with Maldon salt and fresh black pepper

Banger_and_Mash_Danielle_Oron-5

Notes & Substitutions:
– Feel free to double the amount of sausages – there’s enough gravy for it!
– Use good quality pork sausages (fennel spiced sausages are great)! Just don’t go for the hot Italian sausages or chorizo. Doesn’t work here.
– If Guinness is too bitter for you, you can add more sugar to the onions in the gravy or just use a lighter amber beer like Brooklyn Lager.

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Irish Food Terms

Ever wondered what a Barmbrack or a Singin’ Hinnies was? We’ve broken it down for you with some of the most popular terms for classic Irish eats!

Balnamoon Skink: A soup made of trussed fowls and seasoned with herbs and onions.
Barmbrack: Traditional yeast bread with dried fruits or raisins, served with butter and tea.
Bath Chaps: The lower half of the pig’s cheeks which are cured and eaten like bacon.
Belfast Bap: Century-old yeast bread that originated in Belfast; often used as sandwich bread.
Black Pudding: A thick sausage made from by cooking blood with filler such as meat, fat or oatmeal.
Black and Tan: A beverage prepared with equal parts of stout and pale ale.
Boxty Bread: A rural Irish dish made using grated and mashed potatoes with flour as a binding agent. Pan-fried or griddled, the result is similar to a potato pancake.
Brotchan Roy: Traditional leak and oatmeal soup. Brotchan means “broth fit for a king”.
Cais: The Irish word for cheese.
Caveach: Fried fillets of fish, stored in a jar of vinegar.
Champ: Hot mashed potatoes served with a pool of melted butter for dipping.
Chicken Broody: Oven-roasted chicken, cut up and served with a cheese sauce and potatoes.
Colcannon: A traditional dish mainly consisting of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage.
Corned Beef and Cabbage: Stew made from brisket and cabbage. The meat and cabbage is removed from the broth to be served hot while the stock is saved for an Irish stew or soup base.
Crubeens: Lightly brined pig’s feet.
Dublin Coddle: Stew of rashers (thinly sliced back bacon), pork sausages, onions and potatoes served with hot soda bread.
Farl: Flat breads prepared in a pan and cut into four equal pieces.

pan bread
Flummery: Sweet pudding made from stewed fruit and thickened with cornstarch
Gammon: The Irish word for ham.
Griskins: The lean parts of pork loin.
Oaten Biscuits: Cookies made from oat bran, oats, sugar, flour and baking soda.
Scrooch: Thick soup of beef, mutton and vegetables.
Singin’ Hinnies: Hot griddle cakes scented with cinnamon and studded with currants.
Skirlie-Mirlie: A mixture of potatoes and turnips whisked with boiling milk and butter until light and fluffy. Served with Irish flatbread.
Skirts and Bodices: Pork trimmings and pickled spare ribs cooked with water, salt, pepper, and onions.
Slainte: A toast meaning “good health” to be said before a drink.
Sloke: A type of algae that is stewed either alone or with veggies.
Spotted Dog: Irish bread pudding containing dried fruit.

bread pudding
Stirabout: Oatmeal porridge that is made by stirring the water about then slowly adding fine oatmeal in a continuous stream.
White Puddings: A type of thick sausage made from well-seasoned oatmeal and lard boiled in sausage skins.
Willicks or Willocks: Species of small edible sea snail. They are boiled in seawater then eaten out of their shells with a pin.
Yellowman: An Irish treat made from melting sugar till it browns then pouring quickly into a buttered pan or baking sheet to cool. Served like peanut brittle, the finished product is broken into smaller bit-sized pieces.