Tea Party, Irish


n Gaelic “cupan tae” means cup of tea, and the Irish make it a strong cup. Irish tea is blended to be mixed with a lot of rich milk-up to 1/3 of the cup for some. The custom is to add the milk to the tea-cup first, then pour in the tea. Irish breakfast tea is often a strong blend of Assam and Ceylon and most people would only drink it for breakfast, though the Irish love it strong and would use this blend all day long. Even during the traditional Irish wake, after a family member has passed away, it’s expected that a pot would be continuously boiling to make tea for company.

Irish tea is served generally three times a day; 11:00 in the morning, 3:00-5:00 for afternoon tea and a high tea at 6:00 pm, serving as the evening meal. Many think of high tea as formal or fancy, but it’s actually a working man’s tea that serves as a meal. Afternoon tea is the fancier of the three teas-the one with scones, breads, jam, curds and other dainties.

SUGGESTED MENU for AN ‘IRISH HIGH TEA’ PARTY

Recipes shown below

Potato and Leek Soup* served with Irish Herb Scones*
Smoked Salmon Mousse* with Irish Soda Bread
Dublin Lawyer* served with with sweet peas mixed with creamed new potatoes
Irish Tea Cakes*
Bailey’s Irish Cream Cake*
 Barry’s Irish Tea – Classic Blend


Irish Herbed Scones

Ingredients:
1/2 pound potatoes
4 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon savory
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon powdered sage
Oil for frying

Method:

Boil the potatoes, then pass through a food mill. Mix the flour, salt, oil and herbs with the potatoes. On a floured board, roll this dough to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut the dough into triangles 3 or 4 inches wide. Fry in very hot oil on both sides until light golden.

Potato and Leek Soup

Ingredients

2 medium leeks, cleaned and chopped 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 tablespoon butter 1 cup mashed potatoes 1-1/2-2 pints chicken stock salt and pepper 4 tablespoons cream 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
Method

Sauté the leeks and onion on low heat in the butter until soft. Mix the potatoes with the chicken stock; the less stock you use the thicker the soup. Add the leeks and onion, season to taste and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Pour into individual bowls and garnish each with a tablespoon of cream and chopped parsley before serving.

Has anybody heard of a Dublin Lawyer?

Dublin Lawyer

This dish is delicious and traditional – a happy combination – though its expensive ingredients make it a rare treat rather than an everyday affair. For the best flavor the fish has to be freshly killed just before cooking. Plunge a sharp knife into the cross on the back of the head. Slice in half lengthwise and crack open the claws. Remove all the flesh and cut into large chunks. Keep both halves of the shell for serving.

Ingredients

1 live lobster, about 2 lb
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Irish whiskey
1/2 cup whipping cream
salt and pepper
(serves two)

Method

Toss the lobster meat in foaming butter over a medium heat for a few minutes until cooked. Take care that the butter does not burn. Add the whiskey and when it has heated up set light to it. Pour in the cream, heat through and season.

From the Appletree Press title: A Little Irish Cookbook.

Bailey’s Irish Cream Cake

For the cake:
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
6 Tbs Bailey’s Irish Cream
3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and butter and lightly flour two nine-inch cake pans. Put the chocolate to melt over a low heat with the Bailey’s and the brown sugar. Stir often to blend to a smooth mixture. In the meantime, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs one by one. Sift the dry ingredients over a piece of waxed paper or another bowl. Add the milk and the dry ingredients gradually to the egg/sugar/butter mixture, alternating wet and dry. Once they are completely incorporated, add the chocolate mixture. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 35 minutes, allow to cool ten minutes in the pans and then turn out onto wire racks to finish cooling.

For the filling:
90 cl (3/4 cup) whipping cream
3 Tbs Bailey’s Irish Cream
2 Tbs powdered sugar

Whip the cream until it forms lovely peaks. Fold in the powdered sugar and the Bailey’s. When the cakes are cool, place one flat side up on a cake plate and heap the cream in the center, reserving about half a cup for the frosting. Place the second cake, flat side down on the cream.

For the frosting:
1/3 cup (90 g) butter
about 2 cups powdered sugar
1 heaping Tbsp cocoa powder reserved cream from above

Beat the butter with the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder and cream. If it seems a little dry, add a tablespoon of milk. If it seems a little wet, add a little more sugar. Frost the cake.Garnish with grated bittersweet chocolate and use a cookie cutter to put a powdered sugar shamrock on the top. Serve with more strong black tea and maybe a wee Irish whisky

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