Cheese, Please for St. Patrick’s Day

All this week, Special Fork bloggers will be sharing recipes for St. Patrick’s Day.  And to celebrate, Special Fork is giving away a prize package of a year’s supply of delicious Kerrygold Butter and cheeses, imported from Ireland, courtesy of Kerrygold! It’s easy to enter the sweepstakes.

The grass is greener in Ireland.  Driving through the countryside, you can’t help but envy the cows grazing leisurely in lush pastures.  Fresh air, no growth hormones, well-cared-for on small family farms --cows are happy in Ireland.

And happy cows produce high-quality milk, which results in excellent butter and cheeses. These dairy products are a natural gold from the beta-carotene in the grass.

I’ve been to Irish dairy farms and I’ve met the farmers and the cows (some cows even have names).  I’ve been to a creamery where butter is churned and have watched cheese being crafted.  There’s nothing like seeing the production from start to finish, first hand, to truly appreciate the end result.

I’m lucky to have had the opportunity, on business with my client, the Irish Dairy Board, a marketing cooperative created by Ireland’s small dairy farmer co-ops and co-op creameries to export dairy products around the world under the Kerrygold name.

Here are some simple ways to use Irish Butter and cheeses for St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Irish cheese board – Arrange a selection of Irish cheeses such as Dubliner with Irish Stout, Cashel Blue and Kerrygold Aged Cheddar and serve with such traditional Irish accompaniments as toasted nuts, dried fruit and chutney on brown soda bread.
  • Irish pub salad – Assemble Dubliner cheese slices, hard-cooked egg wedges, thinly sliced English cucumber and sliced pickled beets on butter lettuce leaves; drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve with hunks of rustic bread and Irish butter.
  • Irish toasties (grilled cheese sandwiches) – Layer between 2 slices of cinnamon swirl bread spread with Dijon mustard: Blarney Castle cheese slices, thin sliced red onion, a sprinkling of chopped walnuts and crumbled dried rosemary.  Butter outsides with softened Irish butter and grill in a skillet or panini press.
  • Market plate – Assemble cheeses such as Dubliner, Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar and Blarney Castle with slices of cured meats, smoked fish, roast beef and condiments such as grainy mustard, chutney and extra virgin olive oil for drizzling. Accompany with brown bread (complete recipe below).

To get the Mrs. O’Sullivan’s Market Plate recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Mrs. O’Sullivan’s Market Plate
4 ounces Kerrygold Dubliner Cheese
4 ounces Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar Cheese
4 ounces Kerrygold Blarney Castle Cheese
8 ounces smoked trout
8 ounces cold-smoked salmon, sliced
8 ounces prosciutto or smoked ham, sliced
8 ounces roast beef, sliced
1 smoked duck or chicken breast, sliced
Pear and Dried Cranberry Chutney or prepared chutney
Brown bread and rustic sourdough bread
Roasted red peppers, sliced cucumber, grainy mustard, extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Slice cheeses; arrange cheeses, fish, meats and poultry on a decorative platter. Place chutney in a bowl; slice bread and arrange in a basket or on a plate. Serve with roasted peppers, cucumber, mustard and olive oil for drizzling, if desired.

Serves 6.

To get the Pear and Cranberry Chutney recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Pear and Cranberry Chutney
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Pinch of cayenne pepper

In heavy non-reactive saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes or until soft. Add pears, cranberries, brown sugar, vinegar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cayenne. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, about 30 minutes or until pears are soft and most of the liquid has evaporated. Refrigerate, covered. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 2 1/2 cups

Disclosure: Kerrygold is my PR client; however, I have not been paid to write this feature.  St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland are simply synonymous with Kerrygold.

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Posted: Mar 11th by Sandy_Hu