Posts Tagged Restaurants

IRISH SODA BREAD

Irish Soda Bread has been a long-time favorite of our family.  I think I have been making it for  . . . we’ll not go there!  Anyway, this bread was especially fitting for our St. Patty’s Day themed cooking class but . . . it’s good any time!  Just remove the word “Irish” from it’s name and you have “Soda Bread”!  I’m only kidding!  Actually this bread stands on it’s own . . . regardless of it’s nationality!  Let’s do this!

IRISH SODA BREAD

 

PREP: 15 MINUTES

BAKING TIME: 60–65 MINUTES

OVEN TEMP: 350 DEGREES

SERVES –15

Ingredients:

4 CUPS FLOUR + 1 TABLESPOON FOR DUSTING

½ CUP SUGAR

2 TEASPOONS BAKING POWDER

1 TEASPOON SODA

¾ TEASPOON SALT

3 CUPS RAISINS

1 TABLESPOON CARAWAY SEEDS (OPTIONAL)

2 EGGS, LIGHTLY BEATEN

1 ¼ CUPS BUTTERMILK

1 CUP SOUR CREAM

Directions:

       1.     Heat oven to 350 degree. Grease a 9 inch cast-iron skillet or baking pan

       2.     Combine 4 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, raisins, and caraway seeds in a large bowl stir in flour mixture just until flour is moistened.

       3.     Knead dough in bowl, about 10 strokes; dough will be very sticky! Shape into a ball; place in skillet. Cut a 4-inch “X” ¾-inch deep, across top of dough. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon flour.

       4.     Bake in 350 Degree oven for 60-65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center tests clean.  Cool in skillet 10 minutes.  Turn bread out onto wire rack to cool completely.

 

ENJOY!

Thank you for reading!  It really means a lot to be able to bring new ideas to so many!

Kris

For additional information about designing your own custom cooking class party or to check out staying at one of The Lark Inn Guesthouses, please VISIT OUR WEBSITE

 

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IRISH FLAG SALAD

By now you are probably detecting a theme in my favorite salads and that is that they generally contain fruit of some sort, nuts and cheese.  I think the reason is that these types of salads will go with just about anything.  They are light enough to be refreshing in hot weather, but with the nuts and cheese, they have plenty of protein and so will stay with you.  We prepared the Irish Flag Salad at our March cooking class at The Lark Inn and everyone loved it!  Another theme with my favorite salads . . . they are simple to make as is this one!  Let’s make an Irish Flag Salad!

IRISH FLAG SALAD

 

PREP: 20 MINUTES

SERVES –4

Ingredients

  • 1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach
  • 2 medium pears, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios

DRESSING:

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1. Divide spinach among four plates; top with pears, oranges, cheese & pistachios

2. Whisk the dressing ingredients; drizzle over salads. Serve

**This salad features green spinach, orange fruit and white cheese, mimicking the colors in the national flag of Ireland.

ENJOY!!

Thank you for reading!

Kris

 

For more information about our scheduled cooking classes at The Lark Inn Guesthouses or scheduling your own custom Cooking Class Party check my website.

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MINATURE SHEPHERD’S PIES

These miniature Shepherd’s Pies are fantastic!  they are so small and really very light. So much so that you might just assume that there are no calories . . . but there are a few!  This recipe makes 4 dozen and when I did my test run with them I only made 1/2 of the recipe . . . 2 dozen.  I only got to eat 3 of the 24 . . . the other 21 mysteriously vanished as in with my husband Pat!

We made these at my March cooking class and they were a great hit!  their easy and fun to make and make for a super appetizer!

Let’s get started!

MINIATURE SHEPHERD’S PIES

 

PREP: 40 MINUTES

BAKING TIME: 15 MINUTES

OVEN TEMP: 400 DEGREES

YIELD: 4 DOZEN

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped carrot
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup beef broth
  • 1/3 cup frozen petite peas
  • 2 packages (17.3 ounces each) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion, celery and carrot over medium heat until beef is no longer pink; drain.
  2. Stir in the flour, thyme, salt, nutmeg and pepper until blended; gradually add the broth.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened.  Stir in peas; heat through. Set aside.
  3. Unfold puff pastry. Using a floured 1 ¼ inch round cutter, cut 12 circles from each sheet (save scraps for another use.) Press circles onto the bottoms and up the sides of ungreased miniature muffin cups.
  4. Fill each with 1 ½ teaspoons beef mixture; top or pipe with 1 tablespoon mashed potatoes.  Bake at 400 degrees for 13 – 16 minutes or until heated through and potatoes are lightly browned.  Serve warm.  Yield 4 Dozen.

ENJOY!

Thank you for reading!

Kris

For more information about upcoming cooking classes or accommodations in The Lark Inn Guesthouses, please visit our website.

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SALTIMBOCCA “JUMP IN THE MOUTH”

This is a great recipe we have prepared at a couple of our cooking classes at The Lark Inn.  The first time was when we had guest chef Gary Martin join us for our September class: “When the Flint Hills Meet the Tuscan Hills”.  This was actually a recipe Gary brought with him specifically for that class.  The only other time we have fixed it was just this past Saturday night.  We had a group of folks who had attended one of our general classes and decided it would be a lot of fun to do a private cooking class/party.  I have to tell you it was fun.  I pulled together several menu options and they picked their menu so I got to prepare Saltimbocca for my first time with that group.  What can I say . . . Chef Gary was such a good teacher . . .

The recipe calls for veal or pork tenderloin and I chose to use the pork and it worked out famously.  I do want to try it with the veal . . . I’m sure it will be very good also.

As you will see, this is a very savory recipe with the prosciutto and sage leaves . . . it begs to be accompanied by a nice glass of wine!

Let’s start cooking!

SALTIMBOCCA “JUMP IN THE MOUTH”

 PREP: 10 – 15 MINUTES

COOKING TIME: 4 -5 MINUTES

REDUCING TIME:  10 – 15 MINUTES

SERVES –4

Ingredients

1 POUND VEAL OR PORK TENDERLOIN – SLICED ½ INCH THICK

THIN SLICES OF PROSCIUTTO (1 FOR EACH PIECE OF VEAL OR PORK)-OPTIONAL

FRESH SAGE LEAVES (TWO FOR EACH PIECE)

SALT AND PEPPER

½ CUP FLOUR

¼ CUP OLIVE OIL

1 CUP CHICKEN OR VEAL STOCK REDUCED TO ¼ CUP

½ CUP DRY WHITE WINE

2 TABLESPOONS CAPERS-DRAINED

CHILLED BUTTER

Directions:

PLACE VEAL SCALLOPS ON PLASTIC WRAP AND FOLD OVER.  POUND SCALLOPS UNTIL FLAT AND VERY THIN.  SEASON SCALLOPS WITH SALT AND PEPPER, LAY A PIECE OF PROSCIUTTO AND TWO SAGE LEAVES ON SCALLOP, FOLD OVER.  REPEAT UNTIL ALL SCALLOPS ARE PREPARED.  DUST LIGHTLY WITH FLOUR.  MEANWHILE REDUCE STOCK OVER MEDIUM HEAT, KEEP WARM.  HEAT HEAVY SKILLET OVER MEDIUM HIGH HEAT, ADD OIL.  SEAR VEAL SCALLOPS ABOUT TWO MINUTES, TURN AND COOK ABOUT TWO MORE MINUTES.  REMOVE FROM PAN, TENT TO KEEP WARM.  ADD CAPERS TO HOT PAN, ADD WINE STIRRING TO LOOSEN BITS IN PAN AND SIMMER UNTIL MOST OF LIQUID IS EVAPORATED. STIR IN STOCK AND CONTINUE COOKING UNTIL SMOOTH.  WHISK CHILLED BUTTER 1 TABLESPPON AT A TIME UNTIL SAUCE IS SMOOTH AND CREAMY.

 NOTE:  SERVE WITH GARLIC MASHED POTATOES OR PASTA WITH RED SAUCE.

ENJOY!

Thank you for reading!

KRIS

For more information about my cooking classes, designing your own customized private cooking class/party or accommodations in our guesthouses, visit our web site at:  www.TheLarkInn.com

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TOMATO BASIL DIP

Here is another REALLY simple but great tasting recipe.  I found my Tomato Basil Dip recipe while I was pouring through my recipes getting ready for our “Appetizers to Die For” cooking class at The Lark Inn last weekend.  Not only is it easy to prepare and tastes good . . . it is also different.  It’s not the same old dip that everyone is used to having in some variation or another . . . it’s unique.  Bring your Tomato Basil Dip to a gathering and you’ll be the talk of the party!

Enough of my blabbing.  Let’s get down to business:

TOMATO BASIL DIP


 

PREP: 10 MINUTES

CHILLING TIME: 30 MINUTES

SERVES – 10 OR MORE
Ingredients:

1 CUP MAYONNAISE

½ CUP SOUR CREAM

½ CUP FRESH BASIL

1 TABLESPOON TOMATO PASTE

1 TABLESPOON LEMON ZEST

ASSORTED FRESH VEGETABLES

Directions:

 Stir together first 5 ingredients. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Serve with fresh vegetables.

ENJOY!

Thank you for reading!

KRIS

If you would like more information about my cooking classes or would like to customize your own cooking class party, visit our website!

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ROASTED OLIVES

The weekend is over and we had a super fun one with our guests.  We hosted two private Cooking Parties at The Lark Inn on Friday and Saturday night.  Friday, we named “Appetizers to Die For”.  The entire class was just easy to make appetizers.  Saturday was an Italian Celebration . . . a complete meal from appetizers to decadent dessert.  In my next several postings, I will share several of these recipes with you.

I always like to have an appetizer ready for my guests when they arrive and my roasted olives are a great one for many reasons: first, they are easy and don’t take very long, second, with the herbs and spices in them when you roast them you can’t help but make everything smell wonderful.  Also, their presentation is really great with all the different colors . . . . it plates very nicely and the most important . . . people LOVE them!

So let’s go!

ROASTED OLIVES

 

PREP: 10 MINUTES

ROASTING TIME:  15-20 MINUTES

RESTING TIME: 10 MINUTES

OVEN TEMP: 425 DEGREES

SERVES: 15 PEOPLE

INGREDIENTS :

1   pint (2 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes

1        cup Ripe Pitted Olives

1   cup Greek Kalamata Pitted Olives

1   cup Garlic Stuffed Spanish Olives

1   tablespoon herbs de Provence blend or a mix of dried rosemary and thyme

8  whole garlic cloves, peeled

¼  cup olive oil

¼  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1.  Heat oven to 425 degrees
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well.
  3. Transfer mixture to a 15 X 10 inch jelly roll pan.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until the tomatoes have shriveled and browned lightly.
  5. Cool on the Pan
  6. Transfer to a shallow bowl.
  7. Serve at room temperature with a toasted baguette slices or crackers

Lark Inn Tip:

If you can find them, fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme or basil look great as a garnish.  If you have trouble finding the specified olives, feel free to use any combination that appeals to you.

Roasting olives is a fun and simple technique that gives them a slightly chewy outside and a dense flesh transforming them into a truly unique bite.  The addition of tomatoes, whole garlic and herbs de Provence adds color, texture and added flavor to a mixture of glossy black ripe olives, brightly flavored Kalamatas and briny green olives stuffed with garlic.  We like to serve this starter with toasted baguette slices, crackers, pita bread or just by themselves with skewers to make it easy to pick them up and pop them into your mouth.  Note:  herbs de Provence is a dried herbal blend of rosemary, basil, sag, thyme, summer savory and lavender.  It can be found at larger grocery stores or online.  If you have trouble finding it, just make your own mix of a few of the designated dried herbs that you have on your panty shelf.  It will be delicious!

I hope you and your guests will enjoy these roasted olives as much as we have!

Thank you for reading!

Kris Larkin

To learn more about my scheduled cooking classes or to create a custom cooking class of your own visit our website.

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SAVORY SEASONINGS – FRED’S RUB

 

Fred’s Rub is a mix of seasonings concocted by my husband, Pat’s father Fred.  Fred was quite the griller even back in the 50’s.  I guess that is where Pat gets it from . . . it’s the grilling genes . . . not to be confused with pant that you wear when you are grilling . . . grilling jeans!

Anyway, we use Fred’s Rub on a wide variety of foods.  As I mentioned, it is a great seasoning for meats on the grill; steaks, burgers, pork chops, chicken . . . virtually everything except fish, sausage or brautworst.  For your meats on the grill I suggest that you use Fred’s Rub with a pretty heavy hand . . . don’t just sprinkle it on, get a pretty good covering of it on the meat.

We also us Fred’s Rub on potatoes, roasted veggies.  Whether you roast your veggies in the oven or on the grill, it’s great!  However, you will want to use Fred’s Rub sparingly on the veggies so they don’t become too salty.

*Fred’s Rub

 Fred’s Rub was created by Pat’s dad; Fred Larkin who, perfected the art of steak grilling on his “Hastybake” charcoal grill.  At one such time, over a half a century ago Fred was paid a visit by the Grilling Gods!  They took him into their landing craft and while rocketing through the galaxies, performed horrible experiments on Fred.  Being the powerful and courageous man that he was, he fought them all off and commandeered their ship, flying it back to planet earth.  Though he was free in body, he was still theirs in his mind . . . all he could think of was seasoned salt, garlic salt and pepper . . . seasoned salt, garlic salt and pepper . . . seasoned salt, garlic salt and pepper .  Then it came to him; he was supposed to put the concoction on his steaks and then grill them . . . FRED’S RUB WAS BORN!!!  Fred’s Rub is  only available through the Lark Inn and is about a zillion dollars a bottle.  But, if you want to make it, here is the top secret recipe:

1-1/2 Parts Seasoned Salt

1 Part Garlic Powder

¼ Teaspoon Fresh Cracked Pepper for each ½ cup of rub

Please remember; if you divulge this top secret recipe . . . the Grilling god’s may pay YOU a visit!!!

 

This is a story my husband Pat included in our recipe book: “Wedding Week at The Lark Inn”  I hope you enjoyed it.  Actually. the Fred’s Rub really is awesome and we use it in a lot of our food preparation.

Tomorrow, we will be talking about our “Smashed Potatoes”.  This are a very unique way to prepare potatoes, it lends itself to being savory, your guests (or family) will love them and, they are a great way to control your calory intake.  See you tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!  If you are interested in more information about our cooking classes or the Lark Inn Guesthouses, please visit our website.

Kris

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APPLE SMOKED PORK CHOPS – MONDAY NIGHT – WEDDING WEEK AT THE LARK INN

This is a recipe from our recipe book: Wedding week at The Lark Inn.  For those of you not familiar with this recipe book, it is something we put together after our daughter’s wedding.  The wedding was a destination event so, as all the guests arrived during the week prior to the wedding, we were cooking for an increasing number of guests.  We reached the peak at the Dinner the night before the wedding and the brunch the morning of . . . about 100 guests.  This recipe is for apple smoked pork chops my husband Pat made for our Monday night group of about 15 friends and relatives.  In the next few days, I will be sharing more recipes from that day.  Save them and put them together for an outstanding dinner party!

 

Shopping List:

2 Packages of 10 Center Cut Pork Chops (make sure they are about 1/2″ thick.

Fred’s Rub

Servings: 15

Season the pork chops heavily on one side with “Fred’s Rub”*

Cover and put the seasoned chops in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Preparation:

Start smoker with apple wood in the smoke chamber and crank the heat up to high.  On our Treagor electric smoker, that is about 425 to 450°.

Once smoker has reached at least 425° put the chops on the grate, seasoned side down.

Cook for about five minutes and turn.

Continue to cook until temperature in the middle of the chop is 145° and remove and cover in foil.

Let stand for at least 10 Minutes before serving.

 

Alternate cooking method:

Because of the small size of my smoker and the large number of guests for dinner I also fired up my gas grill on high.

I put half of the pork chops on the smoker, seasoned side down and the other half on the grill, seasoned side down.

I cooked them for about five minutes, turned them and cooked them for another 5 minutes or so.

Then, I switched; moved the chops from the smoker on to the grill and those from the grill on to the smoker.

 

Tip:  You might want to use a tray to put one of the groups of chops on to make room for the other set of chops . . . otherwise you could become trapped in a terminal do-loop of making room on the grill for the smoked chops . . . but there isn’t room  . . . I better move them . . . but there isn’t room . . . so I better move them . . . we don’t want to have to send someone over to rescue you.  If you think this may be a problem . . . you should probably not cook pork chops alone!  This could be especially dangerous if alcohol is involved.

 

Once you have finally navigated the switching process, cook them for another 5 or so minutes on each side until the internal temp reaches 145°.

Remove, cover with foil and let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  As I said before, save these “Wedding at The Lark Inn” recipes and put them together for a great meal for whatever occasion.

 

Thank you for reading!

Kris

Visit my web site for videos, menus and a schedule for upcoming cooking classes at The Lark Inn.

 

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APPLE CHEESE BALL

OK . . . OK . . . I KNOW . . . CHEESE BALL . . . REALLY?!?!?  YES REALLY!  This Cheese ball (apple) is great tasting and  . . . it’s fun to make!  I love to have it ready at the beginning of my cooking classes or at a social gathering.  I just serve it with some wheat or multi-grain crackers . . . . really, almost anything will go well with it.  It works great to have something there that my guests can “nosh” on while they are waiting . . . for whatever they’re waiting for.

We made this in our Lark inn Cooking Class last October and it was a big hit.  Enjoy!

PREP: 15 MINUTES

CHILLING TIME:  2 HOURS

SERVES – 10 TO 12 APPETIZER SERVINGS

Ingredients:

8 OUNCES WHITE CHEDDAR CHEESE, SHREDDED

1 (8-OUNCE) PACKAGE CREAM CHEESE, SOFTENED

1 TEASPOON GARLIC POWDER

1/8 TEASPOON GROUND RED PEPPER

SMOKED PAPRIKA

1 ½ INCH CINNAMON STICK

1 BAY LEAF

Directions:

  1. 1.     Process first 4 ingredients in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.  Chill 30 minutes.
  2. 2.     Shape cheese mixture into a ball, and make an indentation in the top to resemble an apple.  Chill ball 30 minutes.
  3. 3.     Coat ball heavily with paprika; cover and chill 1 hour
  4. 4.     Insert cinnamon stick and bay leaf into indentation to resemble apple stem and leaf.  Serve with assorted crackers or Cheddar-Pecan Shortbread leaves.

If this was interesting to you, visit my web site and check out a cooking class that works for you.

Thanks for reading!

Kris

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SPINACH CHICKEN SALAD

 This is a fabulous chicken salad . . . and pretty too.  We made this in my December cooking class and the spinach makes it light enough to go well any time of year.  On the other hand, the chicken is heavy enough that it can hold it’s own in the Winter or Fall.  it’s appearance is festive regardless of the time of year or event.  ENJOY!

PREP: 30 MINUTES

COOKING TIME: 5-10 MINUTES

RESTING TIME: 30 MINUTES

SERVES – 6

Ingredients:

4 BONE-IN SKIN-ON CHICKEN BREASTS, POACHED WITH HERBS AND AROMATICS

1-2 SPRIGS OF FRESH THYME

1 TEASPOON PEPPERCORNS

¼ CUP CELERY TOPS AND END PIECES

3-4 TABLESPOONS CRANBERRY HORSERADISH SAUCE (OR 3 TABLESPOONS WHOLE CRANBERRY SAUCE* AND 1 TABLESPOON HORSERADISH SAUCE)

½ CUP SLIVERED ALMONDS (TOASTED)

½ CUP CHOPPED CELERY

SALT AND FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER TO TASTe

¾ CUP MAYONNAISE

Directions:

  1. 1.     After poaching chicken, discard the skin and bones and cut into bite-size pieces**
  2. 2.     Combine cooked chicken with the cranberries, cranberry horseradish sauce, almonds, celery, salt and pepper.  Add the mayonnaise and mix well.
  3. 3.     Chill until serving time.

 

* recipe to follow for Whole Cranberry Sauce

** To poach chicken: place chicken breast (with bone and skin) in cold water to cover with fresh thyme, peppercorns and celery.  AS SOON AS IT STARTS TO BUBBLE/BOIL TURN OFF THE HEAT!!! Cover and it will continue to cook for ½ hour.

If you would like to learn more about the Lark Inn Cooking Classes or crafting a custom cooking class for you or your organization, please visit my website.

Thanks for reading!

Kris Larkin

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