Happy Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Welcome to The Vintage Kitchen and the new re-design of the blog! Today is definitely a cause for celebration around here both for the festive holiday and for the bevy of changes occurring around this place. Nothing says celebration more than a glass of sparkly champagne, so we are kicking off the first official post from The Vintage Kitchen with an old Irish cocktail featuring champagne and Guinness and we are serving up a recipe that stems from this 17th century castle in Ireland…
Before we dive into dinner you’ll have noticed that there is a bright new look here on the blog which officially launches The Vintage Kitchen. While Ms. Jeannie is away on her extended travels (read more about that here) everything has been switched over to the Vintage Kitchen including all social media platforms, so if you have followed Ms. Jeannie in the past on pinterest, instagram and twitter you’ll still be connected to the same account – it just has a different user name now. A few more changes will be unfolding here on the blog in the weeks to come including a dedicated spot for correspondence from Ms. Jeannie while she is away. So stay tuned in that department.
In the meantime, we are popping corks and pouring a rich dark drink that was popular on the British mid-century cocktail scene. Named the Black Velvet, it is a half and half combination of Guinness beer and extra dry champagne.
The combination of the two flavors tastes like a smooth, creamy, light and airy molasses which is lovely if you fall into the camp of people who think that Guinness is too heavy a beverage on its own. If you are enjoying this cocktail on the home front and therefore not having it on tap from the pub, you’ll see the fun retro artwork on the Guinness cans. This one features a toucan and is an image snippet from one of their early 20th century advertising campaigns back in the day when everyone thoroughly believed that Guinness was good for you.
There is no doubt that the interior of Adare Manor has seen it’s fair share of Guinness drinkers. Perhaps visitors have even enjoyed a Black Velvet or two while strolling among the grounds. The country castle that makes up Adare Manor was originally part of the Earls of Dunraven lineage and managed to stay in the family from the 17th century through 1986. When expenses and upkeep got to be too much for family members to shoulder it was sold to a hotelier who turned the former home into a luxurious beacon of upscale tourism.
Like The Vintage Kitchen, Adare Manor is currently undergoing a transformation in the forms of upgrades and remodels, which is why a dinner menu from a former executive chef at this hallowed estate seemed so fitting for the launch of our first official Vintage Kitchen post. From way down in the belly of this beautiful building comes an outside of the box St. Patrick’s Day menu that eliminates the crock-pot and brisket and sets aside the cabbage for a light and lively springtime meal that looks at traditional Irish ingredients in a nontraditional way.
On the menu tonight it is Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Roulade with Spring Greens and a Champagne-Chive Dressing.
Capitalizing on all things seasonal, this recipe is great for this time of year because it features chives, spring lettuce and scallions all which are now in season at the farmers market. A little note about prep time: while this recipe is fairly easy to make and contains basic easy-to-find ingredients, the roulade requires seven hours of refrigeration time before cooking so you may want to get this recipe ready in the morning if you want to plan on having it for dinner. That being said, the finished dish is well worth the wait and all that extra fridge time.
We’ll start with the roulade recipe since that takes the most time to prepare…
Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Roulade (serves 6)
2 tablespoons butter
2 large white skinned potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
4 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
In a medium saute pan heat one teaspoon butter over medium heat and saute the potatoes (turning regularly with a fork so they don’t burn) until tender but not browned (about 2-3 minutes). Note: You’ll see as you are cooking the potatoes that they will go from white to translucent. When you can see your fork tines underneath the potato slice that is when you know they are ready to be removed from the heat. Place cooked potatoes on a sheet of parchment paper to cool.
Continue working in batches adding more butter by the teaspoonful when needed until you all potatoes are cooked.
When all the potatoes have cooled to room temperature, lay them out on a new sheet of parchment paper in a square shape with slices slightly overlapping.
Next add the goat cheese on top of the potatoes – spreading it in a layer all over the potatoes. Note: this is much easier if your goat cheese is also at room temperature. A frosting knife works well for this task or your fingers!
On top of the cheese place the layer of smoked salmon slices.
Using the edge of the parchment paper as a guide, carefully roll up the potato cheese salmon mixture to form a log. Twist the edge of the parchment and stick the whole roll in the fridge for 7 hours.
While the roulade is in the fridge, make the dressing for the salad, it can sit for as long as you like before serving…
Champagne Chive Dressing
2 tablespoons champagne
3 tablespoons olive oil
Minced fresh chives to taste
1 scallion, sliced
A pinch of sugar (I used organic cane sugar )
Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
6 handfuls of mixed baby greens
In a small bowl whisk all the ingredients together except the baby greens. Set aside the dressing and the greens until just before serving the roulades.
After the seven hour rest in the fridge, remove the roulade roll and unwrap it. It should feel very cold and firm. Cut the roulade into one inch thick slices . Heat a saute pan over medium high heat and add a half teaspoon of butter to coat the pan.
Quickly saute the slices until crisp and bubbling brown on both sides (about 3-4 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat. Toss the dressing with the spring greens and place a handful of salad on each plate. Top with roulade slices and a dash of salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Keep the festive atmosphere going by indulging in a glass of champagne with your dinner and you’ll discover a nice savory sweet pairing of subtle spring flavors here. Both the roulade and the baby greens offer a satisfying crunch but if you’d like to include some fresh crusty bread with your meal that would also be delicious. Next time, you make this you could even experiment with other ingredients like replacing the smoked salmon with thinly shaved corned beef brisket or ham and replacing the goat cheese with blue cheese or baby swiss. The possibility for extra creativity when it comes to this Irish dinner is vast and varied, which makes it endlessly interesting.
Cheers to a most celebratory St. Patrick’s Day night, dear readers! May you laugh as much as you breathe and love as much as you live.