Thursday, March 11, 2010

Irish Ploughman's Lunch for Saint Patrick's Day

Last year, before I went on my trip to London, an English friend told me to be sure to have a "Ploughman's Lunch." What? Never heard of it. Had you? Here's what wikipedia had to say about it: "A ploughman's lunch (often just called a ploughman's) is a cold snack or meal originating in the United Kingdom, comprising at a minimum cheese, pickle, bread, and butter. It is often accompanied by a green salad..." It sounded reasonably good at the time, but I couldn't squeeze it in-literally and figuratively-between all the other lovely foods I devoured in London. Right before I got on the plane home, I stopped at a take-and-go food shop, called Pret a Manger, where I grabbed an assembled Ploughman's Sandwich. It was a brown bread sandwich with cheese, chutney, and dressed greens. Not bad, but not as fantastic as I had hoped. I really still didn't have an idea what a real Plougman's Lunch consisted of-that is until I opened March's Cooking Light Magazine and saw this glorious sight.
I had to make this stunning version, created by Irish cook book author, Margaret M. Johnson, post haste. I invited my parents to a family lunch on Sunday afternoon and we sat around the table and savored every morsel. The bread itself is worthy of attention. It's fantastic, full of whole wheat goodness and cruncy bits of steel cut oats. It's not sweet, like American versions of soda bread, but savory and moist. (My mom has made two loaves of it since Sunday. It's that good, people.) I served our sandwich with a bit of mayonnaise to balance out the sweet and tart chutney-which was also absolutely delicious. This will make a lovely Saint Patrick's Day Feast, but I'm quite sure it will show up on my table much more often than that. But start there and see if you don't fall head over heels for a Ploughman's Lunch. For these and other great healthy Irish recipes, check out Cooking Light's Website.
Irish Ploughman's Lunch from Cooking Light Magazine
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups salad, 1 1/2 ounces sausage, 3/4 ounce cheese, 1/2 bread slice, about 2 cornichons, and about 2 tablespoons chutney)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 (3-ounce) links chicken apple sausage, cooked and sliced diagonally
4 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese (such as Kerrygold), sliced
3 slices Brown Soda Bread, each cut into quarters
2 ounces cornichons
3/4 cup Tomato Chutney
1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well. Slowly drizzle oil into vinegar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add lettuce; toss to coat. Arrange salad on a platter with sausage, cheese, Brown Soda Bread, and cornichons. Place Tomato Chutney in a bowl; add to platter.
Brown Soda Bread from Cooking Light
Whole-wheat flour, wheat germ, and steel-cut oats (also called Irish oatmeal) make this a super-healthy interpretation of the classic Irish bread.
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 slice)
Cooking spray
11.25 ounces whole-wheat flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
2.25 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup steel-cut oats (such as McCann's)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Coat a 9 x 5–inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, and coat with cooking spray.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flours and next 6 ingredients (through salt). Combine buttermilk and egg; add to flour mixture. Stir just until combined.
4. Spoon the mixture into prepared pan. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Invert bread onto a wire rack; cool completely. Remove parchment; slice bread into 12 slices.
Tomato Chutney from Cooking Light
Notes: I used a (14 ounce) can of diced tomatoes with juices
Yield: 2 cups (serving size: 2 tablespoons)
1 1/4 cups cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
7 plum tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1. Place first 7 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; bring to a boil. Add onion and remaining ingredients; stir to combine. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until thick, stirring occasionally.
Next Up:
Chocolate Mint Brownies


Julie Harward said...

That meal looks like a whole days worth of food! The bread sounds really good! Come say hi :D

Anonymous said...

I'm totally intrigued by that soda bread. Definitely need to try before St. Patty's day. Thanks for posting!

Fantastic Mr. R said...

I'm really excited to try this meal. I love good sandwiches, and this one looks REALLY good. Thanks for testing it all out and introducing me to the ploughman.
Where do you find steel cut oats at the market? and what brand did you use?

The JR said...

That name is new to me too! Looks kinda like some of the snacks I throw together, but just call them a snack.

Prudy said...

I had steal cut oats in my cupboard from way back when. You should be able to find them in any market. They're pretty popular right now.

gigi said...

That is a must try bread!

Catherine said...

That looks delicious! I think I can wait until St. Patrick's Day, but I'm not sure. Time will tell. =D

Mary Ann said...

I really want to make this bread. I have had the recipe cut out for a few weeks now.
The whole lunch looks fabulous!

Prudy said...

McCanns, Heidi, is the brand name of the steel cut oats I bought. Actually, they are mom and dad's steel cut oats, given to them by Chrissy P, but they ended up in my you know. Mine.

Michal said...

Can't wait to try this. I saw it in Cooking Light, but it's your post that has convinced me.
Are you by any chance going to post the mint brownies this morning? I'm making a huge batch of brownies today for Patient Appreciation Day tomorrow and would love to see the recipe. If not, I'll use your other:)

Prudy said...

Michal, I wasn't going to post until tomorrow at best. As for the brownies, I used a different recipe for the brownie base, but I didn't like them as well as my buttermilk. It's basically brownies with a mint frosting layer, then a layer of ganache. Let me know if you need more info!

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Adrienne said...

Food newb question: cornichons? are those the mini pickles?

The soda bread and chutney look like you could make it ahead and then just slap it all together come eatin time. I'm feelin a picnic comin on.

Prudy said...

Yes-cornichons are the pickles. I used dill pickles, since that's what we like best. Have a great picnic!

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Adrienne said...

Hey wow! I just saw you in Better Homes and Gardens! Congratulations!

That recipe looks delicious and as usual YOU look gorgeous.

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Thank you!!!! I just got my issue today. I'm just relieved I didn't look like a complete housefrau. I'll have to post that recipe soon.

Chef Aimee said...

Oh that brown soda bread looks delicious!

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Nichole said...

Can you double or triple this recipe or is it better left as a single loaf? I usually like to turn out 4 or 5 loaves at a time when I'm making bread.

Sara said...

Thanks for the yummy irish meal recipes. Looks fantastic. We are going to stick with your corned beef grilled cheese on rye again. We loved it last year. I do want to make the Soda bread though. Does it make a good sandwich bread? Can you substitute Rolled Oats for Steel Cut Oats?

Prudy said...

I just made a double batch and it turned out GREAT. I made my mom another batch for tomorrrow. Good luck.

Prudy said...

Howdy! I want those last year sandwiches too. Oh, the dilemma! As for this bread, it's perfect for sandwiches. If you use regular oats, they went be chewy but they still work. Good luck!

Jennifer I said...

I made the bread this morning and it was fab! Thanks for posting the recipe.

Nichole said...

Thanks! I went ahead and doubled up my batch and it turned out great. You do a wonderful job and I absolutely love checking in every day or so to see what's new.

Anonymous said...

Just got done baking the soda bread, delicious! I see myself making the bread again in the near future. Thanks for the idea. My hubby is grilling the chicken brats right now for our St. Patricks dinner.

Troop 220 said...

I just ade the bread last night. It was so yummy. I didn't have any wheat germ so I didn't put it in the bread. I also bought te McCann's steel cut oatmeal. The bread still came out very yummy. Thanks for the recipes. I also look forward to your posts. I have made many things from you. So thank for keeping us well fed. :)

Rebekah Daphne said...

This bread was great! It rose so well. My husband loves it.

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