Cooking Up a Hooley in the Kitchen:  Surprise Your Love with This Irish-Inspired Breakfast for Valentine’s Day Dinner

Cooking Up a Hooley in the Kitchen:  Surprise Your Love with This Irish-Inspired Breakfast for Valentine’s Day Dinner
by Katie Gagne

There are two schools of thought when it comes to the Irish. Some believe they have very little romantic tendencies, and others describe the Irish as having a poetic soul. Since the best way to someone’s heart is often through the stomach, this flavorful and fun meal will appeal to everyone.
What’s on the menu?Beer & Butter Braised Mushrooms, Eggs Benedict with a White Cheddar Whiskey Hollandaise Sauce, and Chocolate French Toast with a Chocolate Irish Crème Whipped Cream.


Beer and Butter Braised Mushrooms
16 oz Button and Cremini Mushroom combination

½ Stick Unsalted Butter

2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme

3 Crushed Garlic Cloves

6 oz Harp Lager

Salt and Pepper to taste

Sauté garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons of butter over med heat.  Add beer and cook for 4-5 minutes until reduced a bit. Add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are caramelized. Add thyme and salt and pepper. These make a nice and tasty side for your breakfast.

Eggs Benedict with White Cheddar Whiskey Hollandaise Sauce
4 English Muffin Halves
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
4 ¼ inch Slices of Tomato
4 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
4 Poached Eggs4-8 pieces of Irish Bacon

1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

½ Cup Hollandaise Sauce

Sprinkle of Paprika

Toast Muffin Halves – Butter each one.  Cook Bacon slices in pan until slightly crispy. Sprinkle with brown sugar after removing from pan. Slice tomatoes and sprinkle each side with Parmesan Cheese. Lightly sauté in pan with 1 tablespoon of butter and remove from pan and set aside. Poach 4 eggs and set aside. Make Hollandaise Sauce.

Hollandaise Sauce

2 Egg Yolks

2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice

1 Tablespoon of Cold Water

1 Tablespoon of Jameson’s Irish Whiskey

1 Stick Unsalted Butter

½ Cup Shredded White Cheddar Cheese

In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks, lemon juice, whiskey and water until a light yellow/tan – set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add melted butter one tablespoon at a time to egg mixture and whisk until fully incorporated. Pour back into saucepan and heat until warmed through – whisking constantly. It will thicken and get bubbly. Add white cheddar cheese and whisk until blended.
Assemble the Eggs Benedict:  Place English muffin on plate and top with tomato slice, then bacon, then poached egg and then spoon Hollandaise Sauce over the top and sprinkle with Paprika.

Chocolate French Toast

8 Slices of Thick White Bread (Challah or Brioche work well too)

6 Eggs

½ Cup Whole Milk

¼ Cup Heavy Whipping Cream

¼ Cup Brown Sugar

1/3 Cup White Granulated Sugar

1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

2 Tablespoons Dark Cocoa Powder (Sweetened)

Whisk last 7 ingredients together and chill for one hour or overnight. Dip each slice of bread into custard mixture and let sit on tray or plate for 5 minutes. Heat griddle or pan to medium-high. Cook each slice until lightly browned on each side. Cut in half diagonally and arrange on plate with fruit garnish (if desired). Top with dollops of whipped cream and dust with powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Serve with syrup.

Chocolate Irish Cream Whipped Cream

4 oz Heavy Whipping Cream

2 Tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream

2/3 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 Tablespoon Dark Cocoa Powder

Using electric mixer – beat all ingredients on high until medium peaks form.  Use spoon or pastry bag with 1M tip to top French toast.
Add a Mimosa or a Bloody Mary, and you have the perfect sweet and savory meal that can be served anytime – because who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner.
*Katie is an English teacher at Trinity High School by day and in her “spare” time runs her own at-home baking business, Sassy’s Sweets and Oh So Much More, specializing in gourmet cakes, cookies, cupcakes, and pastries. She can be reached at mkbluebows@aol.com

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