Friday, March 15, 2013

Traditional St. Patrick's Day Fare

As the 17th of March comes upon us this is the time of year if you are not Irish you become Irish for the day, partake int festivities that the day and spirits bring. 

Now for the little history lesson, we know it is celebrated on March 17, it is the saint's religious feast day as well as the anniversary of St. Patrick's death in the 15th century. For over a 1000 years the Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday.   Of course, St. Patrick's Day  falls during the Lenten, but luck would have it, all it's  prohibitions against meat consumption were waived, and the feast was enjoyed by all even to this day.  (

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day is about having a great time and sharing love. I hope that your day is full of love and gladness with those that you care about most! 
Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Corned Beef and Cabbage 

4 lb corned brisket of beef
3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
6 to 8 small onions
1 tsp dry English mustard
large sprig fresh thyme &  parsley stalks, tied together
1 cabbage
salt & freshly ground pepper

  1. Put the brisket into a pot with the carrots, onions, mustard and the herbs. Cover with cold water, and bring gently to a boil. 
  2. Simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut in quarters and add to the pot. Cook for a further 1 to 2 hours or until the meat and vegetables are soft and tender. 
  3. Serve the corned beef in slices, surrounded by the vegetables and cooking liquid. 
  4. Serve with lots of floury potatoes and freshly made mustard.

Irish Soda Bread

4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
6 Tbsp melted and cooled butter
1 -3/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp caraway seeds
1 cup raisins or currants
2 tsp buttermilk, additional

  1. Preheat 375º F
  2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add cooled butter and buttermilk and mix well. 
  3. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface (sprinkling dough with additional flour if too sticky to handle). Knead for 2 minutes, until dough is firm. Shape into 2 round loaves. Rub each loaf with 2 teaspoons buttermilk, then sprinkle each lightly with flour. 
  4. Cut an X into the top of each loaf with a knife or scissors. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray, and floured. Bake in a  oven for 1 hour, or until a deep, golden brown color.

Colcannon ( mashed potatoes with cabbage)

1 1/4 lbs baking potatoes
3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1/2 cup milk, scalded
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into bits and softened

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch pieces. In a saucepan cover the potatoes with salted water and simmer them, covered, for 15 minutes, or until they are tender. 
  2. While the potatoes are simmering, in a steamer set over boiling water steam the cabbage for 5 minutes, or until it is tender. 
  3. Drain the potatoes in a colander, force them through a ricer or the medium disk of a food mill into a bowl, and stir in the milk, the butter, the cabbage, and salt and pepper to taste.

Guinness Applesauce Cake with Lemon Icing 

1- 3/4 flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup Guinness stout
1/2 cup chopped golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Lemon Icing
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup confectioners' sugar
Lemon slices (optional) for garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F 
  2. Grease an 8-inch square pan and line it with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a second large bowl, stir together the applesauce, brown sugar, oil, and stout. Mix thoroughly. 
  4. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the raisins, dates, and walnuts.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  6. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert the pan onto a plate, remove the wax paper, and set the cake upright to cool completely.
  7. Make the icing, in a large bowl, combine the butter and lemon zest. Sift the sugar into the butter and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. 
  8. Stir in enough lemon juice to make the icing soft enough to spread easily. Spread the icing on top of the cake and smooth the surface with an offset spatula or knife dipped in warm water. Decorate the top with lemon slices, if desired. 

Irish Coffee

6 oz Irish whiskey
4 tsp brown sugar
24 oz hot coffee
heavy cream

  1. Combine whiskey, sugar and coffee in a mug and stir to dissolve. 
  2. Float cold cream gently on top. Do not mix. Serves 4

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