Thursday, March 15, 2007

St. Patrick's Day

The Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick's Day

I love St. Patrick's Day. Every year we have a "traditional" Irish meal to celebrate. My mother did this in my home growing up and we've continued the tradition. We'll celebrate on Sunday so we can get together with family. Our meal is a combination of authentic Irish and green American dishes. Sadly the dish I have the most trouble with is the green jello. I can never get it to turn out right! For dessert we usually do something minty/green/or chocolaty. My sister does a great ice cream pie. She fills a pre-made chocolate pie crust with mint ice cream, tops it with hot fudge and freezes it. Growing up, my mom would usually make cake with 7-minute frosting and covered in green coconut. Trifle would be a more authentic dessert. This year I'd like to try an ice cream sandwich I saw in Bon Appetit - chocolate cookies filled with mint ice cream. Now if only Grady O'Gill and the Little People arrives from Netflix in time it will be a perfect St. Pat's weekend!

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Roasted Root Vegetables

Cashel Palace Brown Bread

Irish Soda Scones

Green Jello

Fresh Limes

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches


3-4 lbs. corned beef brisket (You usually find two different cuts of raw (don't use pre-cooked in this recipe), corned beef in the grocery store: round cut and brisket cut. The round cut is leaner, but because in this recipe you cook the meat slowly for a long period of time it's better with the fatter brisket cut. They usually come vacuum packed with pickling spices.)
2 onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 whole cloves
2 bay leaves

Place the corned beef (and any spices that came wit it) in a dutch oven or large pot. Cover with water. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Cover, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer about 3-4 hours or until for tender. Remove meat from water. Place fat side up in a shallow roasting pan. Spread the top with prepared mustard and sprinkle with 1/4 c. brown sugar and 1/4 t. ground cloves. Bake a 350 for 15-20 minutes. To carve, slice thinly across the grain.
While the corned beef is baking, bring corned beef water to boil. Add 1 medium head of cabbage cut into 6 wedges. Cook 10-15 minutes. Remove from water and drain thoroughly.
Serve with pickles and mustard.


sweet potatoes
potatoes (new or small yukon)

I like to buy small vegetables if I can find them. If you have larger veggies, cut them so they are approximately the same size as the other vegetables. (This will ensure more even cooking). Place in 1 or two large roasting pans or large cookie sheets with high sides. The vegetables shouldn't be too crowded and in one layer. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt. Roast at 300 for 1-2 hours (depending on the size of the vegetables and desired doneness). I love them when they are very soft and slightly caramelized. Sprinkle with more salt before serving.

(My mom got this recipe from an English cookbook while serving her mission in England.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 tsp. soda
2 t. cream of tartar
2 T. sugar
1/4 c. butter
2 oz. currents or sultanas (can be omitted)
Aprox. 1/2 c. milk

Mix like biscuits - Whisk dry ingredients together, cut in butter, add dried fruits. Add enough milk to give a soft dough. Place on floured board and pat or roll to desired thickness about 3/4 to 1 inch. Cut out and put on greased tin (cookie sheet), well spaced out. Brush with one slightly beaten egg. Bake at 475 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

(My parents stayed at the Cashel Palace on a visit to Ireland. They loved the bread they ate there so much, they got the recipe. This is a dry, hearty, brown bread similar to Irish soda bread.)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
3 1/2 c. wheat flour
1 3/4 c. white flour
1/2 T. soda
1-2 T. sugar
1/2 c. oatmeal
1 t. salt
1 egg
1/4 c. butter (melted)
1 1/2 - 2 c. buttermilk

Mix dry ingredients together. Whisk together egg, milk, butter. Add dry ingredients to liquid, fold gently. Knead a little. Form into a flattish ball. Place on greased baking sheet. Cut an X on top. Bake 10 minutes in 500 degree oven. Lower temperature to 350 degrees and cook another 50 minutes -- put a little foil on top if it is getting too brown toward the end of the cooking time.


Squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime into a glass. Add 2+ T. sugar. Fill glass with sprite or 7-up and stir. Add fresh mint leaves for garnish.


daisy said...

I think I must just be lazy, because reading all of that makes me tired...but it sounds so we will just invite ourselves over. Okay? Wouldn't that be so fun if we really just hopped a plane and came for dinner. Well, just so you don't make too much...don't count on us this year. **And I think there is just something with green jell-o. I made red and green jell-o for Clayre when she got her tonsils out and I made them at the same time, exactly the same way and the green didn't turn out. Mystery: the red did.

daisy said...

Here's another great movie for St. Patrick's Day: Finian's Rainbow (see: That was one of my favorites growing up.

Petrea Mom said...

I,love to remember our visit to Cashal Palace--there were two mulberry trees out back that were planted during the time of Queen Anne--some 300 or 400 years ago! We had that bread for dinner in the evening (a not so memorable Lamb Stew) but the next morning they served it toasted with marmalade--that was realy great and we admired it so much the women who worked there gave us the recipe.

Your dinner sounds delicious! I bought my corned beefs today and am trying to decide about dessert--I had thought about strawberry shortcake--no reason except they were on sale last week--but not this week! So I might make a key lime pie--or the trifle sounds good. I've been thinking about banana cream pies lately and bananas were 3 pounds for a dollar many desserts, so little time before I should go on another diet!

Elizabeth said...

I made the dinner for my first time ever. I dont think I cooked the meat right - but surprisingly Matt loved it and ate it all up.
The rosted vegies were to die for - I love that recipe and am going to use it a lot now.
We did the soda scones but couldnt find currents anywhere - Matt said that they were the same thing as crasins - but I dont think they taste the same. What are currents?
For dessert we had the green jello and girl scout cookies. Not as exciting as the cupcakes - but so yummy.