Cook's Corner: St. Pat's tastiest recipes

Published 7:47 am Wednesday, March 12, 2008

By Staff
St. Patrick's Day is quickly approaching and I plan on celebrating. I think I may have a touch of Irish in me. It could have something to do with the fact that my real given name is O'Lisa. I'm not sure if I was named that because there is Irish in my background or if my parents had been kissing the blarney stone.
Because of the approaching holiday, I decided to fill this week's column with recipes that might make for some good eating to honor old St. Pat.
Apparently, potatoes, cabbage and corned beef are staples for Irish folks whether it's a holiday or not. I'm not exactly sure what corned beef is except that it is used in making hash. I have also had corned beef cooked with cabbage before, even though it's not one of my favorite dishes.
Potatoes apparently are plentiful in Ireland as is cabbage. I suppose that accounts for the many dishes you'll find with either or both of those vegetables include in the ingredients list.
At any rate, I've chosen a few Irish-style recipes you may want to prepare for your March 17 holiday celebration. These recipes don't make green dishes, but you could always add food coloring if you want green on your table.
I always thought corned beef and cabbage was simply boiled cabbage with a can of corned beef added in for flavor. Apparently, that's the quick method and one true Irish folks wouldn't touch. This first recipe would be perfect for any Leprechaun since it includes corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
10 small red potatoes
5 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 large head cabbage, cut into small wedges
Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Add the spice packet that came with the corned beef. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer approximately 50 minutes per pound or until tender. Add whole potatoes and carrots, and cook until the vegetables are almost tender. Add cabbage and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove meat and let rest 15 minutes. Place vegetables in a bowl and cover. Add as much broth (cooking liquid reserved in the Dutch oven or large pot) as you want. Slice meat across the grain.
I do like cabbage, but I prefer it be used to make Coleslaw or sauerkraut. If you don't like boiled cabbage but like sauerkraut, this next recipe is one you'll probably like. It gives you the corned beef flavors and the cabbage without all the fuss.
Reuben Casserole
1 1/2 cups thousand island dressing
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon minced onion
6 slices dark rye bread, cubed
6 slices light rye bread, cubed
1 pound sauerkraut, drained
1 1/2 pounds cooked corn beef, cut into bite-size pieces
2 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/4 cup margarine, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. In a bowl, mix the thousand island dressing, sour cream, and onion. Arrange the dark and light rye bread cubes in the bottom of the prepared baking dish, reserving about 1/2 cup each for topping. Layer the bread with sauerkraut and corned beef. Spread the dressing mixture over the corned beef. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese, top with remaining bread cubes, and drizzle with margarine. Cover, and bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Uncover, and continue baking 10 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned.
Finally, I'm including a recipe that may not be Irish in its origin, but it's a pretty good dish anyway. The recipe calls for Irish whiskey, but you probably could use another kind without losing any flavor.
Irish Bananas
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup Irish whiskey
4 large bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and whiskey. Bring to a boil and cook until sugar has dissolved. Add bananas to the skillet and simmer gently until bananas are tender and glazed with the syrup. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.
I hope that you get a chance to use some of these recipes for your holiday (or other) meal.
In light of the upcoming holiday, I've decided to end this column with the old Irish prayer. The prayer, which is hundreds of years old, is one that holds my hopes for you.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Happy cooking!

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