Luck of the Irish

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I absolutely love Irish food and culture. Making food for St. Patrick’s Day has always been so much fun. There are so many twists you can put on the classics. These recipes are perfect for a family meal or a St. Patrick’s Day party. Enjoy!

Corned Beef and Cabbage Paninis

You’ve got to love the classic corned beef and cabbage. Packaging it as a Panini pulls all of those mouthwatering flavors into one bite.

Ingredients:

2 ½ Lb. Corned Beef Brisket with Brine

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Small Sweet Onion, diced

1 Head Green Cabbage, cored and shredded

4 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

3 Heaping Tablespoons Granulated Sugar

Salt and Pepper, to taste

8 Slices Havarti Cheese

8 Slices Rye Bread

 Whole Grain Dijon Mustard

Prepare the corned beef according to the package. It’s normally boiled in water for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Let it cool, cut into thick slices and set aside.

To make the cabbage, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the cabbage in handfuls at a time. It will seem like a lot, but it will reduce drastically. Stir frequently. Once the cabbage is soft and has reduced down by more than half, add the apple cider vinegar and sugar (see note). Add the salt and pepper to taste and let that caramelize for another five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat the Panini press or spray a large skillet with cooking spray, and place over high heat. To assemble, butter one side of each bread slice and place the bread buttered side down on work surface. Spread one teaspoon of whole grain Dijon mustard on four of the slices (one teaspoon per slice). Put a piece of Havarti Cheese on each of the eight slices. Generously scoop a large serving of the cabbage on top of four slices, and layer with the corned beef. Place the matching bread slice with cheese on top, forming a sandwich. Place in the Panini press for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. If using a skillet, place the sandwich on the heated skillet and place another skillet on top of the sandwich, weighing it down with a large can of food. Cook for the same amount of time on each side.

Makes four Paninis.

Note: If you want to add more sugar or apple cider vinegar while cooking, do it! This cabbage is all to taste!

Irish Coddle Twice Baked Potatoes

Coddle is an Irish dish that is generally made with potatoes, pork sausage and parsley. So I decided to do a twist on that and create a twice baked potato that has all of those elements, and then some! These twice baked potatoes are so delicious that you are sure to fall in love with this recipe!

Ingredients:

5 Large Potatoes

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

1 Lb. Ground Pork Sausage (I use Jimmy Deans Regular)

½ Cup Parsley, chopped

6 Tablespoons Butter, melted

½ Cup Sour Cream

½ Lb. Bacon, cooked

8 oz. Sharp White Cheddar, shredded

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium/high heat, cook the pork sausage just like you would ground beef for sloppy joes, using a wooden spoon to break it up into little pieces until fully cooked. Stir in the chopped parsley, and cook for another two minutes. Drain and set aside.

Rinse the potatoes, pat them dry with a paper towel, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle each potato with a little bit of olive oil, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours, or until fully cooked. After they’re done, let them cool long enough so that you can handle them (about 20 minutes) and then cut them in half lengthwise. Scrape out the inside of each half with a spoon into a large bowl. Make sure you don’t scrape too hard so you don’t break skin. This will hold your potato mixture. Place the empty potato skin back onto the baking sheet, and repeat with the rest of the potatoes. Once they are all scraped out, discard two of the potato skins (see note). Add the melted butter to the potatoes and mash them up using a potato masher or a fork. I never mash my potatoes with a hand mixer because they can end up getting overmixed and gelatinous. Stir in the sour cream with a spoon until combined, and then crumble in the bacon. Add the pork sausage and four ounces of the white cheddar cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir until just combined. Generously scoop the mixture into each potato skin. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and slightly browned on top.

Makes eight servings.

Note: I always buy one extra potato when making twice baked potatoes so that there is more filling.

Baked Chocolate Glazed Pistachio Pudding Donuts

These are not Irish, but they’re green and you’ve got to have at least one green food item (besides cabbage) on St. Patrick’s Day! Plus, who doesn’t love donuts?

Ingredients:

1 Cup Flour

½ Cup Sugar

1 (3.4 oz.) Package Pistachio Pudding Mix

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda

½ Teaspoon Salt

½ Cup Buttermilk

1 Egg

¼ Cup Canola Oil

1 ½ Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

For the Chocolate Sauce:

1 ½ Cup Confectioners’ Sugar

4 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

4 Tablespoons Milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a donut pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the first six dry ingredients. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, canola oil and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until it just comes together; do not overmix. The dough will be thick and sticky. Using a spoon, scoop the mixture into the prepared donut pan ¾ of the way to the top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Make the chocolate sauce by whisking together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. When the donuts come out, let them cool for five minutes. Invert them onto a plate and drizzle or dip each one in the chocolate sauce.

Makes six donuts.