St. Patrick’s Day recipes

Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef Hash

Seemed like a good time for comfort food. My mom used to make the best hash. Making hash for lunch yesterday, gave me a chance to think about her. She taught me so much about cooking- and life.

I didn’t have any specific recipe for hash, so I made a point of writing down what I did, and measuring ingredients, so I could share the recipe with you.

The hash tasted a lot like my mom’s. That made me smile and gave me some comfort. Here is the recipe. Hope you give it a try.

Corned Beef Hash

2 T. oil, butter or bacon fat

2-3 medium onions, peeled and chopped

1-1½ lbs. potatoes, about 4-5 medium, cooked and cut in cubes

1 lb. corned beef, cut into ½- inch cubes

¼ c. fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

Eggs, optional

In skillet, heat up your fat of choice. Cook onions over medium heat until translucent. Add cubed potatoes and cook until potatoes and onions are starting to brown. Rather than constantly stirring, I let the potato and onion mixture cook a few minutes, then turn over sections with a spatula. It seems to get them brown faster. Add the corned beef and continue cooking until everything is starting to get a little crispy. Add the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. At this point you can serve it. I like to add the eggs. To add the eggs, crack and add eggs, one at a time, to the pan. Keep some space between the eggs, if you can. Turn heat down to medium low and cover the pan. It should take about 5 minutes for the eggs to cook, with the whites firm and the yolks runny. Try not to keep peeking. I know you want to, but every time you remove the lid, the heat dissipates. Wait 3 minutes to check the first time, if you can. Don’t set the heat too high, or you will burn the bottom of the hash while the eggs cook. I usually add one egg for each person I am serving. Feel free to allow more eggs per person, depending on your guests. Serves about 4.

Note: You have to get the potatoes cooked in some way. I just baked them in the microwave, then peeled and diced them. Boil, bake, steam, your choice. Just get them cooked before you start. I removed the potato skins, but only because I had a few spots on the potatoes. You don’t have to peel them, if you don’t want to.

Hash, crisping in the skillet
Corned Beef Hash with Perfect Runny Egg

Corned Beef Calzones

Corned Beef Calzones

I thought this might be a nice time to share this recipe. Seems like a lot of people are cooking with corned beef in the next few days. If you have leftover corned beef, you can use it in these tasty calzones. You can also used deli slice corned beef.

I made these for a friend a while back and we were talking about them the other day. I decided to make them again.

They are almost a Reuben, but I didn’t include the sauerkraut. You could, if you liked. I sometimes make these with thousand island dressing  inside them as well, but I decided to leave it out and serve it on the side instead.  I thought I would share the recipe with you.

Corned Beef Calzones

3 ¼ c. flour

1 c. rye flour

1 T. sugar

1 t. salt

1 package quick-rising yeast

1⅓ c. hot water

1 T. oil

1 lb. thin sliced corned beef

8 oz. shredded Swiss cheese

1 egg , beaten

Caraway seeds, optional

Set aside 1 cup of the all-purpose flour. Combine remaining flour with the other dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in water and oil and gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Cover dough and let rest 20 minutes. Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll one piece into a 6-8 -inch circle. In the middle of the dough place 1 ounce of the Swiss cheese and 2 ounces of the corned beef. Brush the edge of the dough with water. Fold over the dough in half and press the edges to seal. Brush the edge again with water and roll the edge over again. It will give you a prettier look and seal the calzone better. Repeat with remaining dough and fillings. Place calzones on greased baking sheets- or on a baking sheet with a silicone liner or parchment paper liner. You will end up with 8 calzones in all. Only put 4 on one baking sheet. Cover and let rest 15 minutes while preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Before placing calzones in the oven brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with the caraway seeds, if you like. Also poke a few holes in the tops with a fork to help steam to escape while baking. I put both baking sheets in the oven at the same time and switch them halfway through baking. Bake in a preheated 400-degree for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. If baking both at once switch them after 10 minutes or so. Cool slightly before eating. Serve warm and refrigerate leftovers.

If you want to use regular yeast use warm, rather than hot water. Also, allow a little more time for the dough to rise the first time, about 40 minutes. Everything else will work the same.

If you want to make your own Thousand Island Dressing, just combine equal amounts of sweet pickle relish, mayo and catsup.

Sealing the edge
sealing the edges
Ready for the oven
Ready to bake
Fresh from the oven
Right out of the oven

Irish Soda Bread- Bread Pudding

Irish Soda Bread- Bread Pudding

This is a great dessert for St. Patrick’s Day. Simple and not too sweet, it is a perfect way to finish your holiday meal. It is made with a traditional Irish soda bread. I used a loaf of soda bread I had baked the day before. You could just buy a loaf of soda bread, if you prefer. I included the recipe for soda bread at the bottom of this post.

The bread was cubed up and allowed to sit around for a day, to dry out a little. You can also cube the bread and toast it in a low oven for 10-15 minutes. A slightly dried bread will stand up better to the custard.

For the custard I used milks, eggs, flavorings and a little whiskey. I would have added Bailey’s, if I had it. The addition of alcohol is optional.

Store cooled bread pudding in the fridge, but take out before serving- or warm a little before serving. It is great just as is, but you could dust with powdered sugar, or top with a scoop of ice cream or a spoonful of whipped cream.

Irish Soda Bread – Bread Pudding

6-8 c. cubed, day-old soda bread- recipe follows

2½  c. milk or half and half

5 eggs

½ c. sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top

¼ c. whiskey, optional

1 T. vanilla

1 T. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9×9-inch baking pan. Place cubed soda bread in prepared pan. Set aside. Beat together remaining ingredients and pour over the soda bread. Sprinkle top with a little extra sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bread pudding is set and a little golden on top. I used a glass pan- it might take a little longer in a metal pan. Bread pudding should be golden around the edges, too.  Cool a bit before serving. Serve as is, or with whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 6-8.

 Soda Bread

2 c. flour

½ t. each baking powder and baking soda

¼ t. salt

2 T. butter

¾ c. raisins, currants or golden raisins

2 t. caraway seeds

1 egg, beaten

1 c. buttermilk

melted butter, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dust a baking sheet with a little flour. Combine dry ingredients in bowl and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Add raisins and caraway seeds. Combine egg and milk and set 2 tablespoons of this mixture aside. Add remaining milk mixture to flour mixture and combine just until dough forms into a ball. Place on baking sheet, brush with reserved egg mixture and cut a crisscross on top of loaf. Bake about 25 minutes or until bread sounds hollow.  Place on rack to cool. You can brush the loaf with a little melted butter, if you like. Makes 1.

Orange Oatmeal Scones

Orange and Oatmeal Scone

I love fresh scones, still warm from the oven. Since it is citrus season, I decided to make scones with some seasonal orange flavor.  These scones have a nice, crunchy outside and crumbly, tender middle.

The orange juice and orange zest gives them a wonderful flavor. The oatmeal gives them a lovely texture and the raisins add just a bit if sweetness. A very nice combination.

These are great served warm, topped with sweet butter and jam. They are perfect for breakfast or brunch.

You can also use these scones as the base for a berry shortcake. Split, topped with sweetened berries and some whipped cream, they turn into a simple and tasty dessert.

Orange and Oatmeal Scones

2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup very cold, unsalted butter – cut into chunks
1 egg
1/2 cup orange juice
2 t. grated orange peel
1 cup raisins – plumped and well dried
Glaze
milk, sugar, orange zest

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (double two sheets if you have them – one inside the other). Preheat oven to 425 F. In a large bowl, place flour, oatmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and mix together. Cut or rub in butter to make a mealy mixture. Stir in egg and orange juice. Add orange peel and raisins. Mix to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for a few minutes. Roll or pat out into a thickness of 1/2 inch. Using a serrated cookie cutter cut into disks or rounds. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar and orange zest. Bake until nicely browned – about 14 minutes. Makes about 24.

Colcannon

Colcannon

Colcannon is perhaps the ultimate comfort food. This traditional Irish dish is made with potatoes, kale, green onions, parsley and butter. There are variations made with cabbage or Brussels sprouts. All of those versions are pretty good. This is a great side dish for your St. Patrick’s Day dinner. It’s pretty, too.

I have made colcannon with Brussels sprouts, chives and even used ramps one time. For the version I made last night I used kale. I wonder why I don’t colcannon more often. It is so good- and simple to make.

Here is the version I made last night.

Colcannon

1 1/2 lbs. potatoes

1/4 lb. kale, or a bit more

3/4 c. finely chopped green onions or chives

1/2 c. chopped parsley

4 oz. butter

salt and fresh ground pepper

Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Boil in salted water until very tender. Meanwhile, trim the stems out of the kale and blanch in boiling water for a few minutes. Remove kale and drain. Rinse with cold water to cool down. Squeeze out excess water and chop the kale finely. Set aside. Once the potatoes are tender, drain well and place in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and mash the potatoes until pretty smooth. A few lumps are not a problem. Stir in the kale, green onions and parsley. Mix well, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

It’s that time of year. Irish food in on the mind. This soda bread is a classic. Simple and fast to make, it can be served with breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The soda bread is  like a big scone or biscuit. It has a crisp, outer crust, with a crumbly, soft center. I like to serve soda bread with butter and jam.

I used raisins, but you can substitute currants, golden raisins, or just leave them out, if you prefer.

I make soda bread all through the year, not just for St. Patrick’s Day.  Right from the oven with some butter and jam. Yum.

Irish Soda Bread

2 c. flour

½ t. each baking powder and baking soda

¼ t. salt

2 T. butter

¾ c. raisins, currants or golden raisins

2 t. caraway seeds

1 egg. Beaten

1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dust a baking sheet with a little flour. Combine dry ingredients in bowl and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Add raisins and caraway seeds. Combine egg and milk and set 2 tablespoons of this mixture aside. Add remaining milk mixture to flour mixture and combine just until dough forms into a ball. Place on baking sheet, brush with reserved egg mixture and cut a crisscross on top of loaf. Bake about 25 minutes or until bread sounds hollow. Makes 1.

Potatoes O’Brien

Potatoes O’Brien

In all honesty, I love potatoes in pretty much any dish.  Sometimes you just want to go with an old time classic. I always loved when my mom made potatoes O’Brien.

Potatoes O’Brien are hash browns, with onions and diced peppers. The combination is so tasty. To speed up the cooking process, I cooked the potatoes in the microwave first.  You could also just use raw, diced potatoes. Either way, the end result is sure to be a hit.

Potatoes O’Brien could also be a nice side dish for your St. Patrick’s day dinner.

Potatoes O’Brien 

oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 c. chopped sweet pepper- I used baby peppers, sliced in rings

2 lbs. potatoes, diced, peeling is optional

salt and pepper

fresh parsley and thyme, optional

In skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil. Saute onion until tender, add peppers and cook until they peppers are tender. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add a few more tablespoons of oil to the skillet and let it get pretty hot. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring often, until the potatoes are browned. They should be cooked, tender in the middle, crisp on the outside. I cooked the potatoes in the microwave first, then diced them once they were cool enough to handle. This made them cook up faster, but raw potatoes are fine, too. Return onion mixture to skillet with the potatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste and add the fresh herbs, if you like. Stir together until heated through. Serves 4-6.

Soda Bread

Soda Bread

It’s that time of year. Irish food in on the mind. This soda bread is a classic. Simple and fast to make, it can be served with breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Soda bread is  like a big scone or biscuit. It has a crisp, outer crust, with a crumbly, soft center. The name refers to how the loaf is leavened. Baking soda and baking powder are used to make this bread rise, not yeast.

I like to serve soda bread with butter and jam. A friend tells me she likes to make toasted cheese sandwiches with hers, using a good Irish cheddar, of course.

I used golden raisins, but you can substitute currants, dark raisins, dried cherries, or just leave them out, if you prefer.

I make soda bread all through the year, not just for St. Patrick’s Day.

 

 Soda Bread

2 c. flour

½ t. each baking powder and baking soda

¼ t. salt

2 T. butter

¾ c. raisins, currants or golden raisins

2 t. caraway seeds

1 egg, beaten

1 c. buttermilk

melted butter, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dust a baking sheet with a little flour. Combine dry ingredients in bowl and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Add raisins and caraway seeds. Combine egg and milk and set 2 tablespoons of this mixture aside. Add remaining milk mixture to flour mixture and combine just until dough forms into a ball. Place on baking sheet, brush with reserved egg mixture and cut a crisscross on top of loaf. Bake about 25 minutes or until bread sounds hollow.  Place on rack to cool. You can brush the loaf with a little melted butter, if you like. Makes 1.

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

If you are looking for a traditional dish for St. Patrick’s Day, you might want to make a Shepherd’s Pie. Shepherd’s pie is a mix of ground lamb and veggies, in a gravy, that are topped with mashed potatoes. Then it is baked until the mixture is heated through and potatoes brown a little.

It’s a lovely dish anytime, not just for a holiday. There are a lot of variations for  shepherd’s pie, but is most often made with ground lamb. You can use other ground meat. It will still be tasty, just less traditional.

The potatoes are mashed, then spread over the meat mixture. You can pipe the potatoes on top, for a pretty presentation. I used a small ice cream scoop to place my potatoes on top. It looked pretty good.

I brushed the potatoes with some beaten egg, to give them a nice shine. You can sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese, if you like. For even more color on the potatoes, you can place under the broiler for a few minutes.

I used sherry in my gravy. Red wine would also be nice.  I also added some parsley to my mashed potatoes.

 

Shepherd’s Pie

 

2 T. oil

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 lbs. ground lamb

2 c. peas

5 T. flour

1 c. chicken stock- or a bit more

½ c. sherry

2 t. thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

2-3 lbs. potatoes

1 c. sour cream

3 T. butter

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ c. chopped parsley

1 egg

 

Heat oil in large skillet. Sauté onions until tender. Add carrots and cook until carrots are tender. Add lamb and cook until lamb is no longer pink. Add peas and flour, then stir until flour is mixed in. Add stock, sherry and thyme. Cook until thickened and bubbly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. While cooking the meat mixture, peel, dice and boil potatoes until tender. Drain potatoes and mash until smooth. Add sour cream, butter and seasonings.  Place meat mixture in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes. You can spread them, pipe them on or, as I did, use an ice cream scoop. Beat the egg and brush the potatoes with the egg. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes start to brown and mixture is heated through. You can place under the broiler, if you like, for more color. Serves 6-8.