Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today being St. Patrick's Day, I, of course, had to make something somewhat festive. When I was a kid my mom would make everything green. She would make cookies and bread and dye the dough green, so we'd have green sandwiches and green cookies. In the morning she'd dye the milk green (those were the powdered milk days, so it only made the milk even nastier than it already was - why is it that no matter how cold powdered milk is, it always tastes like warm milk? Ug...gross!). Then for dinner we'd always have corned beef and hash. I'm not such a corned beef fan, so I avoid it at all costs (much to my husband's dismay!). So this year I pretty much made the same thing as last year, switching things up a little. The jigglers were green this year and I bought bread rather than made it. I didn't like the Irish Soda bread much, so I was going to attempt some Beer Bread (Sprite works great in replacing the beer!), but didn't end up having the time. So here's my menu:

For Dinner:
For Dessert:
  • Pistachio pudding with homemade whipped cream

Here's the recipes for Colcannon & Homemade Ginger Ale:

(photo and recipe via Martha Stewart)
  • 1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes
  • 1 savoy cabbage, tripped pale-green leaves finely shredded (4 cups)
  • 1 leek, pale-green and white parts only, cut into 1/2" dice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Coarse salt
Preheat broiler. Peel and quarter potatoes, and place in a medium saucepan; add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan. Mash with a potato masher or pass through a ricer; cover pan to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, combine cabbage, leek, milk, 2 Tbsp butter, and nutmeg; season with salt. Cover, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cabbage and leek is soft but not browned, about 15 minutes. Stir into potatoes.

Spread mixture in an 8" square baking dish. Make a small well in the center, and place under the broiler until lightly browned on top, about 5 minutes.

Remove from broiler. Place remaining 2 Tbsp butter in well. Serve immediately, spooning melted butter from well onto each serving, if desired.

Homemade Ginger Ale

(photo & recipe via Berlin's Whimsy)
  • 2 cups rough chopped fresh ginger (about 3 large pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Large bottle of sparkling water
  • Fresh limes (each beverage requires one half)
To make the Ginger Syrup Mix:

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the water and ginger pieces until barely simmering. Simmer for five minutes, turn off heat, cover and let steep for one hour. Drain the ginger water over a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup. Discard the ginger pieces. Pour the mixture back into the same saucepan, add the sugar and gently heat this mixture until the sugar dissolves. Let cool and store this Ginger Syrup in the fridge.

To make a Ginger Ale:

In each tall glass, add ice, 2 parts ginger syrup, 1 part fresh-squeezed lime juice, 3 parts sparkling water. Stir and taste. Adjust amounts to your liking (I added more sparkling water).


Sandy said...

You carried on the tradition much better than I did this year...I made enchiladas with green sauce...and that was the only festive thing about it:)

Mary said...

What a festive post. I especially loved the recipe for homemade ginger ale. I found your blog by chance, but once here I spent some time reading your posts. You have a lovely blog and I'll be back often.