March 9, 2012 4:54:49 PM
Jan Swoope - [email protected]
When St. Patrick's Day rolls around, there seems to be at least a wee bit of Irish in all of us. No matter that true natives of the Emerald Isle would never taint a tankard of brew by dying it green, as many Americans will do come March 17. Yes, the Irish may look with some bemusement on celebrations in the States, but their national holiday is a great occasion for us to get a little playful in the kitchen.
How about some beer-battered broccoli appetizers, grasshopper pie or a leprechaun lime drink? Those are but a few ways to "go green" this year.
There's also room on our St. Patrick's Day table for more traditional fare -- with a twist or two.
One Food Network contest-winning entrée you may want to try is a Guinness-glazed Black-and-Tan pork dish, paired with a spicy ale slaw.
In another recipe, the well-known shepherd's pie is transformed into individual biscuit-sized eats. Flavored with minced garlic, onion and cream cheese, and crowned with whipped potatoes, these sound yummy. A sprinkling of crushed potato chips on top add texture and crunch. Convenient potato flakes and refrigerated biscuits help simplify this dish.
"But if I'm not rushed for time, I'll sometimes make these with homemade biscuits and mashed potatoes," said the recipe's originator, Ellen Osborne of Clarksville, Tenn. on tasteofhome.com. You can also freeze an extra batch of these quick meat-and-potatoes mini pies.
Did you know?
When making your St.Patrick's Day goodies, don't forget the green apron. Did you know green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of this day as early as the 17th century? (It's believed St. Patrick used the three-leaved shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.)
Ireland's national observance began as a Catholic holy day, but particularly in the past two decades, it's become a festival, too, writes Suzanne Barrett at irelandforvisitors.com. It will be celebrated with a week-long tradition of festivities, including parades, folk music and floats. As you might expect, the biggest celebrations will be in cities like Dublin, Cork, Belfast and Galway, according to Wikipedia. A tip o' the hat, though, to the citizens of Dripsey, Cork: They lay claim to the shortest St. Patrick's Day parade in the world -- just 100 yards, traveling between the village's two pubs.
On this feast day March 17, families and friends will gather round tables all over Ireland to honor the country's most recognizable patron saint. Why not do the same at your table?
BLACK-AND-TAN PORK WITH SPICY ALE SLAW
Total time 1 1/2 hours
Prep time: 25 minutes
Makes 6-8 servings
For the pork:
1 12-ounce bottle pale ale (preferably Bass)
1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds pork tenderloin
For the glaze:
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 12-ounce bottle stout beer (preferably Guinness)
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup honey
1 teaspoon minced peeled ginger
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
For the slaw:
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced peeled ginger
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
2 medium bell peppers (red, orange and/or yellow), thinly sliced
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks or shredded
1 large sweet onion, quartered and thinly sliced
(Source: Sam Betty, Food Network magazine; foodnetwork.com)
MINI SHEPHERD'S PIES
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Makes five servings
1 pound ground beef
3 tablespoons chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup chili sauce or ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups mashed potato flakes
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup crushed potato chips
(Source: tasteofhome.com, Ellen Osborne, Clarksville, Tenn.)
Makes 8 servings
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
2 3/4 cups whipped topping, divided
1 package (4.67 ounces) mint Andes candies, chopped, divided
1 chocolate crumb crust (9 inches)
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
2 drops green food coloring, optional
4 cups broccoli florets
1 cup beer
1 cup flour
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Pinch of salt
LEPRECHAUN LIME DRINK
1 quart lime sherbet, softened
1/2 cup thawed limeade concentrate
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cans (12 ounces each) lemon-lime soda, chilled
1 to 2 cups crushed ice
Lemon slices and lime spirals, optional
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.