Aside from green beer and young children making traps to catch Liam, the naughty leprechaun that wreaks havoc in kids rooms and classrooms, Saint Patrick’s Day in most Irish/American households is all about the meal. Corned beef, carrots, cabbage and potatoes all boiled in one pot! That’s how my family has been cooking it for generations and the only slight variation has been that one of my Italian relatives obviously added the thyme, sage and oregano. I am usually one to follow family traditions, but I guess this year I have a little Liam in me.
The idea of a sweet and savory Saint Patrick’s Day supper is just too tempting to resist. Components of the dinner just lend themselves to the main attraction — salty corned beef with sweet and spicy honey mustard. My Auntie Lucille used her mother’s recipe and put sugary black raisins or golden currants in her soda bread. So instead of the tired boiled carrots and potatoes I have added some maple syrup, thyme, cream cheese, sweet potatoes and honey to the mix! And what show stopping dessert could be better than an Irish Cream Cheesecake? I leave you with the words of wisdom from my father: May you be in heaven one hour before the devil knows your dead!
Enjoy these recipes with your friends and family they all serve eight. Luck of the Irish to you all.
Corned Beef with Honey Mustard
8 pound corned beef brisket
8 garlic cloves
6 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoon each: thyme, sage, and oregano
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 red onions, sliced
In a large soup pot cover corned beef with cold water. Add onions, garlic peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, red pepper and seasoning. Over medium-high heat bring to a boil. Carefully remove foam without removing any spices. Reduce heat and cook covered until almost fork tender about 4 hours. Remove from pot and let rest for ½ hour then slice and serve with honey mustard.
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix the mayonnaise, yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, honey, and lemon juice together in a bowl. Cover and chill in refrigerator overnight.
Honey Thyme Carrots
2 pounds baby carrots
3 tablespoons honey
1/4-cup butter, melted
6 thyme sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Toss together on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 oven for 20 minutes. Take out and toss again and cook for about 20 minutes more until fork tender.
Sweet and Savory Smashed Baked Potatoes
2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1-tablespoon salt, divided
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
3/4-cup sour cream
½ cup to 1-cup milk
4 tablespoons maple syrup
In a large stockpot bring potatoes, 1-teaspoon salt, and water to a boil and cook 30 minutes or until tender. Drain.
Return potatoes to the pot and add cream cheese and mash until smooth with a potato masher. Stir in the sourcream, milk, maple syrup and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 20 minutes.
Irish Soda Bread
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon each baking soda-baking powder
3 tablespoons butter
1/2-cup seedless, dark raisins
½ cup golden currants
Spray a cookie sheet with Baker’s Joy. Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients. With a pastry blade cut in butter until mixture resembles a coarse crumbs. Add raisins and currants. Add buttermilk and stir until dry ingredients are just moistened. Turn out on lightly floured board. Gently knead for about 1 minute until smooth. Shape into a ball and then press down until you get a 6-inch circle. With a sharp knife cut a quarter inch cross in the top of the bread. Bake for 40 minutes until top is golden and you hear a hollow sound when lightly tapped. Let cool on rack.
Baileys Irish Cream Cheese Cake
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 stick butter, melted
3 -8 ounce packages cream cheese
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup Baileys Irish Cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Combine melted butter and crumbs. Press into a sprayed 9-inch spring form pan. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the cream cheese. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour mixture into pan. Bake one hour and 15 minutes, until firm in the middle. Cool completely before removing from the pan. Chill for a few hours (overnight) before serving.
Gwen Kenneally is the owner of Back to the Kitchen, Full Service Catering and Party Planning. She is the co-founder and master baker at Magpie Gourmet Mini Pies. Check out he r websites www.Backtothekitchen.net and http://magpieminipie.vpweb.com. Her Sweet and Savory Cookbook is available through AMAZON