Happy St. Pat's Day a little early! I'm working most of the weekend including Monday but I wanted to share this meal with you. Yum! St. Pat's food is one of my favorite go to for celebratory meals. Don't know why I don't prepare it more often. Actually, the Reuben is my all time favorite sandwich and corned beef hash and eggs is my favorite breakfast. Can't go wrong with corned beef and cabbage in any form!
By the way, the green bread is a joke. It's simply my standard white bread everyday recipe that I added green food paste coloring to for some St. Pat's silliness.
As for the holiday itself, St. Patrick is credited with both driving the snakes and the pagans out of Ireland. As Ireland's patron saint, Patrick is attributed with using the abundant shamrock as a teaching tool to explain the three-in-one nature of the Trinity.
This is my entry for this weeks' Weekend Herb Blogging, originally created by the lovely Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen. This week, WHB is hosted by Kel of the fabulously photographed Green Olive Tree. Check out all the other entries after Sunday evening.
Cardamom is a spice, not technically an herb, but Kalyn's focus is on all herbs, spices, or plants. Cardamom, my favorite spice, is used quite a bit in northern European and Middle Eastern cuisines.
About the food: Corned beef is a salt brined beef brisket, a cut of meat that comes off the high front quarters. Served traditionally in either deli sandwich form or as a roast type for St. Pat's or as a New England boiled dinner, the pickling spices are what give it it's unique flavor. Smoked and sliced the meat becomes what we know of as pastrami.
When I was in the grocery purchasing the corned beef brisket, one of the teenaged baggers said "There sure have been a lot of people buying this corned beef stuff. What is it?" I explained what it is and that I was buying it for St. Pat's. The checker, a lady about my age, said "I didn't know what it was either except that it's really cheap and popular right now." So Is howed them both that it's packaged with everything you need to make it, including the directions for boiling or roasting on the package and explained that I cook it in the crockpot. The teenager, of course, was only mildly interested and I didn't want to freak him out by telling him I was going to put greens in the mashed potatoes, but the lady's eyes went wide when I explained that she could make Reubens from the leftovers. I think she was hooked. She asked exactly where in the meat department I found that brisket already brined.
The colcannon, a mixture of mashed potatoes and greens is one of my favorite dishes as well and it's super easy to make. Here's my version:
By Glenna Anderson Muse
3 large russet baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 chicken bouillon cube or 1 tsp chicken soup base
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp Cream Cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
Additional 2 Tbsp butter
4-6 Green onions, diced
1 cup chopped cabbage
1 large handful kale or spinach
1 pinch cardamom
1. Cover diced potato and chicken bouillon in water and boil until tender. Drain.
2. In large bowl, add potato, butter, and cream. Mash until creamy.
3. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in skillet and cook onion and cabbage until tender. Add greens and cardamom and stir around for about 30 seconds until beginning to wilt. Fold into potato mixture and serve.
Cook's Note: I love the way the onion, greens, and pinch of spice really brightens up the potato. Yum!
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand