by Claire Thomas of The Kitchy Kitchen
When I think about the food traditions that pop up around St. Patrick’s day, two elements come to mind: green and hearty. Green – the color of Irish nationalism and the heartiness heavily influenced by the ingredients that were historically raised there: cabbage, sheep, and in the 16th century — the potato. Every March I try to cook something as an homage to my Gaelic heritage (McNamara on my mother’s side), and these are some of my favorite recipes for it. Some are inspired by the Irish canon de cuisine, some are obviously influenced by my Southern California home, but they’re all fun, simple and delicious recipes to whip up anytime — but especially on March 17th. Enjoy!
BACON + BRIE POTATO TART
Leave it to the French to make a giant cheese and bacon hash brown sophisticated, but that’s exactly what’s going on with this tres chic tart. The grated potato crisps up beautifully, the brie adds a bit of richness, the bacon adds…bacon, and the mesclun green salad cuts through the whole thing beautifully. Though this is delicious hot, it doesn’t have to be served straight out of the oven. Serve it as is for a lovely lunch, or add poached eggs on top for a decadent brunch centerpiece.
INGREDIENTS (POTATO GALETTE)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and grated, as you would hash browns
- 1/4 cup finely grated parmigiano cheese
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 6 slices thick cut bacon, cooked, not too crisp since they’ll continue cooking in the oven for a bit
- 6 1/4 inch slices brie
Preheat oven to 450 F. Brush a 9 inch spring form pan with a little of the butter. Place pan on a baking tray. Place the grated potato in a bowl, and season with a little salt and pepper. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Squeeze the grated potato with your hands (water should come out) and set the grated potato on a plate covered with paper towels. Dry thoroughly and discard the water from the bowl. Return the grated potatoes to the bowl and add the remaining butter. Mix to combine thoroughly.
For a refreshing drink with a little bit more going on, I threw some greens into my lemonade and switched out sugar for low glycemic (and brown sugar tasting) agave nectar. The result is a bright, zesty drink that is perfect on a hot day.
For 1 1/2 quarts Lemonade:
- 1 cup lemon juice (about 6 lemons), fresh squeezed and lemon peels reserved
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 cups cold water
- 5 pieces of kale, ribs removed
- Small handful of parsley
- Small handful of mint
- 3 tablespoons agave nectar
Juice the lemons. Put all of the used halves into a bowl and cover with 2 cups of hot water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. The hot water pulls all of the natural oils out of the lemon skins and adds so much flavor. Strain into a blender and add the lemon juice, cold water, kale, parsley, mint and agave. Puree fully and strain. Pour into a pitcher and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
FRIED EGGS WITH SALSA VERDE AND FRIED SMASHED POTATOES
- 2 potato, cut into wedges
- 2 cups olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 eggs
- salsa verde (recipe below)
For potatoes, toss potatoes in a pot of water, bring up to a boil, and cook until tender but still a bit hard in the middle, about 8 to 10 minutes of boiling. Drain, pat dry, and smash each wedge with the back of a fork. Add the olive oil to a pan, the oil should be about 2 inches deep, with at least two inches of pan above it. Bring to about 325F, add the sliced garlic and let it cook for about 20 seconds, flipping, until golden brown and fragrant. Add the potatoes and cook, turning once, until golden brown. Drain onto a paper towel. Turn up the heat to 400F. Add the potatoes again, until a deep golden brown (about another 3 minutes). And drain on paper towels again. Season with salt and pepper. Add the eggs, one at a time, and fry until the whites are set, about 3 minutes. Drizzle with salsa verde and serve.
ITALIAN STYLE SALSA VERDE
- 1 cup packed, roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup basil, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup capers, drained
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated zest from 1 lemon
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Add everything in a food processor and pulse to combine.
CORNED BEEF HASH
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 1 pound piece cooked corned beef, cut into chunks
- 1 cup onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (half and half is fine too)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 4 large eggs (optional)
- chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Cook potatoes in boiling salted water to cover until just tender, about 3 minutes, then drain. Shred the corned beef. Combine all of the ingredients, except for the eggs and chives, in a bowl, lightly tossing to coat.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the corned beef mixture and press into a pancake. Cook undisturbed until underside is brown and crisp, 6–8 minutes. Set a plate over pan and carefully invert pancake onto plate; slide back into pan, pressing back into shape if needed. Cook until second side is brown and crisp, 6–8 minutes.
If desired, make 4 holes in hash and break 1 egg into each. Cook over moderately low heat, covered, 5 minutes, or until eggs are cooked to desired doneness, and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle hash with parsley.
I’m new to the whole Bloody Mary thing, as I’m not really into tomato juice, but I love the idea of a savory cocktail. The key is balance and liberal heat. So in celebration of St. Patty’s, I thought a green take on the hungover brunch classic was in order. In this version I lose the tomatoes and include an infused vodka. If you want it SUPER green, feel free to add a shot or two of your favorite kale juice.
For one 4 ounce drink:
- 1∕3 cup thinly sliced cucumber
- 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced
- pinch of kosher salt
- infused vodka (recipe below)
- 1/2 teaspoon green hot sauce (like green tabasco)
- 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (optional)
- 1 celery stalk
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro, salt, cumin, and celery seeds. Add the infused vodka, green hot sauce, Worcestershire, lime juice, pickle/olive juice, and ice and shake for 15 seconds. Strain into a glass, top with club soda if you wish, and serve with a celery stalk.
INGREDIENTS (VEGETABLE INFUSED VODKA)
- 1 liter vodka
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 small cucumber
- 1 carrot
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 1 garlic clove, halved
Combine all of the ingredients in a jar, seal, and leave in the fridge for a few days. If you want it sooner, leave the sealed jar on the counter for a few hours. The longer the better. Strain and use.