St. Patrick’s Day is one of the easiest and least expensive holidays to entertain for. You could pull a Martha and brine your own corned beef, or you can take advantage of the grocery store sales and make your life a lot easier, but equally delicious! Here is a past menu we’ve served for our guests:
corned beef with cabbage, potatoes and carrots
- package of corned beef from you local grocer
- 1.5 heads of cabbage, each head cut into 6 wedges
- large package of baby carrots (for ease!)
- 1 lb red potatoes, scrubbed and halved
Cook corned beef according to package instructions, adding vegetables toward the end of braising, cooking until tender.
homemade irish soda bread
A bit of effort, but this bread really makes the meal! (for a detailed tutorial, please click here):
- 1 1/3 cups whole milk
- 1/3 cup apple-cider vinegar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and dusting
- 2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup unprocessed wheat bran
- 1/4 cup caraway seeds
- 1 cup (5 ounces) raisins
- Salted butter, preferably Irish, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl, and let stand until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in unsalted butter with a pastry cutter or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add bran, caraway seeds, and raisins; stir to distribute.
- Pour milk mixture into flour mixture; stir until dough just holds together but is still sticky. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat and press the dough gently into a round, dome-shaped loaf, about 7 inches in diameter. Transfer to prepared sheet.
- Lightly dust top of loaf with flour. With a sharp knife, cut an X into the top, 3/4 inch deep. Bake, rotating halfway through, until loaf is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour, 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Soda bread is best eaten the day it is made; serve with salted butter.
tossed butter lettuce and watercress salad with mustard viniagrette
(adapted from Martha Stewart):
- 8 oz fresh green beans, trimmed and blanched
- pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 bunch (6 ounces) watercress
- 2 packages of butter lettuce
- 3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, shallot, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Add oil, whisking until emulsified. Season with pepper. Toss with salad and serve.
green beer and black and tans
Easiest party drinks ever! Use your favorite American brew (I think we used Bud Light) and add food coloring for the green beer. For the Black and Tans, fill a glass halfway with Bass Ale, then add Guinness by pouring it slowly over an upside-down tablespoon placed over the glass, being careful not to mix the layers.
While this is a gorgeous dessert, I am not posting the recipe because it was a true pain in the arse to make. For starters, you have to start making the components 2-3 days prior to serving it and heaven help you if you’ve never made homemade lime curd! Do yourself a favor, if you want to try this recipe, don’t make the curd yourself. Stop by your nearest Harry and David store and purchase a couple of their premade jars. You a.) won’t smell like egg yolk after 3 days in the kitchen and b.) will feel a lot better about eating your creation not knowing what goes into making curd! That said, this is a quite delicious and decadent dessert and a fabulous ending to a simple meal.