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Caribbean Cooking: The Luck of the Irish

There’s a wee bit o’ the Irish in most of us. When St. Patrick’s Day rolls around, we get together with friends for family dinners and have parties, which would not be complete without corned beef and cabbage and traditional Irish and Irish-American dishes. Some of the recipes below will help you create your own St. Paddy’s Day dinner or party.

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Black Velvet
Stove Top Irish Soda Bread
Corned Beef and Cabbage
Boiled Potatoes with Parsley
Rhubarb Crisp
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
Irish Coffee

BLACK VELVET

Makes : 1 quart

1/2 qt Guinness
1/2 qt Champagne

Combine Guinness and champagne in a tall chilled glass. Stir and serve.

STOVE TOP IRISH SODA BREAD

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6

1 lb. Idaho Potatoes
4 Tblsp. butter, divided
2 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg

Peel and dice potatoes. Place in a medium saucepan, cover with water and add salt. Bring to a boil and cook until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes; drain and cool. Melt 2 teaspoons of butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet; add potatoes and set aside.

In a medium size bowl, mix dry ingredients and parsley. Cut in remaining butter with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles crumbs.

In a cup, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir well to combine.

With floured hands, divide dough into thirds. Mix one third into potatoes, pressing into an ovenproof skillet. On a lightly floured board, shape remaining dough into a patty to fit in skillet. Press dough patty onto potato mixture. Using a knife, mark top of dough into six wedges similar to pie slices, being careful not to cut all the way through the dough.

Cover skillet tightly and cook over medium heat about 18 minutes or until dough is firm. In the meantime, preheat broiler. Remove skillet lid and brown bread, uncovered, under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until golden. Serve immediately.

BEER POTATO SOUP 

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 10

2 Tblsp. Butter
1 tsp. Garlic
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 stalk diced celery
6 cups boiled diced potatoes
4 cups beer
1 Tblsp. Sugar
1 Tblsp. chicken boullion
8 cups chicken stock
Roux to thicken
4 cups cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté garlic in butter until softened, do not burn. Add vegetables and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add potatoes and beer and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Mash potatoes against sides of pot. Add sugar, stock, boullion, salt and pepper. Add roux until thick. Add cream, stir and serve.

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

Preparation time:  10 minutes
Cooking time: 3-4 hours
Serves: 6

4 lbs. Corned Beef Brisket (prepared with peppercorns and spices – found in supermarket)
2 large onions, peeled and cut in chunks
1 onion
4 or 5 cloves
2 bay leaves
18 baby carrots
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Small head of cabbage, cut in chunks

Put the corned beef in a large saucepan. Stud one of the onions with the 5 cloves, and add to the beef, together with the bay leaves. Cover with cold water, bring to boil, cover with a tight fitting lid and reduce the heat, then simmer for 1-3/4 hours. Add the carrots and onions. Pour over the wine, sprinkle in the mustard and cinnamon and cover the saucepan with a lid. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour more. Add cabbage and simmer another 15 minutes or until meat is tender when tested with a fork. Remove saucepan from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.

Arrange the corned beef in the center of a large serving dish and surround with the vegetables. Serve piping hot.

POTATOES WITH PARSLEY

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6

6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 oz. (1 stick)  butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tblsp. chopped parsley, or 1 Tblsp dried parsley
Garnish: Sprigs fresh parsley

Boil potatoes until cooked but firm, drain water from potatoes, add butter, garlic and parsley to pan with potatoes. Toss, until garlic is softened and potatoes coated with butter and parsley.

RHUBARB  CRISP

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6

8 cups diced rhubarb
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tblsp. grated orange zest
2 Tblsp. Cornstarch
1/3 cup Cointreau
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted cold butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tblsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup slivered almonds
Pinch salt
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Toss the rhubarb with the granulated sugar and orange zest in a 3-quart baking dish. Dissolve the cornstarch in the Cointreau, add to the rhubarb to coat.

Place the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Mix together with your hands until crumbly. Stir in the almonds and salt and beat in the egg to bind the mixture loosely. Spread the topping evenly over the rhubarb. Bake until the top is golden and the rhubarb is bubbling. Serve warm.

This tart flavor of young spring rhubarb blends well with a sweet, crumbly topping. Serve with ice cream or lots of whipped cream.

HOME MADE IRISH CREAM LIQUEUR

Yummy! Impress your friends when you make your own Irish Cream liqueur for your St. Patrick’s Day party.

1/2 cup honey
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup Irish whiskey
1/2 tsp. instant coffee

Combine all ingredients, mix well and store in the refrigerator. Make at least 3-4 days before serving, giving the container a shake a couple of times a day. Consume within 2 weeks.

Hint: This delicious liqueur is just as good on other days, as well as on March 17!

IRISH COFFEE

Preparation time: 2 minutes
Makes: 1 drink

1 cup hot coffee
1 oz. Irish Whiskey
3 sugar cubes, optional
Garnish: whipped cream

Heat whiskey to a high temperature, then put the coffee in a cup; use a spoon turned upside down and pour the HOT whiskey over it so it flows down gently, then add the cream.

Capt. Jan Robinson is author of the Ship to Shore Cookbook Collection. She holds certificates from the Culinary Institute of America, The Ritz Cooking School, and the Cordon Bleu.

Available at your local marine or bookstore or website  www.shiptoshoreINC.com or email CapJan@aol.com or call 1-800-338-6072. Mention All At Sea to receive your special discount.

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