Sunday, March 20, 2016

Slave's Saint Patrick's Day Sharing

For this year's verdant holiday, slave put out a notice to fellow apartment dwellers:

Plan on joining me Thursday evening in our common room for a taste of Saint Paddy's Day. Traditional Irish recipes done my way.”
On the menu:
Shrimps on the Green
Colcannon Soup
Dublin Coddle
Sliced Corned Beef
even Irish Green snake bread!

Bring a smiling face and something to drink! “Any other treats welcome!”
Speak Fluent Blarney!

So now to share with you the recipes used. Feel free to change any around to fit the tastes of Your family.

The night before:
Colcannan Soup
Colcannon is a side dish usually made of mashed potatoes & kale. Here it is interpreted as a soup with spinach substituting for kale.

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pkg frozen spinach (thawed)
  • 1 1⁄2 lbs small red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 lg leek, washed and chopped (white and pale green parts only)
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • salt + white pepper, 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 1⁄4 cups non fat half-and-half

Cut the leek and rinse well to remove any sand. Peel the potatoes and cut into pieces.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in spinach, potatoes, and leeks. Stir until vegetables start to turn soft. (about 8 minutes) Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the vegetables are soft (about 15 minutes). Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Carefully using an immersion blender, bounce the mixer with an up and down motion to blend the soup until smooth. (or transfer mixture to a blender or food processor in batches and process until smooth).

Note: the recipe can be made ahead up to this point. When warming the next day, whisk in the non-fat half & half and serve hot.

The next morning:

Corned Beef
Ever cook a corned beef? Simple and impressive as hell. Just takes preparation and a crock pot! For this a “brisket” is used. Normally a tough and cheap piece of meat, around this time of year the prices soar. To get it tender takes brining, slow cooking and the right spices. The only other secret is to be sure to slice it ACROSS the grain not with the grain of the meat.

Buying the brisket. Supermarkets have made this as easy as possible. It will come wrapped in plastic, filled with the proper brine and even a small packet of spices.
Read the label. Buy a “Point Cut”. It is more flavor-full. You can cut off the extra fat (called the deckel) AFTER the meat is cooked.

By the way: the term “corned” has nothing to do with the vegetable we now call “corn” at all. “Corn” was an old English term for a small particle. IE: the coarse-grained salt that was used in curing.

These are the Ingredients you will need:
3 to 4 lbs corned beef brisket – point cut.
2 medium onions
at least 2 cups of apple juice not drink (used three 6oz boxes juice)

Start 10 hours before dinner time. So if dinner is planned for 7 PM, everything has to be in the crock pot and the lid on by 8:30 AM!

Crock Pot:
Wipe out the crock pot and spray with cooking spray. Slice the onions.
8AM place half of the onions on the bottom of the slow cooker and turn it on low. Add apple juice and 1 cup water along with contents of the spice packet.

Rinse the brisket off well under running water and pat dry with paper towels.
Then lay it (with fat side up) on the onions. Cover with the rest of the onions. The lid then goes on and you let it cook on low for 10 hours, in our example 6:30PM!

Next lift out the brisket carefully, it will be fork tender. Let it sit on cutting board covered with a piece of foil for about 15 minutes.
Cut it in slices across the grain and place on large platter. Again cover with that piece of foil until the platter can make its entrance!

Corned beef is as simple as that!

Dublin Coddle This goes into oven to cook at 4PM
This Irish dish is often made to use up leftovers, and therefore without a specific recipe. However, it most commonly consists of layers of roughly sliced pork sausages and bacon with sliced potatoes and onions.

The dish should be cooked in a pot with a well-fitting lid in order to steam the ingredients left uncovered by water. The only seasoning is usually salt, pepper, and occasionally parsley.

The name comes from the verb coddle, meaning to cook food in water below boiling, which in turn derives from caudle, a warm drink given to the sick.

1 bag frozen hash brown potatoes (thawed)
2 large onions, peeled and sliced thickly
2 lbs cooked bratwurst sliced
½ lbs bacon, thick cut
1 pint chicken or beef stock
1 - 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper (to season)


Preheat the oven to 325F
Slice the onions and the sausages. Finely chop the parsley. 

  • Cook bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 10 minutes; Drain briefly on paper towels. When drained, chop the bacon into one-inch pieces, reserving the drippings in the skillet.
  • Cook sausages in the hot bacon drippings until evenly browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side; add to another paper towel to drain.
  • Cook and stir onion in the bacon drippings until tender, 5 to 7 minutes; again drain on paper towels.
In a large dutch oven with a tight lid, start layering the ingredients: onions, bacon, then sausages. Cover these with a “thatch” of the uncooked hash browns. Season each layer with salt & pepper and the chopped fresh parsley. Make a second layer of this in the same order.

Pour the chicken stock over this. On the stove, bring the liquid to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down and cover the pot. (You may like to put a layer of foil underneath the pot lid to help seal it.).

Put the covered pot in the oven and cook for two hours, check the pot and add more stock if necessary. There should be a small amount of liquid at the bottom of the pot at all times. Brush the top potatoes with melted butter and return to oven uncovered for another 30 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Serve with a large ladle to get the liquid along with the rest.

Now while that's cooking let's do the shrimp!


Shrimp On the Green Bump up the oven to 500  

degrees at 6PM

Shrimp is the perfect candidate for this green sauce: it can withstand high heat: it gives off some wonderful juices while it cooks, and its pink hue is absolutely gorgeous when surrounded by the green.

6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
cup extra virgin olive oil
6 green onions, trimmed and sliced.
1 cup parsley, leaves and thin stems
2 pounds shrimp, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
a few pinches of crushed red chili flakes to taste
cup chicken stock or white wine

Heat oven to 500 degrees.

Peel and rinse shrimp, drain and pat dry.

Combine garlic and oil in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Add green onions and parsley and pulse until mixture is minced. Toss with shrimp, salt, pepper and pepper flakes.

Put shrimp in a large roasting dish that has been sprayed. Add liquid and place pan in oven. Roast, until mixture is bubbly and hot, and shrimp all pink, 15 to 20 minutes.

Stick toothpicks into each piece of shrimp for guests to sample.

Now watch your time line:
8:30 AM crock pot starts cooking Corned Beef
4 PM Coddle goes into oven to cook
5 PM Start to heat up the soup on low and mix in the half & half
6 PM Shrimp goes into the oven
6:30 PM Remove the corned beef to rest: Remove shrimp from oven
6:35 PM remove the coddle (top of potatoes should be browned)
6:45 PM slice corned beef and re-cover, slide bread into turned off oven to heat.
Insert tooth picks into shrimps and start to load up the table or buffet.
Don't forget to serve the bread.

How about some music for tonight? Let's not do too much Irish, OK?

Serving twelve people or only my Master Indy, it is a true joy!

To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes 


Dan White


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