Saint Patrick’s Day Menu
by Julie Badger Jensen

As legend tells us the wearin’ of the green on St. Patrick’s Day brings good luck. How about a menu dressed in green and loaded with tradition, to make you and yours even luckier. The best part is you don’t even need to be Irish! Everyone will feel like celebrating with this Irish menu . . . and remember these recipes are great to serve anytime.

There are many naturally green fresh foods to make your table festive – artichokes, lettuce, spinach, pistachios, broccoli, kiwifruit, avocado, peas and beans to name but a few. Pick and choose as you wish. Use your imagination and creativity. Try some of our options for “greening” your St. Patrick’s Day table. Green garden dip with crackers or vegetables is a great beginning. Sweet and sour cabbage rolls are zesty and different and corn beef and cabbage a time-honored favorite. Try traditional Irish soda bread for this holiday or anytime of the year. Refreshing kiwifruit sorbet is nonfat and delicious and can be prepared and frozen well in advance. Shamrock chocolate cookies make a great family night treat or snack and will disappear like magic

Throw in Irish laughter for good measure and GATHER AROUND THE TABLE.

GREEN GARDEN DIP

A snap to make and so good

1 container sour cream (16-oz.)

-OR-

1 container low-fat cottage cheese (16-oz.)

blended until smooth

1 / 2 cup mayonnaise, optional

1 pkg. Knorr cream of spinach soup and dip mix (1.8-oz.)

1 cup chopped fresh spinach

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and chill two hours to blend flavors. Stir before serving. Serve with crackers or cut up vegetables.

SWEET AND SOUR CABBAGE ROLLS

Delicious and healthy, a welcome change

Cabbage Rolls

1 large head green cabbage or 2 medium heads

2 lbs. ground beef

1 cup cooked rice

1 / 2 tsp. ground thyme

1 tsp. salt

1 / 2 tsp. pepper

1 / 4 tsp. garlic salt

1 8-oz. can tomato sauce

3 / 4 cup finely diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients except cabbage and mix well. Set aside while you prepare sweet and sour sauce and cabbage leaves.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

2 16-oz. cans tomato sauce

1 / 4 tsp. garlic salt

1 / 4 tsp. pepper

1 / 2 cup lemon juice or vinegar

1 cup brown sugar

Combine above ingredients and set aside.

Microwave whole cabbage for 4 minutes. Carefully remove whole individual cabbage leaves from head. Fill one leaf at a time with meat mixture about 1 / 2 cup or enough to fill adequately, but not overstuff. Fold burrito style. Makes about 10 bundles.

Place rolls in a 9×14″ dish and then pour sweet and sour mixture over top. Cover loosely with foil. Bake in 350-degree oven for about 40 minutes or until beef is done. Prepare additional rice to serve with meal.

– OR –

BRISKET OF CORNED BEEF

Steeped in Irish tradition

Serve with mashed or baked potatoes

4-lbs. brisket of corned beef

3 / 4 cup brown sugar

1 / 2 cup pineapple juice

Simmer corned beef covered with water for 5 hours. Drain and put in baking dish. Mix brown sugar and pineapple juice together to make sauce. Pour over corned beef. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Baste several times.

FRIED CABBAGE

The perfect accompaniment

1 medium head cabbage

1 / 3 cup butter

2 Tbs. sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and core cabbage. Cut cabbage into 1 / 4 inch sections. Saut cabbage in butter, stirring constantly, for 5-10 minutes over medium high heat in a 5 quart Dutch oven. Add seasonings. Stir well. Cabbage should be tender and crisp but not wilted. Serve hot.

IRISH SODA BREAD

Enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day or any other time

2 cups flour

2 Tbs. sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 / 2 tsp. salt

3 Tbs. butter, softened

1 / 2 cup raisins (optional)

1 cup buttermilk

1 Tbs. butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Cut in softened butter until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add raisins, if desired. Add buttermilk, mix with a fork until moistened.

Knead gently about 1 minute. Shape into a ball. Place on a cookie sheet or pie plate and flatten into a 7-inch circle. (Dough will be about 1-1 / 2 inches thick.) Cut across on the top of the loaf.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden. Remove to wire rack to cool. Brush top with melted butter. Dust with flour. Makes 1 loaf.

KIWIFRUIT SORBET

Sure to steal your heart away

3/4 cup sugar, divided

1 / 4 cup water

2 egg whites

5 kiwifruit

1 1 / 2 cups lemon-lime carbonated beverage

1 / 4 cup lime juice

Combine 1 / 2 cup of the sugar and the water. Bring to a boil; stir until sugar dissolves. Boil, covered, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Beat egg whites until stiff; gradually add remaining 1 / 4 cup sugar. Slowly pour hot syrup into whites; beat constantly until mixture has cooled.

Pare and puree kiwifruit. Gradually beat lemon-lime beverage, kiwifruit puree and lime juice into egg white mixture. Partially freeze.

Spoon mixture into chilled mixer bowl and beat with chilled beaters until mixture is light and foamy. Return to freezer and freeze until firm. Makes about 6 servings.

SHAMROCK CHOCOLATE COOKIES

Eyes will be ‘smilin’

You’ll want to do an Irish jig

Cookies

1 / 2 cup butter or margarine, softened

3 / 4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 1 / 2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 / 2 tsp. baking powder

1 / 2 tsp. baking soda

1 / 4 tsp. salt

Shamrock Glaze

3 Tbs. butter or margarine

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 to 3 Tbs. milk

Green food color

To make cookies, cream butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture, blending well. Chill about 1 hour or until firm enough to roll.

Roll a small portion of dough at a time on lightly floured board or between 2 pieces of wax paper to 1 / 4-inch thickness. Cut with shamrock-shaped cutter or other shape, as desired. Place on greased cookie sheet.

Bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until no indentation remains when lightly touched. Cool cookies on sheet 1 minute; remove to wire rack to cool thoroughly.

To make glaze, melt butter over low heat. Remove from heat; blend in sugar and vanilla. Add milk gradually; beat until proper consistency. Blend in 2 or 3 drops green food color. Use to frost cookies.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies and about 1 cup glaze.

 


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