St. Patrick's Day Recipes

This week, you may be bombarded with festive treats in every shade of green. But since St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration of the Irish culture and heritage, why not celebrate with some authentically Irish food? Foods like. . .

Irish Scones
Depending on who you ask, an authentic recipe for scones varies; some call for buttermilk, others swear against it. Some call for soft butter, others call for cold pieces. Ours is a happy medium. Feel free to vary these in any way you want—add a few handfuls of cheese and herbs, or a cup of berries, or a pinch of brown sugar and cinnamon.

Makes 16 small-ish scones

2 ¼ cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
½ stick butter, cold, cubed in small pieces
1 cup whole milk
1 cup cranberries or blueberries (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the butter, working it in with your hands, until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. If using fruit or another filler, add to the dry mixture. Slowly add the milk, gently stirring after each quarter cup (or mixing with your hands), and stop when the dough comes together and can form a ball.

Turn onto a floured surface and pat the dough into a rectangle shape about half an inch tall. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut lengthways down the center of the dough, then make three horizontal cuts across. You should have 8 pieces. Cut those pieces into triangles for a total of 16 pieces, then carefully transfer the triangles to a greased baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until JUST beginning to look golden. Remove, slather with some butter and honey, and enjoy!

Nutritional info per scone: 94.5 calories, 3.4 g fat, 9 mg cholesterol, 120 mg sodium, 23.5 mg potassium, 14 g carbohydrates, .6 g fiber, 1.5 g sugar, 2.2 g protein. 7% DV calcium.

Irish Stew
A hearty stew meant to warm you from the inside out during damp, chill winters. Traditionally this stew calls for lamb, but you could substitute beef stew meat instead. If you’re a vegetarian, you could leave out the meat and just add a few extra carrots, potatoes, and an onion for substance. Here we use a crockpot, but you can achieve the same result over the stove! Just let all ingredients simmer over medium heat for about an hour.

Serves 5-6

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1.5 pound lamb meat or beef, in stew-sized chunks
3 large Yukon gold potatoes cut in one-inch chunks
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut in chunks
2 large onions, cut in roughly half-inch pieces
3 cups beef or vegetable broth
1 cup Guinness or other Irish stout
2 tsp dried thyme

Warm the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, and when hot, add the chunks of meat. Brown for about two minutes on each side, then add to a crock pot. Add the potatoes, carrots, and onions, then pour in the broth, beer, and thyme. Make sure most of the ingredients are covered with liquid, then cover the pot with a lid. Let cook 6-8 hours over low heat or 3-4 hours on high. When done, the meat should be falling apart and tender. Serve with a green salad or good bread to soak up the broth. Enjoy!

Nutritional info per serving: 299 calories, 9 g fat, 73 mg cholesterol, 518 mg sodium, 1057 mg potassium, 26 carbohydrates, 4.6 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 27 g protein. 182% RDV Vitamin A, 53% RDV Vitamin B-12, 18% RDV Vitamin B-6, 13% RDV Vitamin C.

Potato and Leek Soup
Warm, wonderful, and filling, this simple soup is great for lunch or to go with dinner. A few flecks of parsley add a festive green flavor and brighten up the bowl.

Serves 4

4 russet potatoes, cubed in inch-long chunks
4 stalks of leeks, sliced up to the tough green part and well-rinsed
4 slices bacon (if vegetarian, leave out bacon and use 2 tbsp butter in the place of bacon grease)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh thyme
¼ cup sour cream or crème fraiche (optional)

Sauté the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, then remove with tongs and let drain on paper towels. Add the potatoes and leeks to the bacon fat left in the pan, and sauté until beginning to brown.

Remove from pan to a stock pot, add enough water to cover the vegetables, and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low heat and let simmer for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender, a potato masher, or puree in batches in a blender. Get it smooth or leave as chunky as you like. Crumble the bacon and add it to the blended soup. Serve sprinkled with fresh thyme leaves and dolloped with sour cream or crème fraiche.

Nutritional info per serving: 235 calories, 3.5 g fat, 5.4 mg cholesterol, 129 mg sodium, 1070 mg potassium, 5 g fiber, 4.2 g sugar, 7.3 g protein. 20% RDV Vitamin A, 36% RDV Vitamin B-6, 43% RDV Vitamin C.

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