St. Patrick's Day Menu
Whether you're Irish or not, boost your luck by celebrating St. Patrick's Day with friends and a traditional Irish meal.
March is the perfect time to indulge in all things Irish, so we've put together a collection of our favorite Irish-inspired recipes for St. Patrick's Day. Celebrate the holiday by inviting friends over and serving a traditional Irish feast with menu items like corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, and a potato dish.
Corned Beef and Cabbage
The tradition of serving corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day was started by Irish-Americans in the mid-1800s, when it was used as a substitute for bacon in the traditional Irish dish of bacon and cabbage. Corned beef got its name back when meat was preserved using coarse grains of salt called "corn." For added flavor, serve with prepared horseradish and mustard.
Irish Soda Bread
Traditional soda bread uses baking soda, instead of yeast as a leavening agent, and it contains only flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt. This time-saving bread recipe became popular in rural Ireland in the 1800s. It pairs well with soups, stews, and meat dishes. Today, Irish soda bread recipes often contain other ingredients, such as sugar, butter, or currants, to enhance the flavor.
In the late 16th century, potatoes were introduced to Ireland from South America. They were planted in the spring around St. Patrick's Day and quickly became the staple crop in the poorest regions of the country. Today, no Irish meal would be complete without a side dish of potatoes -- these wedges get their flavor from garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Authentic Irish Coffee
After dinner, serve the Irishman's delicious take on coffee. Add 3 tablespoons of Irish whiskey to a 10-ounce mug. Stir in brown sugar. Add 1 cup of brewed coffee, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Top with a dollop of whipped cream.
"Be eating one potato, peeling a second; have a third in your fist and your eye on a fourth." --Irish proverb
March is a perfect time to indulge in all things Irish, so in honor of the Emerald Island and its hardy inhabitants, we celebrate its favorite and most versatile vegetable, the potato.
Potatoes can be enjoyed in their natural state -- simply baked and slathered with butter and sprinkled with salt -- or fancied up in nearly limitless ways. Read up on spuds here, then pick a potato recipe and get cooking.
Picking the perfect potato
One potato, two potato, three potato, four: Spud varieties today really number more. Here's a quick rundown of the kinds you're likely to find in the supermarket, as well as information on how to select the right potato for your recipe.
Potatoes are classified as either mealy, waxy, or all-purpose. The type you choose depends on the way you plan to cook it. Some are best for baking, others for boiling.
Mealy potatoes have a dry texture and tend to crumble or fall apart when cooked. The most common mealy variety is the russet. Purple potatoes, which are also becoming more widely available, are also mealy. Use either potato for baking, mashing, and frying.
When you want potatoes to keep their shape when cooked, choose waxy types, such as the long whites and round reds. These potatoes have a moist, smooth texture and are great for salads, soups, and casseroles.
Some potatoes, such as the round white potato and the yellow varieties (Yukon Gold, Finish Yellow, and Yellow-Rose), are considered all-purpose potatoes. This means they are suitable for just about any dish.
New potatoes aren't a type of potato but are just young, small potatoes.
Sweet potatoes come in moist and dry varieties. Dry-textured sweet potatoes usually have a yellowish-tan skin and cream-colored to yellow meat. They are much like the russet potato in texture and are only mildly sweet. They are ideal for baking or mashing.
Moist-textured sweet potatoes have copper-colored skins and a bright orange flesh that is very sweet. Because they hold their shape better than drier varieties, they are perfect for soups, stews, or casseroles. These deep-colored sweet potatoes are sometimes labeled as yams in the grocery store.
Look for clean potatoes that have smooth, unblemished skins. They should be firm and have a shape that is typical for their variety. Avoid those that have green spots or are soft, moldy, or shriveled.
Storing spuds. Store potatoes in a well-ventilated, dark place that is cool and slightly humid but not wet. If you store potatoes in the light, they will develop green patches and have a bitter flavor. Avoid refrigerating potatoes; cold temperatures cause potatoes to turn overly sweet and to darken when cooked.
To peel or not to peel. Leaving the skin on potatoes will add fiber to your dish but may discolor some recipes, such as mashed potatoes. If you're leaving the peel on, use a vegetable brush to scrub the skins under running water. For peeling, use a vegetable peeler, removing any eyes or holes. Cut out any green parts.
To keep cut or sliced potatoes from darkening before cooking, immerse them in ice water for a few minutes. For shredded potatoes, rinse and drain them after shredding, then pat them dry before using.
Irish Colcannon Typical of traditional Irish dinners, this potato-cabbage side dish adds new interest to mashed potatoes.
Hobo Potatoes Here's a potato dish that's simple, quick, and very tasty!
Potato Pancakes Top these crispy patties with sour cream or applesauce.
Foolproof Mashed Potatoes Leave the skins on the potatoes when you boil and mash them for extra texture.
The Perfect French Fries We've discovered the secret to fabulous homemade fries, and it's just a matter of the right ingredients and two simple tips.
Lower-Fat Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes Boost the cheese flavor even more by using sharp cheddar.
Dilled Cabbage Potatoes This stuffed potato is based on colcannon, an Irish dish made of mashed potatoes, onion, and cabbage.
Oven-Roasted Fries These chunky potato wedges with a touch of olive oil are perfect with steak or burgers.
Potato Pizza Also try frozen bread or pizza dough in place of the refrigerated dough.