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Hearty Irish Eats for St. Patrick’s Day

By Hilary Meyer, March 9, 2010 - 11:50am

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I’m not Irish. Not even a little bit. Even though my green beer–guzzling days are behind me, I still get excited about St. Patrick’s Day food. Now I pretend to be Irish in a more subdued manner, by cooking up a storm of Irish-centric meals the week of St. Patrick’s Day. My Irish Lamb Stew hits my slow cooker early in the week, and I sop up the broth with the Irish soda bread I made over the weekend. I follow that with a couple of easy weeknight meals—sticking with my theme of course—so by the end of the week I’m about as Irish as I’m ever going to get.

Here are a few of my favorite Irish-inspired recipes:

Corned Beef Hash A comforting dish that we’ve given a more healthful profile.

Oven-Fried Fish & Chips Fish and chips are traditionally sold wrapped in paper to soak up all the grease—not a good sign. To cut the calories in half and reduce the fat, we coat the delicate fish in a crispy cornflake crust and then bake it along with sliced potatoes. Serve with: Coleslaw and malt vinegar or lemon wedges.

Irish Soda Bread Soda breads are hearty Irish staples—whole-meal flour with large flakes of bran and wheat germ, or white flour, or a mixture, leavened with baking soda and moistened with buttermilk. The acid in the buttermilk reacts with the baking soda, which is an alkali, creating bubbles of carbon dioxide, which make the bread rise. Soda breads have the heft of a yesast bread but are made in minutes and the dough can be shaped into scones or a round loaf, depending on the occasion. Originally the soda bread would have been baked in a bastible (pot oven) over the open fire.

Red Potato Colcannon There are countless variations on this classic Irish potato-and-cabbage combination—ours is made with steamed red potatoes, sauteed cabbage and just a touch of butter.

Irish Lamb Stew Lamb stew is Irish penicillin: a rich stew full of potatoes, leeks and carrots that’ll cure whatever ails you. In traditional fashion, nothing here is browned first, just all stewed together. To keep it healthy, make sure to trim the lamb of any visible fat before you cook it.

What are your favorite things to eat and drink on St. Patrick’s Day? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Hilary Meyer, Food Blog, Dinner, Family meals

Hilary Meyer
Hilary Meyer develops and tests healthy recipes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

Hilary asks: What are your favorite things to eat and drink on St. Patrick’s Day?

Tell us what you think:

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