We all know the drill by now. Corned beef and cabbage, some slightly mushy carrots and potatoes, a slice of Irish soda bread and a tall pint of Guinness to wash it all down. I'm not knocking tradition- I've got Irish blood in me after all- but I felt it was time to shake things up a bit. So here's the More + Merrier take on the St. Patrick's Day menu- a nod to tradition but taking full advantage of modern flavors and textures. Without further ado...
The Menu - Serves 4
Main Dish / Corned Beef Style Baked Salmon
Side Dish / Green Cabbage Summer Slaw
Side Dish / Smoked Paprika Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Dessert / A Touch-of-Sweet Raisin Rolls
Drink / A good Sauvignon Blanc or Guinness, if you must
Corned Beef Style Baked Salmon
If you've ever made corned beef from scratch, you know it's a pretty laborious task that takes up to 10 days of brine time. That's just not going to happen for me, and I'll bet a lot of you feel the same way. This recipe is pretty foolproof. If you've got the time to let the salmon marinate a couple hours- great! You'll get extra depth of flavor. If not, it'll still taste pretty amazing. There are so many delicious and strong flavors in this dish, drawing inspiration from the brine ingredients in corned beef, that you are sure to enjoy salmon in a whole new way.
Prep time / 15 minutes
Marinating time (if you've got the time) /1-4 hours
Cook time /13-15 minutes
1.5 lbs salmon filet
2 T brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves
1/4 t allspice
1/2 t ground ginger
1 T chopped shallot
1 T olive oil
1 ½ t mustard
1 T lemon juice (about ¼ lemon)
1 t salt
½ t black pepper
Garnish: chopped dark green onions, micro greens or flat leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix all ingredients, except for salmon, together in a small bowl. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place salmon, skin side down, on the parchment paper. Evenly spread the mixture over the salmon, cover and refrigerate for 1-4 hours, if you have the time. If not, place salmon in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes until salmon is just slightly pink in the center. Serve with green garnish of your choice.
Green Cabbage Summer Slaw
This is a recipe that's been in my rotation for years, and it's the perfect antidote to traditional heavy braised cabbage. It's creamy and zesty with just a hint of heat- like a hopeful beckoning of spring to come. Due to the firm cabbage base, it holds up for several days in the fridge, and in fact, gets more flavorful with time. The perfect leftover salad to take to work on Monday.
Prep time / 15 minutes
1/2 head of cabbage, roughly chopped
3 T of Greek yogurt
3 T of mayonnaise
2 green onions finely chopped (white/light green separated from dark green)
2 T fresh cilantro chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 cloves of garlic minced
½ to 1 whole serrano pepper, depending on your spice tolerance, finely chopped (wear gloves and/or wash your hands immediately after chopping)
½ t salt
Dash of black pepper
Thoroughly mix all ingredients together in one large bowl. This is a great make ahead dish as it holds its crisp bite for up to two days. The flavors also deepen over time, so feel free to make this early in the day.
Smoked Paprika Roasted Sweet Potatoes
This is another foolproof dish that I love to make regularly, whether for a holiday or a weeknight dinner. It's so simple, but the flavors are so lovely and interesting together. A bit of sweet and a touch of smokey salty goodness- all your guests will be asking for the recipe.
Prep time /10 minutes
Cook time /25 minutes
2 large sweet potatoes
1 1/2 t smoked paprika
2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 1/2 T olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Peel and dice sweet potatoes into ½ inch pieces. Mix all other ingredients in a small bowl. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread sweet potatoes evenly in one layer, and toss with spice/olive oil mixture. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping potatoes halfway through for even browning.
A Touch-of-Sweet Raisin Rolls w/Cardamom
Traditional Irish soda bread is tough to beat, but these not-too-sweet rolls with a hint of cardamom are a perfect way to end this St. Patrick's Day meal. Like their close cousin the cinnamon roll, they offer a tasty treat in a rolled up package. Unlike the cinnamon roll, these will not leave you in a sugar coma, and it's something you can feel marginally good about eating the next day for breakfast.
Prep Time / 25 minutes
Cook Time / 25 minutes
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 T sugar
1/2 t cardamom
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup raisins
2 1/2 cups flour
2 T sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
6 T melted butter, divided
1 T butter to grease pan
Preheat oven to 425. Use about 1 Tbs melted butter to grease the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan.
In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, sugar, cardamom and salt. Add in vanilla and cut in butter with a fork until well combined. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a liquid measuring cup, measure 1 cup of buttermilk, add 1/4 cup plain milk and then whisk in 2 Tbs melted butter. Mix buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients until just combined, then knead with your hands for about 30 seconds. (I recommend flouring hands first as the dough will be quite sticky)
Lightly flour a clean work surface. Use hands to press dough into a 12 x 10 inch rectangle. Brush 2 Tbs softened butter onto the entire surface of the dough. Spread filling evenly onto dough coming to about 1/2 inch of edges. Lightly press filling into dough.
Starting with the long end of the rectangle, roll the dough to the opposite end. Roll the dough back and forth to shape it evenly into a log shape. Pinch the ends together and cut off the excess, about 1/2 inch. Cut the dough into 8 equal sections.
Place one roll in the middle of the buttered cake pan and then place the remaining seven rolls evenly around the first. Brush the tops with remaining 2 Tbs melted butter.
Place rolls in the oven and allow to bake at 425 for about 15 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 and allow to bake about 10 more minutes, until edges begin to lightly brown.
Store in airtight container for 2 days or serve immediately.
So there you have it- St. Patrick's Day dinner with a twist. I'd love to hear how your dishes turn out and what you enjoyed the most. Comments welcome below!