Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 with four delicious Ontario meals inspired by the best of Irish cuisine:
1. A blarney breakfast: Start your day with Potato Bread served
with slices of honey ham and scrambled eggs.
Potato bread or potato cake (referred to as “fadge” in the northern counties of Ireland) is a type of scone made from mashed potatoes. Although it’s best made with potatoes that are still hot, it can be made with leftover potatoes if they are heated for about 30 seconds in the microwave to soften before mixing with the rest of the ingredients. Be sure the potatoes are mashed well until smooth and lump-free, or put them through a ricer before measuring. Serve hot with butter.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
2 cups (500 mL) warm mashed cooked potatoes (about 3 Ontario Potatoes)
1/4 cup (50 mL) butter, melted
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt, preferably Kosher or sea
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour (approx)
Place potatoes in large bowl and mix in melted butter and salt; mix in enough flour to make pliable dough, lightly kneading in remaining. (The less flour you use, the lighter the bread.) Divide into 4 portions. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and roll into four 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick circles. Cut each into quarters (4 triangles or farls); bake on hot lightly greased griddle or skillet until lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes, turning once.
2. A luck o’ the Irish lunch: Enjoy a bowl of Cream of Parsnip
Soup with a corned beef sandwich for your mid-day meal.
Cream of Parsnip Soup
Velvety smooth, this decadent-tasting creamy soup is a great way to introduce your friends and family to the wonderful world of Ontario Parsnips.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: about 30 minutes
Serves: 6 (Makes 6 cups/1.5 L)
1 tbsp (15 mL) each butter and vegetable oil
2 Ontario Onions, diced
1 lb (500 g) Ontario Parsnips, scrubbed and sliced into 1/2-inch (1 cm)thick coins
1 tsp (5 mL) dried rosemary leaves
2 cups (500 mL) sodium-reduced chicken broth
2 cups (500 mL) 5% cream
Salt and pepper
In large saucepan, melt butter with oil over medium heat; cook onions, stirring often for 5 to 7 minutes or until softened and golden brown. Add parsnips and rosemary; cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Add broth and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until parsnips are very soft.
Add cream, stirring well. In a blender, purée until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return to heat if cooled down, or serve right away. (Can be made 1 day in advance and reheated over low heat.)
3. A shamrock supper: Savour a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish:
Irish Stew brimming with lamb, parsnips and rutabaga.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
8 Ontario Lamb Shanks
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) each dried thyme and rosemary
2 bottles (341 mL each) Ontario stout-based beer
3 cups (750 mL) beef broth
1/4 cup (50 mL) butter
3 tbsp (45 mL) packed brown sugar
3 Ontario Onions, cut into wedges
3 each Ontario Carrots and Parsnips, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
Half Ontario Rutabaga, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) wedges
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley
Season lamb with salt and pepper; coat with flour. In large ovenproof casserole, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat. In batches, brown lamb, adding more oil as needed. Remove to a plate.
Stir in any remaining flour, garlic, thyme and rosemary; stir over medium heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually stir in beer; bring to boil, scraping up brown bits. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in 2 cups (500 mL) of broth. Return lamb to pan; bring to boil. Cover and bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 1-½ hours.
Meanwhile in skillet, melt butter and sugar over medium heat; stir in vegetables; season with salt and pepper. Add remaining broth and bring to boil. Add to lamb, cover and bake in 350°F (180°C) oven another 1-¼ hours or until lamb and vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.
4. An Emerald Isle dessert: Finish your meal with Irish Cream
Apple Cake and a cup of green tea.
Irish Cream Apple Cake
This moist apple cake with an Irish touch can also be made in a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan for special occasions.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 to 40 minutes
1-3/4 cups (425 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
3/4 cup (175 mL) butter, softened
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1/2 cup (125 mL) Irish cream liqueur
2 cups (500 mL) peeled, diced Ontario Apples (McIntosh or Empire), about 2 medium
Irish Cream Sauce:
1 cup (250 mL) 18% cream
2 tbsp (25 mL) granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) cornstarch
1/3 cup (75 mL) Irish cream liqueur
In medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In large bowl with electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture alternately with liqueur until combined. Stir in apples.
Spread in lightly greased and floured 9-inch (23 cm) square baking pan. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean and top is golden brown. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or cold with sauce.
Irish Cream Sauce:
Pour cream into medium saucepan. In small bowl, mix together sugar and cornstarch; whisk into cream. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbles; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in liqueur.