Kara’s Sights & Bites: St. Patrick’s Day dishes may not be authentic, but the Irish would approve
By Kara Kimbrough
Not since I learned that spaghetti and meatballs are an urban myth – the two food items are never served together in Italy – have I been as disillusioned as I was recently upon learning Americans’ typical St. Patrick’s Day fare didn’t originate in Ireland. Oh sure, the Irish knew about corned beef and cabbage. The problem was, most of them couldn’t afford it, dining instead on pork and potatoes when March 17 rolled around. Despite these misconceptions, it’s still fun to celebrate St. Paddy’s with a hearty meal of corned beef, cabbage or a Reuben sandwich, my favorite way to combine the two.
As much as I love a Reuben, I’ve never been a fan of sauerkraut. Something about the fermenting process turns my stomach. So, I found a delicious substitution that is similar in texture, but lacks the sour taste of sauerkraut.
Cook a few slices of bacon until brown, remove from the pan and set aside. In the bacon grease, add a package of Asian chopped salad. Sauté the vegetables until wilted, then add ½ cup of hot water into which a chicken bouillon cube has been dissolved. Chop bacon and add to the mixture, stirring well until everything is thoroughly mixed and heated through. Use the end result as a topping for a Reuben or as a side dish with corned beef.
Even though I’ve debunked the myth about corned beef and cabbage being an authentic St. Paddy’s Day dish, that’s no reason not to enjoy them – or a succulent Reuben – this Friday. I even found a delicious appetizer recipe – crispy baked Reuben pinwheels – that I can’t publish since it’s not mine. But if you’d like the recipe, email me and I’ll send it your way.
In the meantime, enjoy St. Patrick’s Day Friday with these delicious recipes that’ll create a meal any Irishman would be lucky to claim.
Luck O’ the Irish Crockpot Corned Beef & Cabbage
5 potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks
4 cups water
2 cups beef broth
4 pounds corned beef brisket
1 head cabbage, coarsely sliced and chopped
Place carrots, and onion into the bottom of a Crockpot; add water and lay brisket on top of vegetables. Pour broth over brisket. If brisket contains a spice packet, sprinkle that over the meat. If not, add your favorite seasonings. Cook on high for 7 hours; stir in the cabbage and cook for 1 more hour.
It’s Easy Being Green Key Lime Pie
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, broken into pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons sugar
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
½ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon lime jest
Green food coloring
To make crust: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together graham-cracker crumbs, butter and sugar in a medium bowl; mix well. Press into a 9-inch pie plate and bake until lightly browned, 11-12 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
To make filling: Lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together condensed milk, egg yolks, lime juice and zest and a drop of green food coloring. Pour into the prepared crust. Return pie to oven and bake until the center is set, 15-17 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator before serving.
Top each slice of pie with a scoop of whipped cream or Cool Whip; sprinkle with green sugar or more lime zest.