Food & Drink

For St. Patrick’s Day, put a new twist on the taste of Ireland

On St. Patrick’s Day, revelers will trek to bars and restaurants, where they’ll down a pint or two and feast on familiar corned beef and Irish stew.

But if your plans don’t include the bar/restaurant scene and you’re in the mood for a meal with Irish flair, consider dishes that tweak the familiar and use ingredients common in Ireland.

That’s what Mary Brady, chef and former owner of Diamond Jim Brady’s Bistro in Novi, Mich., does.

“Seafood is very prevalent in Ireland, and salmon is huge,” Brady said. “Scallops are also very abundant.”

Many of Brady’s dishes have different potato sides, including colcannon, a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes mixed with sauteed cabbage. Brady uses savoy cabbage instead of the traditional green cabbage for her colcannon.

“I use savoy just to make it different, and it’s a little bit lighter,” she says.

And the corned beef? Brady adds a twist to that, too, serving it topped with a horseradish crème fraîche.

SALMON A LA DUBLIN BAY

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 large potatoes, medium diced

2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, julienned

1 medium onion, peeled, diced small

1 rib celery, diced small

1 large carrot, medium diced

1 1/2 cups water, chicken stock or fish stock or clam juice

1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Salt and pepper to taste

4 salmon fillets (5 ounces each)

Smoked Salmon Tartar (see note)

Makes four servings.

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes, leeks, onion, celery and carrot, and saute until translucent. Cover with stock, and simmer until potatoes are nearly cooked through. Add the cream and continue simmering until reduced by one-quarter, about 20 minutes. Season as desired.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, add the remaining olive oil to a saute pan, season the salmon and sear flesh-side down until nicely browned, about two to three minutes. Flip and finish cooking in a 350-degree oven to desired doneness.

To serve, divide potato and leek mixture between four warm soup bowls. Put salmon on top, and garnish with a dollop of Smoked Salmon Tartar.

NOTE: To make the salmon tartar, chunk 4 ounces of smoked salmon in a bowl. Gently fold in 3 tablespoons capers (with a few drops of caper juice), 4 tablespoons chopped chives, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1 to 2 tablespoons good-quality mayonnaise.

BEEF AND BEER

1 1/2 pounds (for 6-ounce portions) fillet of chuck bistro steak or favorite beef fillet, at least 1/2-inch thick

FOR MARINADE:

12 ounces Guinness beer

1/3 cup olive oil

1 whole bulb garlic, roasted (see note)

1 bay leaf

A few black peppercorns

Salt and pepper to taste

Makes four servings.

Prick the beef fillets with a fork and place in a plastic sealable bag or shallow baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk together the beer, olive oil, garlic, bay leaf and peppercorns, and pour over the beef. Seal bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour and up to three hours. When ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium-high. Remove the beef from the marinade and discard the marinade. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Grill until desired degree of doneness, about four minutes on each side for medium rare. Remove from the grill and let sit several minutes before slicing and serving. Serve with Colcannon (recipe below) and garnish with crispy potato straws if desired.

NOTE: To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove any papery skin from the garlic and cut off the top just to expose the cloves. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper if desired. Wrap in a double layer of foil and bake about 45 minutes or until the garlic is very soft. Remove from the oven, and when cool enough to handle, squeeze out the garlic flesh to use in the marinade.

PARMESAN SEARED SEA SCALLOPS KINSALE STYLE

FOR BEURRE BLANC:

1/3 cup white wine

2 tablespoons white vinegar

3 tablespoons minced shallots

1/4 cup Irish Mist liqueur

2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into cubes

Salt and black pepper to taste

FOR SCALLOPS:

1 to 11/4 pounds large sea scallops, rinsed

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

Makes four servings.

In a small saucepan or skillet, combine the white wine, vinegar and shallots. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about five minutes. Stir in the Irish Mist, and cook about two minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in the heavy cream. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter pieces a few at a time, making sure the pieces are fully melted before adding more or the sauce might separate. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, pressing on the solids. Season with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm over a very low heat while you prepare the scallops.

Pat the sea scallops dry. On a plate, combine the flour and Parmesan cheese. Lightly dredge the scallops in the flour mixture, coating them on both sides. Set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the scallops to the skillet, and cook until browned on each side, about three to four minutes. Remove from the skillet and serve the scallops with a drizzling of the Beurre Blanc sauce.

COLCANNON

3 large Idaho potatoes, scrubbed well

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 small savoy cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)

1/2 to 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 small bunch green onions, washed, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Makes four generous servings.

Cut the potatoes into a 1/2-inch dice and place in pot large enough to hold them. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and cook until the potatoes are just tender. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the cabbage until just tender. In a small saucepan, heat the buttermilk and butter until the butter is melted.

Place the potatoes back in the pot you cooked them in, and mash them, adding the buttermilk mixture. Fold in the cabbage and green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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