St. Patrick's Day is quickly approaching. In honor of all my Irish friends and anyone who is an Irish Wannabe on St. Patrick's Day, I decided to bring back a few of my favorite Irish recipes that I've made and/or posted over the past five years. (All recipes can be found at the end of the post).
The first is a the classic Irish mashed potato dish called Champ that I posted in 2008. The first time I made it, I decided I would never make mashed potatoes any other way. I love the addition of scallions for a fresh, springtime taste!
Another favorite Irish potato recipe is one called "Bird Flanagan Potato Pancakes" which were named after a colorful, Irish gentleman and practical joker. The dish was created in his honor at the Irish pub he would frequent. Shredded potatoes are combined with ham or Canadian bacon, scallions and cheddar cheese (preferably Irish) to make this delightful skillet pancake. My husband loves this dish! It could be a meal in itself with a salad on the side.
Lastly, here is a dessert that I had shared on a cooking forum before my blog was even created. Named Bailey's Irish Cream Pots they are made with Bailey's Irish cream, espresso coffee and decorated with caramel squiggles and chocolate shavings. So delicious!
Adapted from Full-On Irish by Kevin Dundon
Champ is a traditional Irish potato dish that has recently enjoyed a renaissance in contemporary cooking.
1-1/2 lbs potatoes, well scrubbed
7-1/2 Tablespoons milk
4 scallions or spring onions, finely chopped
½ stick butter
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Cover the potatoes with cold water in a pan and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until completely tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.
Heat the milk in a pan with the scallions for 5 minutes, or until the scallions have softened. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then peel while they are still hot. Push through a potato ricer or sieve, using a spatula. Beat 1-1/2 oz of the butter into the warm mashed potatoes and then mix in the milk and scallion mixture. Season to taste.
To Serve, spoon into a warmed serving dish and make a slight dip in the middle. Add the remaining knob of butter and allow it to melt into the champ.
Bird Flanagan Irish Potato Pancakes
Recipe adapted from Elegant Irish Cooking by Noel Cullen
2 large potatoes
2 whole eggs
2-4 slices lean Canadian bacon (depending on thickness)
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Peel and grate the potatoes. Squeeze out excess moisture by placing the grated potatoes in a ricer and pressing down on the handle to release as much moisture as possible. Place in a bowl.
Slice the Canadian bacon into thin strips (julienne) and add to the potatoes along with the diced onion, parsley, cheese and salt and pepper to taste (I like lots of pepper). Combine thoroughly.
Lightly beat the eggs and add to the potato mixture.
In a crepe pan or nonstick sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Pour the mixture into the heated pan and press down to spread it out evenly and cook on both sides, until golden brown. This should take about 10 minutes. You can use a large plate inverted over the pan to help flip the pancake. I placed a cover, slightly ajar, over the pan during the last few minutes to help the potatoes cook through.
Bailey's Cream Pots with Caramel Squiggles and Chocolate Curls
Adapted form Full On Irish by Kevin Dundon
1-1/3 cups heavy cream
5 tablespoons Baileys Irish cream
1/4 freshly brewed espresso, cooled
9-oz mascarpone cheese
2-1/2 tablespoons sifted confectioners sugar, plus extra for dusting
Cocoa powder for dusting
Whip the cream in a bowl until soft peaks have formed. Place the Baileys Irish cream in a bowl with the espresso, mascarpone cheese and icing sugar. Beat until well combined, then fold in the cream. Divide between 4 1-cup ramekins or cups and chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
To serve, decorate with chocolate curls and caramel squiggles.
Also adapted from Full On Irish by Kevin Dundon
(Please be careful handling liquid caramel - it can leave a nasty burn if it touches your skin).
1/2 cup bakers or caster sugar (extra fine sugar)
Parchment or Waxed paper
Have a large piece of parchment or waxed paper ready on the kitchen counter.
Place the sugar in a heavy-based pan over low heat and heat gently to dissolve. Bring to a boil and boil until the resulting syrup begins to turn pale brown, gently swirling the pan to ensure even cooking. When the caramel is a rich, golden brown, dip the base of the pan into a sink of cool water to prevent further cooking for a couple of moments.
To make the squiggles, use a clean, small metal spoon, dip the spoon into the warm caramel and drizzle decoratively onto the parchment or waxed paper. Allow to cool and harden before using.
These are best used the day they are made.
If you'd like to join in some Irish fun, please visit the 4th Annual Blog Crawl at Cuisine Kathleen.