Cooking Cove: quick and easy recipes for St. Patrick’s Day

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By Barbara Beltrami

It’s St. Patrick’s Day here, and if you’re not obsessed with the usual corned beef and cabbage or haven’t had time to shop and cook for the week’s recipes Last, I have some other interesting traditional Irish recipes that can be prepared easily and quickly and are equally delicious and satisfying. If you want to save corned beef and cabbage, but don’t have time to cook, how about using these two ingredients in a soup? You can buy corned beef at the deli. And then there are Irish Potato Pancakes, perfect with just about anything you cook. If you have the time, or even if you don’t, be sure to whip up a batch of oh-so-easy cloverleaf cookies for a lovely finale to your St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

Corned beef and cabbage soup

YIELD: Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 celery rib, sliced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

1 pound cherry tomatoes, chopped

3 cups beef broth

4 cups chopped green cabbage

3 to 4 potatoes, peeled and diced

1/3 pound cooked corned beef, diced

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat; add onion, celery and carrots and cook, stirring a few times, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, cabbage, potatoes and 3 cups of water.; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender; add the corned beef, salt and pepper and cook for another minute. Serve with Irish soda bread and butter.

Boxy

YIELD: Makes 10 to 12 pancakes

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound all-purpose potatoes, peeled, diced

1 pound all-purpose potatoes, peeled, grated

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cup sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

DIRECTIONS:

Place the grated potatoes in cold water. Fill a saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil; add diced potatoes and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the grated potatoes, wrap them in a tea towel and squeeze them to remove all the moisture; transfer the potatoes to a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix. Mash the cooked potatoes until creamy, then add the seasoned grated potatoes and mix the two well. Add the buttermilk, stir lightly, then add the flour and baking powder and stir again to combine well. In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons of butter over medium heat; drop dough by 1/3 cup into butter and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes per side; repeat the procedure with the rest of the butter and the dough. Serve hot with smoked salmon and sour cream or eggs and bacon.

Clover cookies

YIELD: Makes about 3 dozen cookies

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup icing sugar

1 large egg at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Green decorative sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 F. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then stir in egg and extract; gradually add flour and salt and mix well; refrigerate for one hour. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness, then cut with lightly floured cloverleaf cookie cutter; place an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, sprinkle with green sugar, and bake until edges begin to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with Irish coffee or cocoa.

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