Savory and Sweet: St. Patrick's Day Recipes

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner! With it comes the urge to not only turn everything edible green but to dish up some traditional Irish food. If you're like me, what springs immediately to mind is stinky cabbage and salty meat- no thanks. Not this year! We've got savory and sweet Irish recipes that are sure to please the eye, stomach and nose.

Savory:

Fishing is an important source of economic activity in Ireland. With the local fisherman and coastal towns, Ireland brings with it not only its majestic landscape and quaint lifestyle, but wonderful seafood. Here's is a fresh savory recipe for fish cakes accompanied with arugula.

Fish Cakes

(Adapted from Irish Pub Cooking, cookbook)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1lb starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1lb mixed fish fillets of cod or salmon (skinned)
    • Note: you can use just one type, both types together or mixture of fresh and smoked fish

  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I used panko)
  • 4 tablespoons+ vegetable oil for frying
  • Arugula and lemon wedges, to serve

Instructions:

- Cook potatoes in a pot of boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain well and mash until smooth.

- Place the fish in a skillet and add just enough water to cover. Cook on medium heat, bring to boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes until tender and cooked (don't overcook the fish or it will dry out)

- Remove from heat and drain the fish onto a plate. Once cooled enough to handle, flake fish into large chunks ensuring there are no bones.

- Mix the potatoes with the fish, fresh tarragon, lemon zest and cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and shape into 4 large patties or 8 smaller ones.

- Dust the patties with flour and dip them into the beaten egg. Coat thoroughly in the breadcrumbs or panko. Place on a plate and chill for at least 30 minutes.

- Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the patties over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side, turning carefully using a spatula.

- Serve with arugula and squeeze lemon wedges over cakes.

Sweet:

Some think that soda bread has been around for ages but supposedly it started being made in the 1800s when bicarbonate came to Ireland and was used as a leveling product over yeast because it was less expensive. Who knew?! Here is a soda recipe that is easy, full of flavor and wonderful warm or toasted with butter.

Cranberry Orange Soda Bread

Adapted from: www.tasteloveandnourish.com/2014/11/25/cranberry-orange-soda-bread/

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour (plus additional for kneading)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • zest of one medium to large orange
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter cut into small cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins

NOTE: I don't prefer golden raisins so omitted them and used a whole 12 oz. bag of fresh cranberries. If you don't have fresh cranberries rehydrate dried ones. For every cup of fresh cranberries you would need, measure out ¾ cup of the dried version. Place the dried cranberries into a glass bowl. Pour boiling water over berries until completely covered. Plastic wrap bowl to keep in the moisture until berries are rehydrated to desired softness.

Instructions :                                

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and orange zest in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix using the paddle attachment on low speed. Keep the mixer running while adding the cubes of butter just a couple at a time. Continue mixing until the butter is incorporated. This can take about 3 to 4 minutes.

  • In a small bowl or a measuring cup, beat the egg then add the milk and orange juice and whisk to combine. Stream into the flour mixture while running on low speed. Add the cranberries and golden raisins and mix just until combined.

  • Dump the dough (it will be wet) onto a heavily floured board. Knead it very lightly into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared baking sheet and lightly score an X into the top with a sharp knife.

  • Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  • Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If you have extra to share, package up some slices and spread some Irish cheer!

About the authorRebekah is a dance teacher, mother of two, and a creative soul. She enjoys cooking, baking and creating with fabric and paper.