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Archive for St. Patrick’s Day

TIP OF THE DAY: Stenciled Cheese For Holidays (St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas…)

Add a little luck of the Irish to cheese and other foods, by creating a shamrock garnish made of herbs.

You can apply the same technique to other themes: Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day hearts, stars for Christmas, Independence Day and New Year’s, pumpkins for Halloween, and so forth.

You also can use edible glitter, which provides no flavor but adds gorgeous color.

Spices allow you to play with the colors of the garnish, for example:

  • For Christmas, make separate stencils for green herbs and red spices.
  • Red spices for hearts: cayenne, chile flakes, kebab masala, paprika, red tandoori spice blend.
  • Yellow spices or gold glitter for stars: coriander seeds, cumin, curry, fenugreek, ras el hanout, turmeric.
  • Orange spices for Halloween and Thanksgiving: Cajun seasoning, tandoori masala.
  •  
    RECIPE: STENCILED CHEESE

    Select any cheese(s) that’s moist enough to hold the herbs: burrata, cream cheese log, goat cheese log, feta, fresh mozzarella, paneer, queso panela or ricotta salata.

    Print out the shamrock stencil (or other design) here. Print out a few copies for cutting practice.

    You can make a regular stencil or a reverse stencil, both shown in the photo.

    Ingredients

  • Assorted fresh herbs, finely chopped
  • Cheese(s) of choice
  • Paper stencil
  • Small piece plastic wrap
  • For serving: bread, crackers, fruit
  •  
    ________________
    *Blend two or three herbs: dill, chervil, chives, parsley or tarragon, etc.

     

    Shamrock Cheese

    Herb & Spice Colors

    [1] Shamrock style with a stencil (photo and recipe idea courtesy Vermont Creamery). [2] Spices and herbs provide colors for any occasion (photo courtesy Renegade Expressions).

     
    Preparation

    1. CUT out the shamrock stencil and press it firmly onto the cheese.

    2. PRESS the herbs into the stencil. You can place a piece of plastic wrap over the herbs for easier pressing.

    3. GENTLY PEEL off the plastic and stencil. Clean the lines with a pointed tweezers, as needed.

    4. SERVE with bread, crackers and fruit (apples, grapes, orange/mandarin segments, pears, etc).
     
     
    TIP FOR SLICED FRUIT

    Instead of coating apples or pears in lemon juice to keep them from browning, coat them in calcium-fortified 100% apple juice.

    Here are more ways to keep fruits from browning.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Get The App, Spread The Word Before St. Patrick’s Day

    Our content doesn’t usually cover public service announcements.

    But THE NIBBLE website was built around the concept of celebrating food-oriented holidays; so we think this is an important one for us to spread the word.

    Pass these tips along to friends, kids, and anyone who will be drinking a few on St. Patrick’s Day.

    The tips are from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which wants everyone to know:

    Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.

    They suggest that in advance, you:

  • Plan for a sober ride home after the celebration.
  • Volunteer to be a designated driver.
  • Download the NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app, enabling users to call a taxi or a friend and identifying their location so they can be picked up.
  •  
    Download the app here.

    If you’re hosting an event:

  • Collect the car keys as guests arrive. Don’t return them to inebriated drivers.
  • Have the numbers of cab companies at hand, or be prepared to use your Uber account to get buzzed drivers home.
  • Plan for that extra guest to spend the night.
  •  
    WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO SPREAD THE WORD

    In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving accidents, accounting for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S., forever changing the lives of parents, children, friends and other loved ones.

    In 2015, the number increased to 10,265 deaths (2016 numbers are not yet available).

    Plan ahead. Don’t rely on the luck of the Irish.
     
     
    AND SPREAD THE WORD AGAIN BEFORE NEW YEAR’S EVE.

     

    Kiss Me I'm Sober

    NHTSA safe ride-app

    [1] Add a reminder to your St. Patrick’s Day hat, name tag, etc. [2] Download this app so you can get assistance on any day. Photos courtesy National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Spuds For St. Patrick’s Day

    Broccoli Stuffed Potato

    Basiron Green Cheese

    Colcannon Baked Potato

    Green Colcannon

    ]1] Broccoli-topped baked potato. Instead of cheddar, pick up [2] this Basiron Green Pesto Gouda (check Walmart or iGourmet). Here’s the recipe from Skinny Taste. [3] Conventional colcannon in a baked potato, versus [4] green colcannon from Food Wishes | YouTube.

     

    Turn a stuffed baked potato into a St. Patrick’s Day spud with creative toppings or fillings.

    Some work with a conventional topping of sour cream and chives; others take on a personality all their own.

    BAKED POTATO TOPPINGS

  • Corned beef and cabbage: diced corned beef and sauerkraut. Check out this recipe for Reuben Stuffed Potatoes.
  • Green vegetables: favorite cooked green vegetables(photo #1).
  • Guacamole.
  • Salad: Lightly dress a salad of baby spinach and baby arugula or watercress, and top the potato.
  • Shaved green cheese: Use Basiron Green Pesto Gouda (photo #2).
  • Sour cream and green tobiko.
  • Sour cream tinted green, topped with minced chives.
  • Spinach dip with lots of spinach and a sour cream base.
  •  
    BAKED POTATO FILLINGS

  • Pesto mashed potatoes: Scoop out the potatoes, mix with bright green pesto, season and stuff the potato shell.
  • Colcannon: Make the special green colcannon recipe, below. You can fill the baked potato, or eat the colcannon straight.
  •  
    CHEF JOHN’S GREEN COLCANNNON

    Thanks to Chef John for making colcannon more green for St. Patrick’s Day.

    Colcannon is a traditional Irish mashed potato dish made from potatoes, kale or cabbage, milk or cream, butter and salt and pepper added.

    It can also contain a member of the onion group: chives, green onions (scallions), leeks or regular onions (different types of onions and how to use them).

    Chef John makes the traditional colcannon (shown stuffed in a baked potato in photo #3) more green, by adding more kale and green onions in addition to the leek.

    Ingredients

  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces kale or chard, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 leek, light parts only, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions (scallions), chopped, white and green parts separated
  • 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons butter, for serving
  • 1/4 cup green onions to garnish
  •  
    Preparation

    1. BOIL the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and lightly mash the potatoes.

     
    2. BOIL the kale and leek in a large pot of water until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and transfer to a blender. Add the white parts of the green onions and 2 more tablespoons of butter. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed, 1 to 3 minutes.

    3. STIR the puréed kale mixture into the bowl of potatoes, and continue to mash. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    4. ADD the cream and stir until the desired texture is reached. Garnish with 2 tablespoons of butter and the green parts of the green onions. For a baked potato, the optional butter is not required. Just garnish with the green onions.

     
      

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    RECIPE: Irish Margarita

    Last month we posted quite a rant about every drink with tequila being called a Margarita.

    Most of the recipes sent to us called “Margarita” aren’t anything of the sort. The establishments are taking advantage of the popularity of the Margarita (America’s #1 or #2 most popular cocktail, alternating with the Martini).

    But, as we explained, if you want to create a Margarita with a different spirit, or use a liqueur other than orange, call it something else. Otherwise, you muddy the waters for people who’d like to understand what a Margarita is.

    THE ORIGINAL MARGARITA INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ounce blanco/silver tequila
  • 1 ounce Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • Fresh lime juice to taste (try 1/2 ounce)
  • Kosher salt for rim
  • Lime wedge garnish
  •  
    The rant explains how to legitimately vary the ingredients; for example:

  • Use aged tequila instead of the blanco.
  • Substitute blood orange liqueur or grapefruit liqueur (“grapefruit Margarita”) for the Cointreau.
  • Use a different citrus juice, e.g. grapefruit juice in the grapefruit Margarita.
  • Vary the rim, e.g. use chipotle salt.
  •  
    Tilted Kilt” target=”_blank”>The Tilted Kilt, a pub and eatery a chain, sent us a recipe for an “Irish Margarita” that substitutes Irish whiskey for Margarita’s tequila, they added the other must-haves: orange liqueur and lime juice.

    They even salted the rim.

    But they used less orange liqueur flavor, and made up the sweetness difference with agave syrup.

    We offer the recipe under its original name, though we think it should be called Margarita’s Irish Cousin.
     
     
    RECIPE: KILTED TILT’S IRISH MARGARITA

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 1.5 ounces Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • .5 ounce orange liqueur (Tilted Kilt used Patrón Citrónge)
  • .5 ounce agave nectar
  • 1.5 ounce fresh lime juice
  • Garnish: Lime wedge or wheel
  • Ice
  • Coarse salt
  •  

    Irish Margarita Recipe

    Irish Margarita

    Margarita’s Irish Sister, made with Irish whiskey at The Tilted Kilt. [2] An Irish Margarita from Restless Chipotle. It uses blue Curaçao and pineapple juice, along with peach schnapps and aperol, to create the green color; plus a sugar rim instead of salt. Irish Margarita, anyone?

     
    Preparation

    1. SALT the rim of the glass.

    2. ADD the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into the glass.

    Serve to your favorite leprechauns.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Irish Lamb Stew For St. Patrick’s Day

    Irish Lamb Stew

    Pint Of Guinness

    Arthur Guinness

    [1] Irish lamb stew, made with pearled barley. [2] A pint of Guinness, once the world’s top-selling beer†. [3] Arthur Guinness founded the brewery in 1759. It’s the world’s oldest continuing brewery (all photos courtesy Guinness).

     

    If you like lamb, there’s no better excuse to make lamb stew than St. Patrick’s Day. Lamb shoulder, the best stew cut, is also far less pricey than lamb chops or leg of lamb.

    This traditional dish is served on St. Patrick’s Day at the restaurant in Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, which provided the recipe below. Is so easy to make, that even a young cook can throw it together.

    The Guinness Storehouse is the original property leased in 1759 by Arthur Guinness for his brewery. It’s a 9,000-year lease, by the way, leading one to wonder if the landlord refused to write a 10,000-year lease.

    The property has been converted into a museum on the history of brewing and the history of Guinness.

    RECIPE: IRISH LAMB STEW

    Note that the recipe cooks the meat and the vegetables for the same time. This creates soft vegetables, the old-fashioned style.

    If you prefer your veggies al dente, add in the vegetables after 45 minutes, but cook the full amount of stock from the beginning.

    Similarly, our mom always browned stew meat before adding it to the pot. Browning helps develop more depth of flavor; some cooks even brown the vegetables and herbs. This step isn’t required in Guinness’ recipe, so we didn’t do it; although next time we will for comparison.

    Serve the stew with a side of the pearled barley, some Irish soda bread and a Guinness (or brand of choice).

    While the stew is cooking, check out the different cuts of lamb.

     
    Ingredients For 4-6 Servings

  • 2-1/4 pounds lamb shoulder cubes
  • Bouquet garni* of parsley, thyme and bay leaf
  • 3 large onions, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 3-4 carrots, diced (if carrots are slender, you can cut coins instead)
  • 2 sticks of celery chopped
  • 1 small turnip, diced
  • 1 small leek, diced
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 pints chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons pearl* barley
  • Parsley, finely chopped
  • Garnish: sprig of thyme
  • ________________

    *See the last sections, below.

     
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the meat, bouquet garni, barley, onions, carrots, celery and turnip in the pot; cover with chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for one hour.

    2. SKIM off the scum on top of the pot. Add the potatoes and continue cooking for ½ hour. For the last 5 minutes, add the leek.

    3. REMOVE the bouquet garni. Stir in the chopped parsley. Serve in bowls.

    ________________
    †According to The Street, the world’s best-selling beers are now:
    1. Snow (SABMiller/China Resources Enterprises)
    2. Tsingtao (China, Tsingtao Brewery)
    3. Bud Light (Anheuser-Busch InBev)
    4. Budweiser (Anheuser-Busch InBev)
    5. Skol (Carlsberg, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Unibra)
    6. Yanjing (Beijing Yanjing)
    7. Heinecken (Heineken International)
    8. Harbin (Anheuser-Busch InBev, China)
    9. Brahma (Anheuser-Busch InBev, Brazil)
    10.Coors Light (MolsonCoors)

    Times change: We remember back in the 1970s that Guinness was the number one beer in the world.

     

    HOW TO MAKE A BOUQUET GARNI

    A bouquet garni (French for garnished bouquet) is a bundle of herbs tied with a string. It is used in the preparation of soups, stews and stocks.

    The herbs are tied for easy removal after cooking. In situations where some ingredients can’t be tied (peppercorns or garlic cloves, for example), a small muslin drawstring bag or piece of cheesecloth is used.

    The bouquet is cooked in the pot with the other ingredients, but is removed when cooking is complete.

    There is no generic recipe for bouquet garni, but most French recipes combine bay leaf, parsley and thyme.

  • Depending on the recipe, it may also include basil, burnet, chervil, rosemary, savory and tarragon.
  • How many pieces of each? That’s up to you, similar to adding “a handful” of something. We use four of everything.
  • Vegetables such as carrot, celery (leaves or leaf stalks), celeriac, leek, onion and parsley root are sometimes included.
  • Don’t hesitate to include flavors you’d like in your recipe. In Provence, dried orange peel can be added.
  •  

    A Tip For Parsley

    Keep the parsley leaves for garnish, but tie the stalks in the bouquet garni. They have lots of flavor.
     
     
    WHAT IS PEARLED BARLEY?

    Pearl barley, or pearled barley, is barley that has been processed to remove the hull and the bran.

    All barley must have its fibrous outer hull removed before it can be eaten; but pearl barley is then polished to remove the bran layer.

     

    Bouquet Garni

    Pearled Barley

    [1] Don’t worry if your bouquet garni doesn’t look this pretty (from Recreational Witchcraft | Tumblr). [2] Pearl or pearled barley (photo courtesy BBC Good Food).

     
    With the bran removed, the barley is no longer a whole grain, but is still nutritious. Hulled barley, the whole grain form, is also known as barley groats.

    Pearl barley is still chewy and nutritious, but less so than hulled barley, which still has its bran layer.

    The polished grains are also softer and take less time to cook, about 40 minutes. That’s why pearl barley is most often used in recipes.

    You can substitute hulled barley in recipes, by adjusting for a longer cooking time.

      

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