With the coming of St. Patrick’s Day 2013, it’s that time of the year again when we embrace a beverage not usually available during the other months. I’m not talking about green beer; I mean the green Shamrock Shake at McDonald’s — available for a limited time from February to March — made “classier” in recent years by being rebranded as the McCafé Shamrock Shake. However, the newer labeling and transparent cup doesn’t hide the fact that this is pretty much the same, minty green shake of yesteryear that used to come in a paper cup, brought back to appease the nostalgic masses (much like McDonald’s does with the McRib from time to time).
It was suggested to me to compare this popular shake to another kind: one made from scratch instead of being dispensed out of a dessert machine with a mechanical lever. For this comparison, I was suggested to pull from the archive of recipes here at Cooking Channel: Hedy Goldsmith’s recipe for the Grasshopper Chocolate Mint Chess Pie Milkshake.
Continue Reading Battle of the St. Patrick’s Day Shakes: Shamrock Vs. Grasshopper
St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and that can mean only one thing. Drinking to excess. OK, it can mean only two things. Drinking to excess and green food. Chain restaurants have long been a fan of the holiday, using it to unveil all manner of themed menu items. Flip through our gallery of some of our favorites throughout the years.
St. Patrick’s Day Fast Food Gallery
Welcome to Super Food Nerds, a new column which will be written in alternating installments by me, Rupa (Food and Beverage Editor, Culinary Staff) and my colleague Jonathan (Research Librarian, same place). Each installment will be dedicated to a particular topic – how to DIY something you don’t normally DIY, how to perfect a dish usually taken for granted, plus best techniques, underlying chemistries and a handful of inexplicable preferences. Basically, if we can overthink it, we’re on it.
So, spring’s in the air, and naturally our thoughts are turning to beef. OK, that’s a lie, I was already thinking about beef — specifically, corned beef. There’s the whole St. Patrick’s Day thing, and I also really like corned beef. I’ve kept a mysterious bucket of brining beef in our kitchens’ walk-in fridge since last week, and have taken out pieces here and there to braise. After decent testing and rigorous eating, I’m pretty happy with the end result.
To make corned beef, you take a big, flavorful piece of meat and infuse it with even more flavor in the form of a salt-sugar-spice solution (aka brine) for way longer than you’d ever think you could safely keep meat in a fridge. Then, you cook it. The cumulative effect of beef, salt, sugar, spices and time is so much more than the sum of its parts that it’s sort of mind-blowing and unbelievably rewarding.
Here’s the gist (FAQ and recipe follow):
Continue Reading Super Food Nerds: How to Make Corned Beef
Shepherd’s pie: It’s serious comfort food. Thick, flavorful sauce, gamey lamb, bits of vegetables – it’s everything you want in a hearty Irish meal. However, it’s not exactly appetizer- or party-friendly. So how do you enjoy it on St. Patrick’s Day, when it’s practically required to have a beer (green or not) in one hand at all times? You transform it into a hand pie, complete with parsley “clovers.”
Continue Reading Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day With Shepherd’s Hand Pies
Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie with Hot Fudge Sauce
5 Hot Links We’re Loving:
- Happy Pi Day! It’s okay if you don’t like math, we think banana cream pie is a fine way to celebrate. — Annie’s Eats
- Boozy Foods: This St. Patrick’s Day, Irish Whiskey Butter may just be the decadent twist your soda bread needs. – Brown Eyed Baker
- Craving: Steak and mashed potatoes whipped with goat cheese. Those “meat and potato” types must be onto something. –Food52
- Not in the mood for boiled cabbage? Braise it, and throw in a little chorizo while you’re at it. — Pork, Knife, and Spoon
- In between seasons: Everyone is anxious for spring, but show some last bits of love for winter produce while awaiting the arrival of rhubarb and asparagus. — Not Without Salt
Discover more twists on St. Patrick's Day classics.
Need more St. Patrick’s Day inspiration? Check out our very best Irish Cooking recipes and menus.
Black Trumpet, Leek, and Meyer Lemon Pizzettes-- Turntable Kitchen
5 Hot Links We’re Loving:
- Mushroom-leek mini pizzas + hot hypnotic beats = new level of kitchen inspiration. –Turntable Kitchen
- #IndianFoodPalooza? We so want in. –Indian Simmer
- Boozy Foods: Gear up for St. Patrick’s Day by working a little into your food. These twice-baked potatoes are shamelessly delicious. –Dana Treat
- Technique to Try: Chopsticks to scramble your eggs. –theKitchn
- Copycat Recipe Crazy — Can you actually tell the difference? — Food.com
Continue Reading Sifted: Musical Pairings, Indian Food Palooza and Boozy Foods
Make Your Own Irish Coffee
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This year, skip the green beer (go for green cupcakes instead!) in favor of a real Irish drink. You’ll forget all about emerald-hued light beer when you taste this traditional Irish coffee. Here’s how to make it, plus recipes for cocktails featuring Irish whiskey, Guinness, Irish cream and more.
Continue Reading Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day: Drink Like You’re Irish
"Guinness still stands as a classic choice for drinkers worldwide," says Greg.
For years, Greg Engert has been my go-to source for all things beer-related. An English major turned professional beer director — essentially, a sommelier of beer — Greg currently presides over the extensive beer list at Washington D.C.’s Birch & Barley restaurant and the cool beer bar upstairs, Churchkey. His knowledge of beer is encyclopedic, but he’s never snobby about it.
So when I needed some insight into the world of Irish beer beyond Guinness, I knew he’d be able to provide.
Continue Reading Irish Beer Picks
This Irish favorite has become a favorite of mine, too. I’ll just go out on a limb and say that I’d be happy eating mashed potatoes every single day of the year if I let myself. And this delicious Colcannon, complete with the earthy flavors of kale and the creamy addition of butter and cream, makes a wonderful side dish when served with pork tenderloin, beef, and especially roasted chicken.
Continue Reading Matt’s Creamy Colcannon with Kale
People are crazy about red velvet cake. It’s beloved in the South (who remembers the Bleedin’ Armadillo Grooms cake from Steel Magnolias?) but has taken all of America by storm over the past few years — it’s found in nearly every bakery on the block. Is the obsession with red-velvet cake due to the cake’s obvious merit: tender, moist cake in an attention-grabbing hue, topped with a pouf of creamy-tart cream cheese frosting? Or do we have the rumor mill to thank? Baked goods-enthusiasts have been spreading tales for some time that the cake gets its blush from a chemical reaction between the baking soda and the cocoa powder in the recipe. This is completely false, in fact, some red velvet recipes don’t even call for cocoa. The cake gets its color from nothing more scientific than a large amount of food coloring.
So if you can make the cake red by dumping in a whole bunch of red coloring, then you can turn it any color, right? You sure can. Case in point: Green Velvet Cake for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s as easy as swapping green food coloring for red in your red velvet cake recipe. Or Chuck Hughes’ Red Velvet Cupcake recipe, if you really want the best.
Continue Reading Green Velvet Cupcakes