Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

St. Patrick’s Day can be a nightmare for people interested in food blogs. From the deluge of posts on corned beef & cabbage, soda bread, everything being green and all the other non-at-all Irish “traditions” you could easily have a heart attack trying to sort through all of it. What is a food blogger to do?

Do something different, and keep it simple.

What did I come up with? Put Irish whiskey in everything!

I have enjoyed Jameson Irish Whiskey many times in the past, but it had been quite a while since I had had it. So it made sense to use it in my dinner and enjoy a little as I worked.

Jameson Irish Whiskey

Jameson’s pours with a light amber color. The aromas eluded classification for me which I found odd. In the taste I found sweetness with vanilla, caramel and other spice flavors. Honey showed up in the finish. It is as smooth and sweet as I remember and it went down too easy so I am now blogging under the influence!

We opened with a pairing of Kerry Gold Reduced Fat Aged Cheddar with the whiskey. We were both hungry and the creamy aged cheese really provided what we needed. Margot expressed the aged notes like good parmesan. That is definitely a vote of confidence. The whiskey & cheese combination created new savory flavors, with roasted fennel being the one we both picked out. Pretty cool!

For dinner we paired a brown sugar & whiskey broiled salmon with Colcannon, a mash of potatoes, leeks and cabbage.


5 large potatoes
1 head cabbage
3 leeks
1 cup skim milk
2 Tbsp light vegetable oil spread
2 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
Nutmeg, salt & pepper to taste

Peel, cut and cover the potatoes with water with large pot. Boil for mashing. Slice the leeks and cook them in the milk over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, or until soft. Slice the cabbage and boil in water for 15 minutes. Once all of the ingredients are cooked, mash the potatoes, stirring in the cabbage and leeks. Add the vegetable spread, whiskey, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Allow the vegetable spread to melt and stir to combine all the ingredients.

Broiled Whiskey Salmon

½ pound salmon filet
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Jameson Irish Whiskey
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 shakes red pepper flakes

This recipe was adapted from the Irish Whiskey Brown Sugar Salmon recipe that fellow food blogger Megan from the Travel, Wine & Dine blog forwarded to me when I put out the call for recipes containing Irish whiskey.

Mix the last four ingredients to create the marinade for the fish. Pour the marinade over the fish and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Heat a cast iron grill pan under the broiler until hot. Lay the fish on the grill pan and return to the broiler. Broil for 3 minutes and pour the remaining marinade over the fish. Broil until cooked through. After tasting the cooked fish Margot and I both agreed that some additional acid is required in the marinade, with vinegar being the first thing we thought of.

( very simple, with no flair! )

The fish was sweet with a slight hint of heat from the red pepper. The smokiness from the whiskey was found in the molasses flavors produced by the caramelized sugar. The Colcannon was new for us and Margot was definitely unsure of it from my mere mention of it last week. She “hates” cabbage. Cabbage is definitely an acquired taste and one too many times of being around stinky boiled cabbage could create quite an impression. Thankfully the way it is prepared here retains only some of its aroma and flavor, but adds quite a bit of texture to the dish. The leeks add the onion flavor that really brings the whole dish together. I suspect I will be making this again!

For dessert I went simple and baked sliced apples with sugar and spices, topping them with vanilla frozen yogurt and a whiskey caramel sauce. I won’t bother with the instructions on this one, allowing you to use your imagination!

( I used large ramekins and then ended up having too much space, so they weren't pretty. tasty, though! )

Baked Apples with Vanilla Frozen Yogurt & Whiskey Caramel Sauce

2 Fuji apples
2 tsp Demerara sugar
1 tsp of a combo of Nutmeg, cinnamon & allspice
Vanilla frozen yogurt
¼ cup sugar
1/8 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp Jameson Irish Whiskey
Water to cover sugar in sauce pan
(Makes 2)

The sips of Irish whiskey as I worked definitely stacked up. With that I am definitely participating the familiar (from college) tradition of getting a buzz for St. Patrick’s Day!

No matter whether and how you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day we hope you enjoy it. Raise a glass of something and join in the fun!




Belinda @zomppa said...

Your advice is quotable - put whiskey in everything! =) Indeed, everything looks so good!

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

This looks like a fabulous meal!

Steve said...

Classic Irish ingredients...especially the Kerry Gold butter! Can we have St. Patti's day over again for this year?

Stephanie said...

Everything is better with a liitle whiskey, right? This looks like a great meal and definitely appropriate for St. Patrick's Day!