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There’s no fool

like an Orange Fool

… and other St. Paddy’s Day treats

By Emily Kuhl

Manassas Journal Messenger

When you think about St. Patrick’s Day and food, items like potatoes,

fish and cabbage probably come to mind. But what about juicy ham steaks,

lamb with apple stuffing and orange-filled desserts?

It’s a common misconception that traditional Irish food is bland, and

rightly so. Much of the Irish cuisine is a trove of boiled and blandly flavored

dishes. But while items like corned beef with cabbage and boxty prove to

be tried-and-true favorites, there are many flavors and recipes of the Irish

waiting to be discovered. When your family sits down to celebrate St. Patrick’s

Day this week, you can have a menu filled with traditional items as well

as lesser-known classics.

Orange Fool is a simple to make, light and delicious St. Patrick’s

Day dessert.

Since 1688 when they came to Ireland by way of South America, the potato

has long been the staple food of Ireland.

Because potatoes are so resilient, they have nourished the Irish through

cold harsh winters and times of poverty.

Potatoes are easy to grow and easy to cook, making them a mainstay of

the Irish diet.

The recipe for boxty is great for potato-lovers, and makes a wonderful

side dish for eggs, sausages or soda bread.


Also, this treat has an old poem that’s fun to recite while cooking:

“Boxty on the griddle

Boxty on the pan,

if you can’t make boxty

you’ll never get a man”


1/2 lb. raw potatoes

1/2 lb. mashed potatoes

1/2 lb. plain flour

1 cup milk

1 egg

salt and pepper to taste

Grate the raw potatoes and milk into the cooked mashed potatoes. Add

salt, pepper and flour. Beat the egg and add to the mixture with just enough

milk to make a batter that will easily drop from a spoon. Drop tablespoon

fulls onto a hot griddle or frying pan. Cook over moderate heat for 3-4

minutes on each side. Recipe yields 8 servings.

Another traditional dish using potatoes is Colcannon. This side dish

is a smooth, buttery potato-mixture laced with cabbage and leeks.


1 medium head of cabbage, quartered with the core removed

2 lb. of potatoes, scrubbed and sliced with skins left on

2 medium leeks, washed and sliced

1 cup milk

12 tsp mace

2 garlic clove

8 Tblsps unsalted butter salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of salt water to boil and boil the cabbage until tender,

about five minutes. Drain off the excess water and chop the cabbage, then

set aside.

Bring another pot of water to a boil and boil the potatoes until tender.

Drain off the water and set aside.

Put the leeks in a saucepan, cover with milk and bring just to boiling.

Then turn the heat down to a simmer until tender and set aside. Add the

mace, salt and pepper and garlic to the pot with potatoes and mash together

well. Add the leeks and milk to the potato mixture, being careful not to

break down the leeks too much. Add more milk if necessary to make it smooth.

Mash in the cabbage, and lastly the butter. The texture should be smooth

with the cabbage and leeks distributed throughout well.

Transfer the mixture to an oven safe dish and place under the broiler

to brown. Recipe yields six servings If you want something traditional but

would rather forgo the potatoes, try some corned beef and cabbage with mustard

glaze. The beef and cabbage dish is a must-have for any authentic Irish

meal, and it’s very easy to make. The mustard glaze provides a nice zing

if the main dish is too plain for you. A sour cream/horseradish sauce may

be substituted for a creamier taste.

Corned Beef and Cabbage with

Mustard Glaze

1 onion

4 whole cloves

4 lbs. corned beef

2 parsley sprigs

8 peppercorns, whole

2 lbs. cabbage

Horseradish sauce:

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. prepared horseradish

Mustard Glaze:

12 cup brown sugar

13 cup mustard

Peel the onion and stick it with cloves. Put the corned beef, onion,

parsley and peppercorns in a large pot and cover with water. Cover, bring

to a simmer and cook until tender, about two and a half to three hours.

Cut the cabbage into wedges and core.

Add this to the pot, cover and simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.

Combine the sour cream and horseradish for the sauce. For the mustard glaze,

about an hour before serving, mix the glaze ingredients and spread over

the meat mixture. Place that in an oven safe dish and bake at 325 degrees

for about 30 minutes for the glaze to soak in thoroughly. Recipe yields

eight servings.

Looking to stick with the Irish menu without cooking a predictable meal?

Try lamb loins filled with an apple and ginger stuffing. The lamb is a nice

change of pace from the everyday beef and poultry dishes, and the stuffing

adds lots of flavor.

Lamb Loins with Apple and Ginger Stuffing

3 lbs. loin of lamb, boned

2 cloves garlic

2 cups cider, preferably hard

2 cooking apples

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. ground ginger

For the stuffing: peel and core the apples and slice them thin. Put

the apples into a saucepan and add lemon, sugar and ginger. Cook them over

a low heat so the apples are soft, and set aside to cool. Preheat the oven

to 400 degrees.

Trim the fat and remove the skin from the lambs. Lay it out on a cutting

board with the fat side down. Spoon the apples onto the center of the meat,

then roll it up and tie with twine or string. Peel the garlic and cut into

slivers. Pierce the lamb rolls with a knife and insert the garlic slivers

into pockets, and season with salt and pepper. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

Heat the cider and pour it over the lamb. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees

and cook for 45 minutes, basting frequently. Recipe yields four servings.

If you’re in the mood for pork, the recipe for ham steaks with whiskey

sauce is perfect. Although not usually associated with Irish meals, these

sweet and tangy steaks are no less authentic than the usual boiled dishes

and soups.

Ham Steaks with Whiskey Sauce

4 ham steaks

2 tsps. chopped onion

1 tsp. brown sugar

1 oz. flour

1 oz. butter

34 cup water

salt and pepper to taste

whiskey to taste (about 2 tblsps.)

Brush the ham with butter. Trim the fat and grill the steaks for 7 to

8 minutes until brown. For the sauce, fry the onions in the remaining butter.

Remove them from the heat and gradually stir in the flour.

Add the water and return to heat. Add the sugar and boil. Simmer this

until the flour is cooked and the mixture is thick.

If it’s too thick, add water. Add whiskey to season and pour over the

steaks. Recipe yields four servings.

Finally, for a dessert that will really please your palate, try Orange


This lightly whipped dessert is almost like a citrusy mousse.

The whipped cream makes it airy, and the liqueur provides just enough

kick to keep it from being boring.

Orange Fool

18 cup orange zest

2 cup whipping cream

12 cup orange juice

12 cup superfine or confectioners sugar

2 tblsps. Grand Marnier, Curacao or Triple Sec

Mix the juice, sugar and zest in a large bowl and stir well. Allow this

to sit for about 15 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it is stiff but not dry.

Fold the orange mixture into the whipped cream and spoon it into martini

or sherbet glasses, and garnish with more zest or candies.

Allow it to chill overnight or for several hours in the refrigerator.

Recipe yields four servings.

Recipes and information provided by May Kemp of Upper Marlboro, Md., as

well as various online message boards.

Contact Emily Kuhl at [email protected].



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