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Sunday, March 17, 2013

A supper for St. Paddy's Day

My youngest daughter’s birthday is today—shh! I’m not saying how old. She’s getting sensitive about it. I always thought corned beef and cabbage would be appropriate for her birthday, but from her youngest days she had another idea: tacos! Make them yourself tacos! I got so tired of chopping tomatoes and onions and lettuce for twenty of her nearest and dearest (they varied over the years). This year she’s requested cheese enchiladas (she’s making them), beans (from a local restaurant), fruit salad (I’ve cut up a whole pineapple, cantaloupe, mango, 2 lbs. strawberries, washed pint of blueberries—I always get the chopping!).

Her menu leaves me with no Irish food to celebrate the day, so last night I fixed an Irish supper for a friend. I wasn’t quite up for the heaviness of corned beef and cabbage so I made a Reuben casserole—with some trepidation, I must admit, but it was really good. Then I worried about salad—coleslaw didn’t sound right for a dish with kraut in it, neither did a green salad. Besides, I realized you have to have potatoes with an Irish meal. My friend told me that once in Ireland her husband ordered assorted vegetables—they turned out to be mashed potatoes, hash browns, and one other potato dish! So I made what the Web assured me is an Irish potato salad (above). I’m a little late with these recipes for St. Patrick’s Day this year, but save them for next. Also I forgot to take a picture of the casserole until after we’d eaten, so please pardon the picture of a half eaten casserole. It works in a way because I thought I was making just enough for two—I ended up with about half the casserole left.

 Reuben Casserole

 About 6 oz. corned beef, diced (I had the deli counter thick slice it and then I diced)
1 cup sauerkraut, drained and then squeezed dry
Four green onions, mostly white part, chopped
½ c. grated Swiss cheese
½ c. grated cheddar cheese (I used sharp)
¼ cup Thousand Island dressing (I always make my own—equal parts ketchup and mayo, in this case about 3 Tbsp. each with 1/2 teaspoon pickle relish and a dash of Worcestershire)
3 Tbsp. mayo

Mix all together and put in a casserole dish. The more shallow the dish, the more room for crumb topping.

For topping:

2 slices rye bread—crumbed in food processor
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
Mix and spread over casserole. Bake at 350o for 40-45 minutes. Topping should be crunchy and browned.

Irish potato salad

2 baking potatoes, peeled, sliced and boiled until tender, then cooled (do not overcook so that they fall apart)
4 green onions
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Equal parts mayo and sour cream (I used ¼ c. each), mixed

Spread a layer of potatoes in serving dish, cover with mayo/sour cream sauce, sprinkle with bacon and green onions. Repeat layer. Refrigerate until chilled (3-4 hours)

 Serve with green beer—or a nice wine. No green wine, please.


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