Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I’d be willing to bet butchers sell more corned beef today than any other day of the year. The brined and seasoned cut of brisket is likely simmering on many stoves right now, awaiting cabbage, soda bread, and a pint of Guinness. Some say traditional Irish St. Patrick’s day meals didn’t include corned beef, rather Bacon and Cabbage-apparently the corned beef became popular with Irish-American immigrants in the late 1800s. Others claim the dish was quite popular through the 1800s, the curing technique used to store the beef when there was no refrigeration in Ireland. Either way, I happen to like my corned beef piled high on rye with cole slaw and Russian dressing, decidedly not Irish, I know. But for those of you still motivated to fire up the Irish version, here is a recipe that couldn’t be any easier. Corned Beef with Cabbage from Darina Allen’s book Irish Traditional Cooking (via The Bellingham Herald) cooks in 3-4 hours and yields a deliciously tender piece of meat. Finish it off with Irish Whiskey Cake from the Washington Post and you’re all set.
Did you know that just one ounce of chicken liver has 20% of your daily requirement of iron? I love so many things about chicken livers, and the nutritional value is just one. Yes, they are high in cholesterol so keep an eye on that, and don’t eat them every day. But, as an occasional treat, they’re cheap and full of flavor-we should all cook them a bit more often. As a kid my mom would coat them in seasoned flour and pan fry then in oil and butter-still one of my favorite ways to eat them. Today I actually spotted two recipes for chicken livers. One comes of Pizzeria Mozza, via the LA Times, for their Chicken Liver Pate. Pancetta, Cognac, and capers perk up the buttery taste of the chicken livers and the entire mixture is coarsely chopped, creating a rustic pate that is not your mom’s chopped liver. The Washington Post has a recipe for Crispy Chicken Livers with Lime. This appetizer, made straight from ingredients you’re sure to have in the pantry, makes for an inexpensive and addictive snack. If you haven’t tried chicken livers lately, give ’em a shot.
Salads in general do not get me excited. I’ve never been one to count a salad as a meal, as much as I know I should. I’m always on the hunt for exciting ways to liven up my greens in the hopes of motivating me to eat them more often. This recipe from The Seattle Times, for Spring Salad with Beets, Prosciutto, and Creamy Onion Dressing, looks like it will definitely fit the bill. I love to cook fresh beets, and did you know you can keep them in a fridge for 3-5 days once they’re done? Perfect when you want to throw them in your salads at the last minute. Homemade dressing is another essential, this version made with pureed caramelized onions. It is sure to be better than any version you buy at the supermarket. Check the ingredients on the next bottle you buy-I’ll bet you’ll be able to pronounce or recognize about 10% of the ingredients-the stuff is just plain bad. Adding crunchy prosciutto (who needs bacon bits?) and mixed baby greens makes this one amazing salad-one even I could get excited about.
Happy Reading and Happy Cooking!