Tim Rogers picks out a big cabbage to use for our corned beef and cabbage dinner. Photo By Karen Boughton

 “Top o’ the Morning” to all our readers! As you know, St. Patty’s Day is in a few days and there’s lots to be excited about when it comes to Irish food. If any of our Irish readers have a few authentic recipes they would like to share in my column, please send them to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I collected a few recipes myself when I visited Ireland back in 2008 and funny thing, most of them were very modern with a continental cuisine twist. I did try a few heritage recipes, including confit of chicken with black pudding. Ugh, I will pass on this next time.

I was blown away by the lodging accommodations I secured just outside Dublin. It was at Clontarf Castle, established in 1172. This castle was so authentic, complete with an enormous entrance bridge. In the massive lobby was a very impressive, full-size, antique coat of armor, 6 feet tall. Weapons and other antiquities graced the great hall. My room, more like a suite, had a Juliette balcony that overlooked the coast on the Irish Sea. It was too bad I was all alone on this trip as it was a bit eerie when I crawled into bed.

I had a dining advantage in the city. I have a friend born and raised in Dublin who had moved back home a few years earlier. She picked me up and we enjoyed a few wonderful meals around town and even a pint or two at the oldest bar in Dublin, Brazen Head, established in 1198, where we eagerly joined in with the locals by singing lively Irish music ‘til the wee hours of the morning! Well, enough with the travel stories. “Please Join our table” as we enjoy a few Irish recipes new and old…

A few years back, I shared an Irish soda bread recipe but here is a nice alternative from soda bread that I adapted from a Food Network recipe.

 

Pepper Jack Irish Potato Rolls

1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 pack instant yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 medium russet potato, about 1/2 pound
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon horseradish sauce
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 1/4 cups grated pepper jack or sharp cheddar cheese, divided
3 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter

In a medium bowl, combine the water, yeast and 1 1/2 cups of the flour and stir until combined. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until double in size with large bubbles on the surface, 20 to 30 minutes. Poke the potato all over with a fork. Microwave until tender, 8 to 10 minutes, turning it over 1/2 way through cooking. Let it cool. Peel the potato then grate it on the largest holes of a box grater. Combine the butter, sugar, salt, horseradish and mustard powder in a large bowl or a stand mixer. Beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed about 2 minutes until light and fluffy, or with hand mixer or by hand about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the eggs and grated potato until combined, then beat in the yeast mixture and 1 1/2 cups cheddar until well mixed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually beat in the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour until the dough starts coming together in a soft, sticky ball. Shape into a loose ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 24 pieces (I use scissors for this step). Shape each piece into a ball, dusting with flour, and place in the baking dish so they are touching.  Spray a sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and loosely cover the rolls, oiled-side down. Bake until just firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Uncover, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Continue baking, uncovered, until the rolls are golden brown and the cheese is melted, about 20 more minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.

This is from my Irish-Scottish American family. According to Ancestry.com, our Irish names are Mulderrig and Mulready. Our Scottish name is Clan Donnachaidh. As you may not have known, I am only 1/2 Greek!

 

Easy Corned Beef and Cabbage

 4 pounds corned beef, rinsed well
Cold water
1 sprig thyme
Several sprigs parsley tied together
1 onion stuck with 6-8 cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon pickling spice tied up in a small piece of cheesecloth
2 onions
2 whole carrots
1 cabbage, about 2 pounds, cut in 8 pieces
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley

Tie the beef and put it into a large pot. Cover it completely with cold water. Add the other ingredients except the cabbage and bring very slowly to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 3 hours, skimming foam as necessary. After 3 hours, remove the thyme, parsley, pickling spice and clove-spiked onion. Add the cabbage and simmer another 15-20 minutes. Remove the meat and carefully cut the string. Place on a platter with the drained cabbage and carrots cut into 2-3 inch pieces. Top with butter and sprinkle with roughly chopped parsley. Serve with horseradish and/or mustard sauce.

Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for Amana.in studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.