Luck Of The Irish

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Chocolate Mint Brownies

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Corned beef and cabbage, plus potatoes and carrots makes a great meal any time.

This St. Patrick’s Day, entertain your little leprechauns with delicious treats and fun activities that will lead them to their pot of gold

Every year in March, families celebrate the annual Irish tradition of St. Patrick’s Day with a variety of celebrations. Whether it’s attending a parade or preparing and enjoying an elaborate Irish meal, everyone has their own favorite ways to celebrate the holiday. Set your own unique traditions and rituals with some of ideas below.

Pass along the Luck

Put together lucky treat bags to pass along to neighbors. These treat bags could include cut-out, decorated and customized four-leaf clovers, chocolate coins and other goodies. Then, on St. Patrick’s Day, walk around as a family and surprise neighbors with these bags.

Treasure hunt

Set up a treasure hunt for family and friends by placing chocolate gold coins around the house. Give them a series of clues and riddles to help them figure out where to look for the coins. Equip each “hunter” with their own pot or basket for collecting the gold coins.

At the end of the hunt, reward them for their hard work with some festive brownies.

These delicious Chocolate Mint Brownies can be decorated with green gumdrops formed into shamrocks or other holiday candies. Use a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter to make these treats even more festive.

Chocolate Mint Brownies

Preparation time: 25 minutes (start to finish: 3 hours, 25 minutes); makes: 32 brownies

Brownie Base

1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)/ or similar

Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box

Filling

3-1/2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup whipping cream

1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/4 teaspoon mint extract

4 drops green food color

Topping

1/2 cup whipping cream

1, 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)

1/2 cup butter (do not use margarine)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease only bottom of 13-inch-by-9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box for 13-inch-by-9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set.

Meanwhile, in 2-quart nonstick saucepan, heat topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Cool about 10 minutes or until lukewarm.

Pour topping over filling; spread to cover. Refrigerate uncovered about 2 hours or until set. Before cutting into bars, let stand 10 minutes at room temperature. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows. For easier cutting, cut brownies with a wet knife. Store covered in refrigerator.

For more delicious baking ideas, visit www.BettyCrocker.com.

Betty Crocker® is a registered trademark of General Mills.

Source: Betty Crocker

St. Patrick’s Day Cooking: save a pint for the kitchen

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are filled with dancing, green decorations, and Irish food and beer. This year, try something new and save a pint for the kitchen.

Traditional St. Paddy’s Day favorites, like Irish stout and corned beef and cabbage, can be combined to make a delicious dish even better. Because beer pairs so well with beef, it’s only natural to cook with beer.

“Beer adds great flavor to the corned beef brisket, and can be used in other slow-cooked or braised dishes also,” says Dave Zino, executive chef for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Braising and stewing are excellent cooking methods when preparing beef such as pot roast, brisket and beef for stew. Typically, you’ll want to start by browning the meat in a bit of oil to caramelize and bring out rich beef flavors. However, corned beef brisket does not require browning.

Braising is used with large cuts of beef that are cooked whole, like corned beef brisket. When braising, the meat is simmered slowly in 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid such as beer or water to ensure moist and fork-tender results, for about 3 to 3-1/2 hours, depending on the size of the roast.

Stewing works best with cubes of beef. When stewing, the cubed meat is simmered for about 1-3/4 hours to 2-1/4 hours in enough liquid to cover the meat and other ingredients such as vegetables, resulting in fork-tender meat and a delicious broth.

Chef Dave also notes beer can serve as a substitute in many recipes.

“Beer can also be used in place of wine in recipes and is especially good in beef stews and chilis,” he says.

For mealtime inspiration and more beef cooking techniques, flavor pairings, storage guidelines and cooking tips, visit BeefItsWhatsforDinner.com.

Corned Beef with Red Currant-Mustard Sauce

Total recipe time: 6 to 10 hours; makes 6 to 8 servings

1 boneless corned beef brisket with seasoning packet (2-1/2 to 3 pounds)

3 ribs celery, cut into 3-inch pieces

2 medium onions, cut into quarters

2-1/2 cups water, divided

1, 12-ounce bottle beer

1 pound green cabbage, cut into thin wedges

1 pound red-skinned potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces

6 to 8 baby carrots, trimmed, or 4 medium carrots, cut crosswise into thirds

2 tablespoons butter, melted

Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Red Currant-Mustard Sauce

1, 12-ounce jar red currant jelly

3 tablespoons country Dijon-style mustard (Dijon mustard with visible seeds)

Place celery and onions in 4-1/2- to 5-1/2-quart slow cooker; top with corned beef brisket. Sprinkle contents of seasoning packet over brisket. Add 2 cups water and one bottle of beer. Cover; cook on high 6 to 7 hours, or on low 9 to 10 hours, or until brisket is fork-tender. (No stirring is necessary during cooking.)

Meanwhile, place cabbage, potatoes and carrots in 2-1/2-quart microwave-safe dish; add remaining 1/2 cup water. Cover; microwave on high 15 to 18 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring or rearranging once. Drain; remove and discard cores from cabbage wedges. Add butter; season with salt and pepper, as desired. Toss to coat; keep warm.

Prepare Red Currant-Mustard Sauce.

Place jelly in medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover; microwave on high 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Whisk in mustard. Cover; microwave on high 30 seconds. Stir; keep warm.

Remove brisket and carve diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with vegetables and sauce. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Courtesy of The Beef Checkoff

BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com

Source: TheBeefCheckoff

From Family Features

While the corned beef recipe above has plenty of vegetable to make a whole meal and the brownie recipe provides a great finishing dessert, a complete dinner needs some bread.

This recipe for Irish soda bread is from the Web site All Recipes.com. Unlike many recipes for the bread, this one does not contain raisins, which seem to make it a more suitable accompaniment to a dinner.

Irresistible Irish Soda Bread

Preparation time: 15 minutes; ready in: 1 hour, 25 minutes; cooking time: 1 hour, 10 minutes; makes 12 servings

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/3 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-inch-by-5-inch loaf pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture. Mix just until moistened. Stir in butter. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Wrap in foil for several hours, or overnight, for best flavor.

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