March 17, 2010 by ritadate
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! May you be blessed with the Luck of the Irish…
St. Patrick’s Day or Paddy’s Day commemorates the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Earlier a religious holiday, the day is now a symbol of Irish culture and patriotism. It is a festive public holiday of the Republic of Ireland and celebrated with parades, wearing of the green, music and dancing.
The Irish are not known for their food(more for their wonderful beer) but that is slowly changing. Newer Irish cuisine is more exciting as Irish chefs have done justice to vegetables and seafood and have experimented with other ethnic foods as well.
Growing up in Boston I had many Irish friends but they were third or fourth generation and had moved from traditional Irish fare to American burgers and meatloaf. Meat, potatoes and cabbage make up the majority of dishes.
I have had some wonderful home-cooked meals at their homes and although many times it was hot-dogs there were a few lucky days when my friend’s mom actually cooked. I still remember a corned beef and cabbage I had at Mary Sweeney’s place. I later ordered the dish at the college canteen but it was not nearly as good.
Shepard’s pie is also a favourite of mine and after many years I cooked it at home. It was not exactly Irish, out of habit I added too much onion and garlic to the minced meat, but it was still tasty. You can’t go wrong with a meat and potato combination. The substituted chicken mince was not as good as the beef but it sufficed.
To have a St. Patrick’s Day party decorate your party area with green streamers, lots of green plants and green shamrock cut outs. Use green dinnerware if possible or green tablecloth and make as many green dishes as possible. These days the word “green” is often referred to when wanting to say environmentally friendly and that could be a side theme of the party as well.
If traditional Irish food is not your cup of tea then cook Indian food that is green in colour. There is an abundance of choice including palak chicken, palak paneer, methi matar malai, pani puri, matar rice and cucumber raita, harbara kababs and the list goes on. With coriander, palak, methi, matar and green moong the possibilities are endless.
If you want to venture to make traditional Irish food here is a menu for you.
Shepard’s Pie(substitute mince lamb for ground beef and chicken or lamb stock for beef stock)
Green Salad — toss iceberg lettuce with some cucumbers, tomatoes and your favourite dressing
Salmon With Bacon and Cabbage(substitute chicken salami for bacon)
Keep veggies with palak dip as well chicken kebabs for appetizers. You will need heavy snacks to go with the key component to the party…BEER. This is drink is the key component of an Irish bash and without it, it is just a plain dinner. Keep lots of different brands of beer, have beer drinking games and drink lots of beer…it may make you as lucky as the Irish.