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Taste of the Irish

Enjoy the flavors of St. Patrick’s Day with these traditional dishes and desserts.

Irish Soda Bread – Courtesy of Ina Garten Ingredients 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for currants 4 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch dice 1 ¾ cups cold buttermilk, shaken 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon grated orange zest 1 cup dried currants

Directions Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is mixed into the flour.

With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Combine the currants with 1 tablespoon of flour and mix into the dough. It will be very wet.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.

Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Shepherd’s Pie – Courtesy of Ingredients 1 ½ lbs ground round beef 1 onion chopped 1-2 cups chopped mixed vegetables (carrots, corn and peas) 1 ½ - 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and quartered 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, divided ½ beef broth 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce Salt and pepper to taste

Directions Boil potatoes in salted water for until tender (about 20 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Meanwhile, melt four tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter in large frying pan over medium heat. Saute onions until tender (about 10 minutes). Add the vegetables and ground beef to onions and sauté until no longer pink. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper (optional) and beef brother. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes. Add more beef broth if mixture looks dry.

Mash the potatoes in a bowl with the remainder four tablespoons (1/2 stick) of butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Evenly spread the beef and vegetable mixture into a 9”x13” inch baking dish. Layer the mashed potatoes on top.

Cook in oven for 30 minutes or until casserole is bubbling and brown.

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes – Courtesy of Dave Lieberman Ingredients ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes 2 cups sugar 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda Pinch of salt 1 bottle stout beer like Guinness 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 3 large eggs ¾ cup sour cream 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature ¾ to 1 cup heavy cream 1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar

Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda and salt.

In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter and vanilla. Beat in eggs one a t time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filing each ¾ full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.

For the icing, in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth.

Top each cooled cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa.

Colcannon Potatoes – Courtesy of Taste of Home Ingredients 2 pounds cabbage, shredded 2 cups water 4 pounds potatoes, peeled and quartered 2 cups milk 1 cup chopped green onions Salt and pepper to taste ¼ cup butter, melted Crumbled cooked bacon and minced fresh parsley

Directions In a larger saucepan, bring cabbage and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving cooking liquid. Keep cabbage warm.

Place cooking liquid and potatoes in a large sauce pan and add enough additional water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-17 minutes or until tender. Drain and keep warm.

In a small saucepan, bring milk and onions to a boil; remove from heat. In a large bowl, mash potatoes. Add milk mixture; beat until blended. Beat in the cabbage, salt and pepper. Drizzle with melted butter, bacon and parsley.