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St. Patty’s Day Party Foods

By Paul Kirk CWC, Ph.B., B.S.A.S.
Kansas City Baron of BBQ
Barbecue Guru
Order of the Magic Mop
Ambassador of BBQ
Certified Master BBQ Judge

It’s St. Patrick time and time to party. How about an Irish Coffee to start the day, or even green beer?

Irish Coffee
1 oz. Irish whiskey
4 oz. hot coffee
2 tsp. brown sugar
Lightly whipped double cream

Stir the sugar into the coffee until it dissolves completely. Add whiskey, stir again, top with whipped cream, and serve. A little Baileys added is also great.

Smoked corned beef or pastrami would be a good barbecued Irish dinner. If you are interested in turning corned beef into pastrami, this is the rub for you. Make sure it is worked in good and thick before you head for the smoker.

Pastrami Rub
5 Tbsp. kosher salt
4 Tbsp. paprika
3 Tbsp. coriander seeds
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. black peppercorns
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard seeds
1 Tbsp. white peppercorns
8 cloves garlic, minced

Soak a 12 to 14 pound corned beef risket in water overnight to purge some of the salt out of the meat. Remove the brisket from the water and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine coriander seeds, peppercorns, and mustard seeds in a spice grinder. Grind coarsely. Add in remaining ingredients and mix well. Rub is now ready to use. It may be stored refrigerated in an airtight container.

Rub the brisket with the rub and cook as desired.

Creamy mashed potatoes with butter, Greek yogurt, kale and crispy bacon is the perfect traditional Irish Colcannon dish for your St Patrick's Day dinner.

Creamy Colcannon with Kale and Bacon
2 lbs. white potatoes
8 slices bacon or pulled pork, chopped
1 head green kale, leaves washed & stalks & center vein trimmed, chopped into thin strips
1/2 c. water or stock
5.3 oz. plain Greek yogurt
6 Tbsp. salted butter
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 c. grated Cabot Alpine Cheddar Cheese
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and drop the potatoes into it. Boil the potatoes until they can be easily pierced with a sharp pointed knife, about 30 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, chop the bacon into dice and cook in a pan until almost crispy.

In another large pan, bring the water or stock to a simmer, add the chopped kale and cover with a lid.  Cook the kale for about 6-8 minutes. Set aside.

Once the potatoes are done, drain them and add them to the bowl of a stand mixer (or hand mash them if preferred). Beat until smooth and there are no large lumps visible.  Add the Greek yogurt, butter, cheese, and cream. Mix until all of the dairy is well combined.  Add the cooked bacon and nutmeg and mix. Taste and season with salt and black pepper.

Fold in as much of the cooked kale as you desire. Serve warm. This can be reheated in the microwave. Serves 4-6.

And for dessert Bread Pudding.

Bread Pudding
1 loaf French bread, at least a day old, cut into 1-inch squares (about 6-7 cups)
1 qt. milk
3 eggs
2 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 c. raisins (soaked 1-2 hours in 1/4 c. Irish Whiskey)
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Whiskey Sauce
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 c. Irish Whiskey or Jack Daniels

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place milk in a large mixing bowl and add the bread that has been cut into squares. Press the bread into the milk with your hands until all of the milk is absorbed.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the sugar, vanilla, allspice, and cinnamon. Pour over the bread and milk mixture. Add the bourbon soaked raisins and gently stir to combine.

Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Coat the bottom and the sides of the pan well with the butter. Pour the bread milk and egg mixture into the baking pan. Bake at 350°F for 35-45 minutes, until the liquid has set. The pudding is done when the edges start getting a bit brown and pull away from the edge of the pan. You can also make these in individual ramekins.

While the bread pudding is cooking, make the whiskey sauce. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan on low heat. Add the sugar and egg and whisk to blend well. Slowly cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, then remove from heat. Do not allow the mixture to simmer! (Or the sauce will curdle. By the way, if your sauce curdles, just take it off the heat and blend it smooth in a blender.) Whisk in bourbon to taste. Whisk again before serving. The sauce should be soft, creamy, and smooth.

Serve the bread pudding with bourbon whiskey sauce on the side; pour on to taste. Best fresh and eaten the day it is made. Makes 8-10 servings.

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