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Every year, many parts of the U.S. celebrate St. Patrick's day on March 17th as a time to reflect on their Irish heritage. Usually this is done through good food, green beer and a lot of festivities in the name of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. If you plan to celebrate with your family and friends this year, consider serving these festive dishes.
1. Breakfast: Spinach Pancakes and Corned Beef Hash
Treat yourself and your loved ones to a special surprise this St. Patrick's Day with green pancakes. These delicious breakfast treats aren't made from artificial dyes or any other unhealthy ingredients, but spinach. Complement your flapjacks with some savory corned beef hash, a traditional Irish meal that will get everyone into the spirit of the day.
Combine the spinach, flour, chives, milk, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a pinch of black pepper. Blend in a blender on medium-high, until completely mixed and bright green. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.
Over medium heat, add about 1 teaspoon of butter to a large nonstick skillet. Heat through, until foaming subsides and ladle about 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto the skillet. Spread it lightly with the back of your spoon or ladle. Pour one or two pancakes, spacing them evenly apart. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, until the top begins to bubble and the undersides are brown and crisp. Flip with a spatula and cook another 2 minutes on the other side. Serve immediately and repeat with the remaining batter, adding more butter to the skillet as required. The batter should make about 8-10 pancakes.
Top each set of pancakes with 1/2 cup canned or prepared corn beef hash, one fried egg and a sprinkle of chives.
2. Lunch or Dinner: Vegetable Shepherd's Pie
As March is National Nutrition Month, try this healthy twist on traditional shepherd's pie, featuring a variety of vegetables to create a meal that's tasty and good for you.
Cover the potatoes with water in a large pot, season with salt, cover and boil until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. While the potatoes cook, heat the oil in a stovetop casserole dish over medium-high heat. Pour in the garlic, turnips, carrots and onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook for around 8 minutes, until the vegetables are brown. Add 1 1/2 cups of cooking liquid from the potatoes into the casserole dish. Lower heat and scrape any browned bits with a wooden spoon.
After tying the parsley stems with twine, add to the casserole. Cover and simmer for 8 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, chopped veggie burgers and 2 tablespoons of butter. Warm completely, for about 5 minutes. Remove the parsley stems and add the chopped parsley, stirring until thoroughly combined. Keep warm while you drain the potatoes and mash with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and the milk. Season with salt and pepper and spoon over casserole. Broil for 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
3. Dessert: Irish Tea Cakes
Finish off you Irish meal with a delicious and buttery Irish tea cake. These go great with an afternoon tea or coffee and complete any lunch or dinner with a rich burst of flavor.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch round pan. Combine the sugar and butter in a medium bowl and cream together until fluffy in light. One at a time, beat in the eggs, mixing thoroughly until completely incorporated. Stir in the vanilla slowly.
Mix the baking powder, flour and salt and stir into the batter with milk. Add another tablespoon of milk if the batter is too stiff. Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Then turn out onto a serving plate and dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.