It’s Saint Paddy’s Day, the Mardi Gras of all Irish holidays. Shamrocks, Erin go Bragh, Leprechauns, the wearing of the green and of course, beer. I wish Erin would go braless, but that’s a different story.
For this chronicle of the Saint Patrick history I have done hours of research and drank numerous green beers. Here is what I have come up with.
First, the history.
Little is known of Saint Patrick other than he was born to Jewish and Japanese parents in Roam Britain in the 4th century. At age sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and indentured into slavery in County Mayo. He escaped a few years later and took refuge in a Swiss Monastery, taking the name “Ham” to avoid being recaptured. There he lived a simple life as a citrus fruit cart vendor until he was cited with a traffic violation when he parked his fruit cart less than ten meters from a fire hydrant. At his booking, the village constable discovered his name was Patrick, not Ham and he notified the local vicar that Patrick had been arrested. The church elder then sent back his famous reply, “Bring me the Ham & Swiss, hold the Mayo.”
The commemoration of Saint Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, was first observed in the early 17th century by the Irish. Among those celebrating in the first holiday gala in 1649, were Mick Jagger, Sinead O’Connor and Paddy O’Furniture.
Today, St. Paddy’s Day is a major holiday in Boston and New York City. The city of Chicago dyes the Chicago River green. Seattle paints street signs along the parade route green and numerous cities dye fountains, canals and stoplights green.
Of course, food is an important part of the St. Patrick celebration. My search for an Irish cookbook was indeed a daunting task. The most famous book about Irish cooking is of course the…Book of…Let’s see. The…wait a minute…It’s the… Hmmn. Potatoes, beer, hold on a second…I’ll get it, the book of…
Okay, there is no Irish cookbook.
But that doesn’t stop us from wearing the green, drinking green beer and sporting shamrocks and leotards and shoes with buckles on them. Have fun and after the parade stop in at an authentic Irish pub. Order the Irish speciality burger, have a pint and celebrate.
Luck o’ the Irish Burger
1 8 Oz. Beef Patty
1 Soda Bread Bun
½ Cup Braised Green Cabbage
2 Slices Knockanore Plain Cheddar Cheese
3 Oz. Sliced Corned Beef
1 Hash Brown Patty, Fried
For the braised cabbage:
1 Head Green Cabbage, Sliced
4 Slices Smoked Bacon, Diced
½ Onion, Julienned
½ Cup Cider Vinegar
½ Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tsp.Caraway Seeds
Sea Salt/Freshly Ground Black Pepper
For the burger:
Preheat grill to high temperature. Season hamburger patty with salt and black pepper and grill over high heat until cooked to desired temperature. In small sauté pan over medium heat, warm braised cabbage and corned beef. Place cheese on burger patty and allow to melt. Top with hashbrown patty. Top the burger with cabbage and corned beef and replace top of bun. Enjoy!
Check these fries out. easier to do at home than you think and they rock!
4 Russet potatoes, Cut in Wedges
2 Cups Flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1 Bottle plus ¼ of Bottle Guinness Beer
¼ Cup Cornstarch
Pat fries dry.
Combine rest of ingredients in a bowl and whisk until the texture of pancake batter.
Dip fries in batter until coated and deep fry in small batches until golden.
Take a peek at the slideshow to see highlights of St. Paddy's Day.
Remember, a face without freckles is like a sky without stars.