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St. Patrick’s Day means a lot to us down here in Savannah. You know. Leprechauns, green eye shadow and hair, shamrocks everywhere, green food, green fountains, lotsa lotsa beer and booze, more leprechauns, beads, and a few more leprechauns thrown in for good measure.
The fountains bleed green for a few days to celebrate. You can literally order green eggs and ham and have no fear that you’ll receive any repercussions from eating green meat. Old (and young) fat dudes from our local Shriner’s dance around scantily clad in outfits of every and anything imaginable in our annual St. Patrick’s Day parade. People of every background and ethnicity come together and say, “Kiss me, I’m Irish!”
What is St. Patrick’s Day really about?
St. Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland and March 17th marks the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. He is credited with bringing Christianity to his people, the Irish. Legend has it that he explained the holy trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) by way of the shamrock’s three leaves, which is the local native Irish clover. The first parade to honor St. Patrick actually took place in the United States in 1762 when Irish soldiers that were serving in the English military marched through New York City. The parade (complemented by the music) helped soldiers reconnect to their Irish roots and fellow servicemen with the same background.
Irish patriotism steadily grew here in the U. S. and in 1848 the official New York St. Patrick’s Day parade was formed. This parade has over 150,000 participants putting it at the largest in the U.S. Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Savannah (that’s right….Savannah:)) also celebrate with parades containing 10,000 to 20,000 participants (and again, lots and lots of leprechauns… and booze).
Where Does Corned Beef Come in?
In Ireland it is/was traditional to eat lamb and/or Irish bacon on St. Paddy’s Day. Corned beef and cabbage is the Irish American variation on that popular festive dish. The corned beef we have here in the states is a far cry from the original corned beef of Ireland which was coined “corned” beef by the British because of the large salt crystals used to cure the meat (which supposedly resembled corn kernels).
Irish immigrants typically bought their corned beef from Jewish delis that used brisket from the front of the cow versus the hind area of the animal. The long cooking process for this tough cut of meat as well as the curing of the meat beforehand produced the supremely succulent and tender results that we’re used to today in the U.S.
The potatoes paid homage to Ireland and the cabbage was one of the cheapest vegetables available to the immigrants. And so, it stuck and is the top dish named when an American is asked to name the first Irish dish that pops in their head.
The corned beef brisket below is adapted from a recipe on All Recipes. It is not the typical boil, boil, boil but rather a roast, roast, roast take on the traditional brisket. Brisket is a very tough cut of meat and has to be cooked for an extended amount of time to achieve tender results. This is traditionally achieved with the low and slow method for brisket which is what this recipe does.
Set It And Forget It Corned Beef Brisket
- 3 1/2 LB. Corned Beef Brisket
- 1 Tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 2 onions, sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1/4 cup water
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 275°. Remove brisket from packaging. Discard seasoning pack. Rinse meat. Pat dry. Brush with kitchen bouquet. Heat oil. Brown meat on both sides. 4 to 6 minutes per side. Lay down slices of one onion and half garlic in roasting pan. Set meat on top of. Scatter rest of onions and garlic on top of meat. Add water to pan. Cover tightly. Cook 5 hours and check to see if tender. When done. Remove from oven and let sit, foil still on for another 15 minutes while you prepare the oven for the cornbread. Pull meat from pan. Let rest 10 to 15 minutes more and slice thinly across the grain of the meat. Top with a bit of the pan juice before serving.
The cabbage will be treated with only a little salt, water, and some fat from butter, which will basically steam the cabbage. I roast some potatoes and carrots in the oven with the brisket towards the end of the cook time for the brisket and then add the carrots and potatoes in with the cabbage for the final dish.
Cabbage with Carrots and Potatoes
- 2 LB Cabbage
- 1 LB Red Potatoes, Cut in quarters
- 3 Medium Carrots, Peeled and Cut on the Bias (equal to size of potato chunks)
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1/2 Cup Water
- Step 1 Cut Cabbage from core. Chop into 1″ pieces. Put in medium sized cooking vessel. Sprinkle with about a teaspoon of salt. Add Butter. Add 1/2 cup water. Set aside.
- Step 2 Sprinkle potato and carrot pieces onto a baking sheet and toss with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place on top oven rack in oven after the brisket has cooked for 4 hours. Set timer for 30 minutes. After the vegetables have roasted for 30 minutes start cabbage.
- Step 3 Cook Cabbage covered on stove top for 30 minutes on very, very low heat (I use a diffuser for this on my gas stove top). Stir every now and again.
- Step 4 Roast vegetables a total of 1 hour. Remove from oven and add to cabbage pot. Continue to cook until everything is fork tender (about 15-20 minutes longer). Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
We Southerners love to have a reason to make cornbread and cabbage and cornbread go together like peas and carrots. This is a pretty straightforward recipe that has added sweetness from the sugar.
When the meat is done cooking remove it from the oven and keep it covered with the foil. Crank the oven up to 400. Once up to temp add your prepared pan of cornbread. After 10 minutes remove the meat from the pan and let rest for another 10 minutes before slicing. Continue to cook cornbread until golden brown and cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.
- 1 1/4 Cups A.P. Flour
- 3/4 cup Corn Meal
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup Bacon Grease melted and butter melted (or use all butter)
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a 9″round pan. Mix dry ingredients together. Melt butter and/or grease. Add in buttermilk and egg and stir in butter.
- Step 2 Pour batter into pan. Bake until a pick inserted in center comes out clean. Once out of the oven slather the top with melted butter. Serve warm.
This meal is holiday fantastic, hearty, and comforting. I ate my fair share of the corned beef while I was slicing it. I like that it wasn’t overpowered by seasonings but still had a true corned beef flavor. It was tender and moist and paired perfectly with the cabbage and potato mixture. The cornbread…well…I ate three servings of that so…
I hope you get to try these recipes. If anything shoot for the corned beef. It literally does all the work itself and you almost forget it’s in the oven. I stayed around the house washing laundry and cleaning while it worked its lil heart off in the oven. My mom warned me of the strong smell corned beef has when it’s cooking all day. Not in this case. It was a pleasant cozy scent that worked it’s way from my kitchen through my home and made me look forward to dinner all the more.
Have a wonderful St. Paddy’s day and please comment below with your favorite foods, festivities and fun on this celebratory day! 🙂
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I guess my website will just have to fit into that category of healthy-ish…well in this case…NOT healthy-in any way, shape, or form. But it’s southern, as am I, and a pretty popular breakfast dish here in Georgia. I actually did not grow up eating this (well not the sausage gravy anyway) until a friend made it for me years ago-properly.
I’ve had the Cracker Barrel Version and as much as I love Cracker Barrel (and their biscuits for that matter) their sausage gravy just kinda…SuCkS. So, here’s the real deal O’Neil for your off days.Whether it be off from your diet days, off from work days, or just your “OfF” days. Hope you like it. Oh, and fry an egg too and toss on top as the icing on this buttery biscuit kinda southern cake called bReAkFaSt.
For Das Biscuits:
Numero uno. In the south, the preferred flour to use is White Lily. It’s a
southern flour that uses soft winter wheat which is lower in protein and gluten. This is ideal for biscuits, cakes, and pastries.
*2 1/2 cups White Lily All Purpose Flour
*2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
*1 Teaspoon Sugar
*1/2 Teaspoon Salt
*8 Tablespoons Salted Butter, Cold
*1 Cup Buttermilk
I make my biscuit dough the same as my pie crust, so start with really cold butter. Cold as in, “put in the freezer” butter.
Preheat your oven to 425°.
Whisk together your dry ingredients and put in a food processor. Add cold butter and pulse 8 to 10 times until the dough has little pea sized flecks of butter running throughout it.
Remove from processor and place in bowl along with buttermilk. Stir with a spatula until just combined. It will be gooey and messy. Flour your hands as well as the surface of your counter top and turn the dough out. Gently roll the dough over itself with your hands (incorporating a little of the flour from the surface) a couple of times.
Don’t Knead Too Much!
You want to handle the dough as little as possible. Using a floured rolling pin (or glass) gently roll out the dough until about 1/2″ thick. Using same glass,or a biscuit cutter,press firmly down and up to make cut outs.
Don’t Twist The Cutter!
This will press the dough’s edges down making it difficult for the biscuit to rise. Place the biscuits side by side on a greased cookie sheet (which helps them rise and makes the sides fluffy and soft).
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter.
For this recipe as soon as you put the biscuits in the oven start your sausage gravy. Once the gravy is thickened and ready to serve the biscuits should be coming out of the oven.
*1 pound Tennessee Pride Breakfast Sausage (you can use mild or spicy-I use mild)
*2 Tablespoons A.P. Flour
*1 cup Heavy Cream
*2 Cups Half and Half
*Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
Brown sausage in skillet until no longer pink. Sprinkle over flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste. Slowly add in cream and half and half and cook until bubbly and thickened. Grind in black pepper to your desired taste. Serve.
Note: You can sub in regular milk for 1 cup of the half and half to reduce some of the fat content or use all half and half if you like. Half and half is just that-half cream and half milk.
Plate up a biscuit or two. Throw some sausage gravy on top and then top that off with a fried egg..or two. Make yourself a nice cup of coffee. Kick back and plan to do nothing else for the rest of the day. You have now entered biscuit coma.
How do YOU like your biscuits? Plain? (bleck) Buttered up? Maybe stuffed with your favorite jam or dressed up with a fried egg and bacon? Comment below:)
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This week has been a doozy. Besides work and social “thangs,” I’ve also been researching how I wanted to do this whole “better eating thing.” If you’ve read any of my stuff before you know that I am a bit of sweetaholic. My dentist can attest to that. I love candy. You know, the chewy, get stuck in your teeth kind. I once described one of my favorite candies to her as long chewy tubes of candy straws filled with a sour paste that has the consistency of toothpaste. Her eyes got big and she said “Dear God, PLEASE stop eating that kind of stuff!” I laughed, but now floss after eating my candy craves.
I love chocolate. I could fib and tell you I eat only the darkest of the dark. That it comes from Ethiopia and the cocoa beans are fair trade and grown organically in rich volcanic soil…… But that’d be a lie. One big ol’ fat lie. I love Snickers. I adore Hershey’s Miniatures. Peanut M & M’s. It’s all fair
game to me. For the most part, I can control my chocolate hankerings until that dark, dark week approaches (cue the lightening storm). You know, that one in every woman’s monthly planner. And then it’s no holds barred.
I’ve read a lot lately about sugar. I’ve mentioned the atrocious amount that I pour into my morning cup (only one cup usually) each day. It actually didn’t even bother me that much (how much sugar I add to stuff) until I read the amounts of sugar that are dumped into most of the foods that I personally enjoy on a regular basis. It also made me realize how much processed food I actually consume. I’m busy. You’re busy! We are all BUSY! Who has time to think about, much less make, breakfast in the morning? Especially if you’re a parent. I usually grab a breakfast bar or even eat one of those disposable cereal bowls that naturally contain a ton of added….sugar..that I throw down my gullet sans the milk. Remember, I’m busy!
These recipes are mediterranean recipes with the exception of the breakfast. It is paleo. There are a few ideas from the paleo diet that I want to incorporate into my new eating habits like the breakfast recipes. I’m also interested in making Paleo sauerkraut. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut
are really good for your digestive track and help keep the guts good bacteria in check while also boosting your immune system. That recipe though I’ll save for another cook day.
Long story short, this post is a meal plan for breakfast lunch and dinner. The recipe is enough for two large breakfast portions. I really don’t want to make more than that because I’m not interested in eating the same thing day after day all week long. I’d rather make use of the same ingredients and make something different with each ingredient if possible.
- Home Fries with pork and kale breakfast bowl
- Kale salad with roasted sweet potato, pecans, and shaved Parm dressed with a Pomegranate vinaigrette (optionally topped with roasted shredded chicken)
- Roasted lemon thyme chicken quarters with brussels sprouts and sweet potato
This took a good 2 hours to prep everything and cook. I started with the chicken since it’s total cook time is 1 1/2 hours, and while the chicken baked I prepped everything else including tossing the whole sweet potato in the oven at the same time as the chicken.
2 Chicken quarters
1/2 lemon, sliced
4 sprigs thyme
1/2 Tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 300°. Rinse chicken and remove any excess fat or skin that’s hanging. Rinse away any organ meat that may be stuck in the back bone of the chicken. Pat dry. Gently lift skin off thigh and leg but do not detach. Season with salt and pepper and place a slice or two of lemon and 2 sprigs of thyme on top and gently replace skin. Rub skin with softened butter and salt and pepper. Top with lemon and thyme and place in foil lined baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour.
*Start prepping Veggies
One Sweet potato: prick skin all over with tines of fork or sharp knife and place on aluminum foil on rack in oven with chicken.
1/3 pound brussels Sprouts and One Sweet Potato: Cut off stem ends of brussels sprouts and cut each in half. Peel and dice one small sweet potato into 1/2″ cubes. Toss in a about a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2 cups Kale: Remove thick stem from kale and chop into bite size pieces. This will be used for the salad and the breakfast dish. Set to side.
Russet potatoes: Rinse potatoes well and leave skin on. Cut into 1/2″ cubes.
*Make the Breakfast Dish
Home Fries with Pork and Kale
1/2 pound of ground pork
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, I used Paul Pruhomme’s
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 small russet potatoes, like baby baby potatoes, or 1 large
1 cup kale, chopped for this recipe
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Heat oil in non stick pan on medium heat and add potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and toss to coat in oil. Let sit in even layer in pan for about two to three minutes until the potatoes start to brown. Stir potatoes gently and let cook and brown on all sides and cooked through, another 7 to 8 minutes.
Remove potatoes from pan and set to side. In same pan add pork and seasoning and cook about 3 minutes, breaking meat apart as you stir. Add chopped kale and cook until pork is no longer pink. Stir in potatoes. Serve.
I portion this into two bowls to have for my breakfast for two days.
Right about now, your chicken is probably hitting the one hour mark in the oven. Turn the heat up to 425°. Uncover your chicken. Turn that pan sideways and throw in in your sheet pan full of brussels and sweet potatoes. Turn your whole sweet potato over and set your timer for 15 minutes. Check your veggies and if fork tender remove from oven. If not cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Move chicken to center of oven to get skin browned evenly. Let chicken cook another 10 minutes and remove from oven along with sweet potato.
Serve chicken with brussels sprouts and baked sweet potato topped how you like it. I made mine with a pat of butter and a spoon of maple syrup. The second chicken quarter can be shredded and used to top your kale salad or had with another dinner meal if you want to bake off two potatoes and more brussels sprouts.
*Make the Salad
Kale Salad With Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Parmesan, Pecans and Pomegranate Vinaigrette
1/2 Sweet potato, diced in 1/2″ cubes and roasted
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup curly leaf kale, chopped
1 cup arugula
1/4 cup pecans, halves or pieces
Shaved Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons water
1/2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Make vinaigrette. Massage kale through hands for about a minute or so until the leaves
start to glisten, wilt, and turn dark. Toss in arugula. Add dressing to your liking. Add in additional ingredients. Serve.
Note: This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook, ” The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook”
The above makes enough for one large salad but since most of us can’t buy vegetables in small amounts you’ll probably have kale and arugula left over…and parm, and pecans. So, you’ll have plenty for more servings if needed. I made the vinaigrette exactly as it’s made in the book and kept the portion size the same to use throughout the week for my other salads, or to have for a marinade.
I realized after this cooking session that I do NOT like raw kale. I don’t. I made a kale salad back in December for this blog and although I appreciate kale and all it’s fibrous green beauty, I’ll pass on it being used raw in a dish. I feel like a cow chewing cud. Besides that, raw kale just smells like chlorophyll to me. Or at least how I THINK chlorophyll smells. It’s just a “Nah, I’m good!” for me from here on out. The salad vinaigrette and other ingredients get a thumbs up, but next time I’ll use spinach instead with the arugula.
What do you like to make/have for breakfast each day? If you had the time and inclination what kind of breakfast would you prepare to start your day and why? Leave a comment below:)
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