For all you hibernophiles out there – Irish lovers of whom we have 40 million in this country — join in the fun. St. Paddy’s Day on Saturday, March 17 provides an annual excuse for kickin’ up your heels, doing the Irish jig, and having a grand old hooley at home or your favorite pub.
Warm the cockles of your heart with a steamy cup of Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino or immune-boosting powerhouse Green Tea at Starbucks. Whet your whistle with a Shamrock Shake at Mickey D’s.
Edgy bars are whipping up green martinis — gin- or vodka-based, blended with cucumber and pickle juice or spinach and arugula for an anti-oxidant oomph. Classic Irish coffee is served in stemmed glasses.
Try Irish Italian fare with pesto and spinach pasta or a St. Patrick’s pizza topped with green peppers, green olives and onions, chopped broccoli, Brussels, kale or chard.
Delis do moss green matzo balls, pubs do chili con blarney. Einstein Brothers’ contribution is green chili bagels, while La Jolla Cove’s Brockton Villa will have Guinness flowing like the River Shannon with Irish Lamb Stew. Beaumont’s Eatery in Bird Rock will serve Corned Beef and Cabbage washed down with a Black and Tan (pale ale blended with a darker one like Guinness).
Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!For your just desserts, O’Brien’s Boulangerie in Del Mar does authentic Irish Soda Bread with a mother lode of lurrents, caraway seeds and butter, and Shamrock Sugar Cookies. Cupcake Love in Solana Beach bakes a batch of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Guinness and Whiskey Treats.
When making corned beef and cabbage, buy an organic cabbage and corned beef brisket (grass fed where possible), and toss in some healthful roots like Technicolor carrots, turnips and parsnips, pearl onions and miniature redskin creamer spuds.
When whipping up colcannon, use organic redskin potatoes and cabbage, go easy on the butter and swap out sizzling rashers (pork bacon) for turkey bacon.
Skip drisheen, a rich, black pudding made from the blood of cows or pigs, crubeens (pig’s feet) and tripe (cow’s innards), and serve a lighter side dish like boxty (a baked potato cake).
If cholesterol is not your concern, prepare a St. Paddy’s feast with a Dublin Lawyer (freshly steamed lobster meat dredged in a whiskey cream pepper sauce), paired with roasted herb fingerling potatoes with a white truffle oil drizzle, fine string beans, and a bittersweet chocolate mint Irish trifle for dessert.
Irish Shortbread Cookies
Last time I baked these melt-in-your-mouth morsels, my family and friends raved ad nauseam. I was sure they kissed the Blarney stone!
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter (where possible, Irish butter), at room temperature
1/2 cup of golden brown sugar
2 cups of unbleached flour
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 300º F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until fluffy and whipped. Beat in the sugar and add the salt. Gradually add the flour, 1/3 cup at a time until well blended.
Turn out the dough on a floured board and roll out 1/4-inch thick. Using cookie cutter of your choice, cut out dough, and transfer to cookie sheets, spaced 1-inch apart. Bake until cookies start to turn golden, about 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. These can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days.
—For additional St. Paddy’s Day recipes, email