Fabulous Green Fashions

Lovers of the color green: St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner! And let’s face it, it’s probably sacrilege not to don a lil’ shamrock on March 17. Besides, fresh and bright colours are definitely in this season.
Our sartorial tip if you’re afraid of looking like a pine tree: accessorize. A little green bracelet here and a teal watch there never hurt anybody.

For a little luck of the Irish, take a look at these fabulously green fashion finds:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/08/st-patricks-day-fashion_n_1332480.html

 

St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

Everyone is a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! Now you can cook like it too. Saint Patrick’s Day is a day for celebrating Irish history and tradition. Below is a selection of classic Irish recipes, and a few modern variations, for you to try out this Saint Patrick’s Day.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

5 pounds corned brisket of beef
6 peppercorns, or packaged pickling spices
3 carrots, peeled and quartered
3 onions, peeled and quartered
1 medium-sized green cabbage, quartered or cut in wedges
Melted butter (about 4 tablespoons)

Place the corned beef in water to cover with the peppercorns or mixed pickling spices (in supermarkets, these often come packaged with the corned beef). Cover the pot or kettle, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 hours or until tender, skimming occasionally. During the last hour, add the carrots and onions and cover again. During the last 15 minutes, add the cabbage. Transfer meat and vegetables to a platter and brush the vegetables with the melted butter. Serve with boiled parsley potatoes, cooked separately. (The stock can be saved to add to a pot roast or stew instead of other liquid.)
Champ

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 bunch green onions, sliced (about 1 1/3 cups)

Cook potatoes in pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring cream and butter to simmer in heavy small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Mix in green onions. Remove from heat. Cover and let steep while potatoes cook.

Drain potatoes thoroughly. Return potatoes to same pot and mash. Add cream mixture and stir until blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover; let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over low heat, stirring often.)
Beef and Guinness Pie

2 lb boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup beef broth
1 cup Guinness or other Irish stout
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons drained brined green peppercorns, coarsely chopped
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Rough puff pastry dough
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water

Special equipment: 4 (14-oz) deep bowls or ramekins (4 to 5 inches wide) or similar-capacity ovenproof dishes

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Pat beef dry. Stir together flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish. Add beef, turning to coat, then shake off excess and transfer to a plate. Heat oil in a wide 5- to 6-quart ovenproof heavy pot over moderately high heat until just smoking, then brown meat in 3 batches, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes per batch, transferring to a bowl.

Add onion, garlic, and water to pot and cook, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pot and stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in beef with any juices accumulated in bowl, broth, beer, Worcestershire sauce, peppercorns, and thyme and bring to a simmer, then cover and transfer to oven. Braise until beef is very tender and sauce is thickened, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Discard thyme and cool stew completely, uncovered, about 30 minutes. (If stew is warm while assembling pies, it will melt uncooked pastry top.)

Put a shallow baking pan on middle rack of oven and increase oven temperature to 425°F.

Divide cooled stew among bowls (they won’t be completely full). Roll out pastry dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch square, about 1/8 inch thick. Trim edges and cut dough into quarters. Stir together egg and water and brush a 1-inch border of egg wash around each square. Invert 1 square over each bowl and drape, pressing sides lightly to help adhere. Brush pastry tops with some of remaining egg wash and freeze 15 minutes to thoroughly chill dough.

Bake pies in preheated shallow baking pan until pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 400°F and bake 5 minutes more to fully cook dough.

Cooks’ note: Stew (without pastry) can be made 2 days ahead, cooled completely, and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.