Written by Kirsten Nunez
In North America, St. Patrick’s Day is prime time to embrace all things Irish-American. But you don’t have to be Irish in order to indulge in the traditional foods and hearty flavors. This year, consider hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party that extends beyond just green beer and T-shirts. It’s an awesome opportunity to experiment with ingredients and combinations that you may not eat on the regular.
This is where these party recipes come in. Each tutorial was designed with a bit of sophistication, a sprinkle of ease, and a whole lot of fun, making them ideal for a “grown-up” take on the holiday.
Instead of serving a single entrée, focus on whipping up multiple appetizers. This will make it easier for guests to socialize and mingle throughout the night.
Cabbage and Corned Beef Wraps
Known as the ultimate duo of Irish grub, cabbage and corned beef are St. Patrick’s Day must-haves. And while this combination is typically served as an entrée, you can easily use these ingredients in an appetizer that is easy to make and share. It all comes down to party-friendly preparation in the form of mini wraps.
Start by boiling eight Savoy cabbage leaves until they are soft; this should take just a few minutes. Rinse under cold water and pat dry with a clean paper towel. In a bowl, combine 1 ½ cups mayonnaise with a splash of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons each of chopped dill and parsley. Spread this mixture onto the cabbage leaves. Cut 6 slices of rye bread and ½ pound corned beef into strips. In a separate bowl, toss the beef strips with 1 tablespoon mustard. Add a few strips of bread and beef to each cabbage leaf. Roll each one up tightly and slice into three pieces. Insert toothpicks into each piece to help keep the tasty wraps together.
Adapted from Food Network.
Mini Irish Stews
A lamb stew is another meal that boasts the best flavors of Irish cuisine. It’s also easy to split and share with the use of ramekins or small cups. The final number of servings will depend on the size and type of containers you choose.
To make a hearty Irish stew, cut 2 ½ pounds of boned lamb into small, bite-sized chunks. Set aside. Peel 3–4 potatoes, 4 carrots, and 2 large onions. Cut into uniform chunks about the same size as the meat pieces. Add half the potatoes to a large pot. Follow with a layer of meat, then vegetables (carrots, onions, and 1 cup frozen peas). Top off with the remaining potatoes. Pour 2 cups low-sodium beef broth into the pot. Add 1 teaspoon each of chopped fresh parsley, dill, and thyme. Cover with a tight lid and cook for 1 ½ hours over low heat. After this time, the meat should be fairly tender. The liquid should also be thick. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Divvy up the stew among ramekins or small cups. Don’t forget to keep spoons nearby!
Adapted from Food.
Herby Buttered Potatoes
Keep the Irish tradition going with a generous helping of potatoes. This flavorful recipe calls for just 20 minutes of your time. For the ultimate comfort food, consider adding a sprinkling of shredded cheese.
Wash and dry 1 ½ pounds of baby red potatoes. Cut each potato in half. Place the halves in a large pot of water and boil until soft; this should take no longer than 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Add ½ cup room temperature butter, 1 tablespoon chopped garlic, and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Add 2 tablespoons each of chopped fresh parsley, dill, and chives. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper, to taste. Toss the mixture until the potatoes are thoroughly coated in buttery goodness. Pierce each potato half with a toothpick for an instant appetizer dish.
Adapted from Food Network.
Mini Shamrock Pies
There’s something so comforting and cozy about homemade pie. Luckily, with a little extra effort, you can make mini pies that are easy to clean up – and eat.
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out two 9-inch pie crust doughs on a clean, flat surface. Use a 4-inch wide circle cookie cutter or mug to make 12 circles. If you’d like, combine the remaining dough, flatten with a rolling pin, and cut. Mold the circles into a greased cupcake tin and set aside. In a double boiler or microwave, melt ½ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips. Stir until smooth, making sure that the chocolate does not boil or bubble. In a separate bowl, combine 3 ounces room-temperature cream cheese, ¼ cup white sugar, and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Combine with an electric mixture until completely blended. Add the melted chocolate, 2 eggs, and ¼ cup Irish whiskey and stir. Pour the filling into the mini pie crusts and bake 30–35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. In a smaller bowl, mix 1 cup whipped cream with a few drops of green food coloring. Remember, a little goes a long way! Fold until the color is uniform. Once the pies have cooled, top them off with dollops of whipped cream. Sprinkle with additional chocolate, if you’d like.
Adapted from All Recipes.
Irish Car Bomb
An Irish car bomb is a classic alcoholic beverage that doubles as an exciting party activity. And while it isn’t for everyone, it’s fun to prep and drink.
Pour ½ pint stout, such as Guinness, into a beer glass. Fill a shot glass with ½ Irish cream and ½ Irish whiskey. Baileys Irish Cream and Jameson whiskey are both excellent options. Drop the shot glass into the beer mug and drink up.
Adapted from Drinks Mixer.
Give your guests a pick-me-up by offering tasty hot Irish coffees. Consider setting up a DIY coffee table to let your guests in on the fun.
Add 1–2 teaspoons of brown sugar to a mug. Next, bring in 4 ounces strong hot coffee or 2 shots of espresso. Mix until completely combined. Add Irish whiskey according to preference and stir well. Top it off with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.
Adapted from About.com and Irish Central.
A menu of themed cocktails is one of the best ways to add personality to a celebration. And when it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, Irish-themed cocktails are the way to go. Think dark beers, whiskey, and sweet creamy liqueurs. You can also set up a mini bar for your guests to make their own drinks. Don’t forget to hang up a simple guide with brief instructions. Everyone will have a blast and you won’t have to worry about playing bartender for the night. Score.
Black Velvet: Champagne + Guinness Beer
For a fancy take on your favorite stout, turn it into a bubbly beverage served in champagne flutes.
Hot Apple Toddy: Apple Cider + Apple Liqueur + Irish Whiskey
Help guests warm up with this delicious spiked hot cider.
Dirty Leprechaun: Jägermeister + Irish Cream + Midori
The vibrant green hue of Midori makes for a fruity and colorful addition to your menu.
Spicy Irish: Irish Whiskey + Gingerbread Liqueur + Ginger Ale
Looking for a little more zest? Combine Irish whiskey with ginger-flavored ingredients for a lively concoction.
The Gunner: Hot Coffee + Irish Whiskey + Kahlua + Irish Cream
Between the coffee base and creamy additions, this creation is like a boozy latte.
Grown-Up Hot Chocolate: Hot Chocolate + Guinness Beer + Vanilla Extract
If you have a sweet tooth, this one’s for you. Adding dark beer to hot chocolate is an excellent way to spruce up a classic favorite.
Guinness Bloody Mary: Favorite Bloody Mary recipe + Guinness Beer
Make a Bloody Mary even bolder with a splash of dark beer. This works especially well for celebrations held during the day.
Now that you’re armed with an arsenal of mouth-watering recipes, the next step is to choose décor. Opt for simple decorations that emphasize the holiday without being too cheesy. Think plaid prints and a palette of green, gold, and black. And once you bring in these delightful recipes, you’ll be well on your way to hosting an elegant St. Patrick’s Day celebration.
Source: Fix.com Blog