St. Patrick’s Day Celebrating with Food and Fun

Quite a bit of time has past since my last post, but my food experiences have continued.  I am now working in the food industry and the best part of my new job is getting paid to do what I love…experience food.

Last year I joined a group of food bloggers, I should say more accurately a group of foodies most of whom blog about food.  The group generally gets together once a month at Creative Culinary’s house to chat, discuss food, blogging, share food, and have a fun time.  A couple of weeks ago several of bloggers were invited to stop by, Fado Irish Pub and Restaurant in Denver.  The group was greeted by Glen Eastwood, the general manager.

Glen took us through a paired tasting of beer and food from the menu. We started with Smoked Salmon Bites, a traditional cold oak smoked salmon on a boxty blini with capers, onions, and a very light horseradish sauce. I had never heard of boxty…and Glen, who is from Dublin, confessed that he hadn’t heard of it until he started working at Fado. He explained that boxty is an Irish potato pancake that comes from the northern region of Ireland near Ulster. It makes sense that a country known for its potatoes would have potato pancakes! While I’ve never made boxty I’ve made many variations of potato pancakes, mainly Latkes. I provided a recipe below if you’d like to try boxty.

The salmon bites were paired with with Westmalle Trappest Ale, a golden ale. The light ale, with its subtle effervescence, complemented the rich almost buttery texture of the salmon. The beer cleansed the palate of the flavorful oiliness of the salmon.

Next came a traditional Shepherd’s Pie, with ground sirloin, diced veggies in a rich beef sauce topped with colcannon (mashed potatoes and cabbage).

The pie was paired with a beer from the famous Guinness brewery. The Guinness Foreign Extra Stout is a full-bodied stout is not available in Ireland but only in foreign markets. I’m always a fan of Guinness and this version did not disappoint.

Next up was a Bleu Cheese Slider from the appetizer menu. The slider was served with a side of broth for dipping…the sauce was good just by itself. The slider was made of tender, locally sourced, Colorado lamb. It was garnished with caramelized onions and bleu cheese. The paired beer was Celebration Double Bock Beer which is only seasonally available. Again the pairing worked wonderfully.

While originally Glen hadn’t planned to serve dessert he was excited to tell us about the Black & Tan Brownie with Guinness Ice Cream. The ice cream is made in house and the combination of the chocolate in the brownie married together nicely with the Guinness ice cream.

After our tasting, Glen talked about how Fado’s is a gathering place for people who support European Football. Many times, the restaurant stays open all night so fans can watch the live feeds from matches taking place in Europe. Glen did say the place gets rowdy, but what would you expect from football fans?

Recently, my daughter, Allison, traveled to Ireland for a few days, including New Year’s Eve. She blogs about her experiences while living in Europe and talks about her food and beer experience including her trip to the Guinness factory to learn to pull a Guinness. Check out her blog posting, My Adventures in Europe for a fun tour of Dublin.

So you want to make something traditional for St. Patrick’s Day? Here’s a recipe for boxty…an Irish potato pancake. As with many traditional foods there are hundreds of recipes with slight variations. Also try Bubble and Squeak with Wow Wow Sauce and a hearty version of Irish Soda Bread from my earlier posts.

Boxty recipe courtesy of Irish Traditional Cooking: Over 300 Recipes from Ireland’s Heritage by Darina Allen/Kyle Books, 2012.

An easy recipe for boxty

Irish potato pancakes

Ingredients

  1. 6 medium potatoes
  2. A handful of all-purpose flour
  3. Salt
  4. Butter
  5. Fresh herbs (optional)

Directions

  1. Scrub the potatoes well, but don’t peel. Line a bowl with a cloth. Grate the potatoes into it, then squeeze out the liquid into the bowl and let it sit for about 20 minutes until the starch settles. Set the potatoes aside.
  2. Drain off the water and leave the starch in the bottom of the bowl. Add the grated potato, a handful of flour and some salt.
  3. Melt a nice bit of butter on a heavy iron pan and pour in the potato mixture. It should be 3/4-1 inch thick. Cook on a medium heat. Let it brown nicely on one side before turning over and then on the other side, about 30 minutes in all depending on the heat. It’s much better to cook it too slowly rather than too fast. It should be crisp and golden on the outside. Cut the boxty into four wedges and serve.

 

 

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3 Responses to St. Patrick’s Day Celebrating with Food and Fun

  1. Whoo hoo…you did it! Hoping this is just one of many posts to come. Now suppose we need to get on the Eleven Madison Park thing huh?

    I want to go back for brunch; maybe next month?

    • Jane says:

      I’d love to got back to Fado’s for brunch. Let’s talk about it this week and set a date. The Eleven Madison Park cook book is sitting out on my table now just waiting to get a block of time to make that sumptuous dessert. When I was in NYC last week I saw a new product that Eleven Madison is having developed. Yum.

  2. Karen Harris says:

    So glad to see you up and blogging again. What a wonderful night this was. All the food was really great. That shepherd’s pie was so wonderful. I think I’ll have to make that sometime soon.

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