Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Once a year, Jacksonians from all walks of life gather together to build floats, don green in a variety of ways (including tutus, a crowd favorite) and walk downtown's city streets while collecting oodles of beads. Malcolm White and friends created the Mal's St. Paddy's Parade to be Jackson's version of New Orleans' Mardi Gras celebration, and this year, our parade events—including a Second Line Stomp and after party—are March 20 and 21.
The parade is Jackson's iconic way to celebrate the holiday and the coming of spring. But even if you're not going to join the festivities, these recipes give you a way to celebrate the occasion from the comfort of home.
Tajin Green Beer
My friend David introduced me to drinking beer with a salt and tajin rim one summer, and I love it. You can find tajin (a seasoning made with chilis and lime) in the Mexican section of the grocery store.
Keep it on hand to spice up fruits and vegetables, especially during the summer. For your St. Patrick's Day green beer, tajin on the rim will make it just a little spicy.
Ingredients for each drink
12 ounces beer, cold
1 lime, quartered
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon tajin
1-3 drops green food coloring
Wet the outside rim of a large, clear glass with a lime wedge. Put the tajin on a saucer and roll the moistened rim of the glass in the spice to lightly coat it.
Pour the beer in the glass, add food coloring (one drop at a time to get the color you desire), squeeze the juice from a second lime wedge and add a pinch of salt.
Irish Soda Bread
I found this traditional St. Patrick's Day recipe in my "must try" pile a few years ago. When I finally made it, I fell in love with it. This is a great recipe for someone who's uncomfortable or inexperienced with making bread. Because there is no yeast involved, it does not require letting the dough rise, and you don't have to knead it much. The orange zest and currants make the bread slightly sweet..
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk, shaken
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup dried currants
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. In a large measuring cup, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg and orange zest together with a fork. Slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture with the mixer on low speed, then add the currants to the dough. It will be very wet. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times, shaping the dough into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the loaf makes a hollow sound when you tap it.
Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves eight.
Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage
My mother-in-law gave me this recipe, and it became a family favorite for us. She recommends making this iconic Irish-American dish in a Crockpot because it's simple, and it keeps the meat moist. The best part about this recipe is that you just assemble the ingredients in the pot and eight hours later, it's ready to eat. You can even prepare this dish a day in advance, if necessary.
4 to 6-pound corned beef brisket
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 bay leaf, dried
1 head cabbage, coarsely chopped
8-10 red potatoes, quartered
6 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
6 ounces Irish beer
4 cups water
1 sweet onion, cut into bite-sized pieces
Put the onions, potatoes and carrots in the Crockpot. Place the corned-beef brisket on top of the vegetables and sprinkle it with black pepper; add the garlic. Pour the water and beer in the crockpot, add the bay leaf, cover and set it on high.
Cook the brisket for seven hours. Add the cabbage and cook for one more hour. Serve hot.