My Favorite St. Patrick's Day Recipes, Cabbage and Potatoes and Irish Soda Bread
Family Traditions in the Kitchen
One of my favorite days of the year is St. Patrick’s Day. Not because of the parades or the green beer, but because my Mother used to make Potatoes and Cabbage, and Irish Soda Bread, two of my favorite dishes. Since she never wrote these recipes down, I have adapted other recipes until I got them to taste like the ones she used to make.
Mamma used to serve these along with corned beef but since I’m a vegetarian I just skip the beef. The Irish Soda Bread is easily adapted to be vegan, too.
Enjoy these vegetarian dishes and let them bring out the “Irish” in you!
Potatoes and Cabbage
Serves 4 to 6
6 or 8 medium to large potatoes (I usually use white potatoes)
1 large head of cabbage
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic (or more, if you like garlic)
1 teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon sea salt (or more, to taste)
a pinch of red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
2 to 4 cups of water (or more, if you like extra broth)
Peel the onion. Slice off the outer part of the root end but leave enough that the onion won’t fall apart when you slice it into wedges. Cut the onion into 8 wedges down through the onion. The root end should hold the onion layers together. Place in the bottom of a large heavy pot or Dutch oven.
Peel the garlic and slice it into thin slices. Sprinkle it over the onion slices.
Peel the potatoes and cut into pieces. I usually cut the potato in half then put the cut sides down on the cutting board and slice them again lengthwise, then crosswise once or twice. You should get 8 or 12 pieces per potato. Place over the onions and garlic. Sprinkle with a little salt, a generous grind of pepper and a half pinch of red pepper flakes.
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage if necessary and trim the core close to the head. Cut the cabbage into 8 wedges down through the core so that the core holds the leaves together. Place the cabbage over the potatoes, pushing it down so the cabbage and potatoes are nestled together. Sprinkle with salt and another generous grind of pepper, and add more red pepper flakes.
Sprinkle the caraway seeds over all.
Pour water over all. I usually don’t measure the water and add enough to barely cover the potatoes. I like extra broth, so I usually add extra water. This is so I’ll have a ready-made broth for soup later in the week after a meal or two of cabbage and potatoes. Yum.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Test for doneness by forking the potatoes to see if they are tender. I like my potatoes tender but my cabbage with a more al dente feel.
Serve with butter and sour cream and Irish Soda Bread for a St. Patrick’s Day feast.
Irish Soda Bread
Serves 4 to 6
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cups milk or soymilk, if you want a vegan version
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 cup raisins - optional
Mix the milk and vinegar together well and let stand while preparing the other ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a cookie sheet, or spray with vegetable spray.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the raisins if desired and stir well to coat.
Stir the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture. Mix until a dough forms, it should be a little wet.
Turn out onto a well-floured board and knead a few times, just until the dough sticks together.
Form into a large circular loaf that's about an inch thick.
Place onto the prepared cookie sheet.
With a sharp knife cut an X into the top of the loaf, about ½ inch deep.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The loaf should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.
Serve warm with butter and jelly if desired.
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