Few holiday’s bring NYC closer together in celebration than St. Patrick’s Day. Originally St. Patrick’s Day (Did you know St. Patrick was from England not Ireland?) began as a Catholic holiday in Ireland and over the decades and centuries, it has become an event of Irish culture.
In NYC we have a parade. Like a seriously internationally famous parade. The NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade dates back to March 17, 1762, when it was first organized by a group of homesick Irish expatriates and Irish military stationed in the American colonies as part of the British Army. Participants reveled in the freedom to speak Irish, wear the color green- which was banned in Ireland at the time, sing native songs and play the bagpipe. These things gave powerful meaning to those people who fled their homeland. And today, many (many) New Yorkers raise a pint to toast St. Patrick and eat.
St. Patrick’s Day food is distinct. Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes, bread (to name a few). Stomach filling peasant food really and today we call it comforting and celebratory. If you are fond of side dishes, here are two that go great with a St. Patrick’s Day menu. They are inexpensive (fits the peasant food requirement) and easy to make. Roasted Potatoes and Fried Green Cabbage.
Side Dish Recipes
3 pounds small red or white potatoes
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Let’s do it!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic; toss until the potatoes are well coated. Transfer the potatoes to a sheet pan and spread out into 1 layer. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula during cooking in order to ensure even browning.
Remove the potatoes from the oven, toss with parsley, season to taste, and serve hot.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY FRIED GREEN CABBAGE
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 slices bacon (about 3 ounces) sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 large head green cabbage, quartered, cored and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Let’s do it.
Place the butter and the bacon in a large Dutch oven or pot with a lid over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is lightly browned and crisp, 7 to 8 minutes (lower the heat if the bacon begins to get too dark). Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and reserve (do not wipe out pot).
Add the onion, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the pot, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the onion is very soft, about 8 minutes.
With the heat at medium-high, add the cabbage, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir until the cabbage starts to soften, 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low or low and cook, covered, until the cabbage is very tender, with a little bit of texture remaining in the thicker rib pieces, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the bottom isn¿t getting too dark.
Uncover the pot and increase heat to high. Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir for about a minute. There should be almost no liquid in the pot. Add more salt and pepper, if necessary, transfer to a serving bowl and top with the reserved bacon bits.
Feel free to substitute bacon with a plant based product or nothing at all. Either way, you have some serious side dishes for your St. Patrick’s Day meal. And some great leftovers.
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