St. Patrick's Day 2010

ST. PATRICK'S BEEF & VEGGIES

1/2 c. sour cream
2 T. coarse-grain brown mustard
1-1/2 lb. boneless beef rib-eye steak, 1-1/4- to 1-1/2-inch thick
2 T. cooking oil
4 medium carrots, peeled
1 large red onion, peeled, cut in wedges
32 oz. reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 lb. new potatoes; halve if large
1 lb. packaged fresh spinach

Stir together sour cream and mustard; cover and refrigerate. Heat oven to 170°. Heat 12-inch skillet over medium-high. Coat beef with1 tablespoon oil; season with salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Brown in hot skillet 4 minutes,turning once. Transfer to platter; set aside.

Add remaining oil, carrots, and onion to skillet. Cook and stir 5 minutes, until browned. Add broth and potatoes; bring to boiling. Reduce heat; cook, covered, 15 minutes, until tender. Return beef to skillet. Simmer, covered, 8 minutes for medium (10 minutes for medium-well).

Reserving broth in skillet, transfer vegetables and beef to oven-safe platter; keep warm. Simmer broth; add spinach. Cook and toss with tongs 3 to 4 minutes.

To serve, ladle broth in bowls; reserve some to drizzle over meat and vegetables. Divide beef and vegetables among plates. Serve with mustard sauce. Makes 4 servings.

SHAMROCK TEA SANDWICHES

1 sm. onion, peeled and quartered
1 lg. cucumber, cut into chunks
1 (8 oz.) brick cream cheese, softened
1/4 tsp. salt
1 dash garlic powder
1 dash cayenne powder
3 drops green food coloring

In a food processor or blender, chop onion and cucumber 3-5 seconds. Scrape sides of processing bowl or blender with a rubber spatula. Process again 3-5 more seconds. Remove vegetables and drain well. Add remaining ingredients to drained cucumber-onion mixture. Stir to blend, chill slightly.

Spread on thin sliced wheat and white bread, cut into shamrock shapes with a cookie cutter.

BACON & BAKED POTATO SOUP

2 (6- to 8-oz) baking potatoes (russet or Yukon gold)
3 T. butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped celery
3 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
4 c.s half-and-half, light cream or milk
1-1/4 c. shredded American cheese
1 c. chicken broth
8 slices Bacon, crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled
2 T. thinly sliced green onion
1/4 c. dairy sour cream

Scrub potatoes with a vegetable brush; pat dry. Prick potatoes with a fork. Bake in a 425° oven for 40 to 60 minutes or until tender; cool. Peel potatoes, if desired. Chop potatoes; set aside.

In a heavy large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and celery. Cook and stir about 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in flour, thyme, salt and pepper. Add half-and-half or milk all at once. Cook and stir for 5 to 6 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Add potatoes, 1 cup of the cheese, and the broth; stir until cheese melts. Slightly mash potatoes with the back of a spoon or a potato masher.

For the topping, reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon. Stir the remaining bacon and 1 tablespoon of the green onion into soup. Heat through.

To serve, top each serving with reserved bacon, remaining 1/4 cup cheese, green onions and the sour cream. Makes 6 servings (about 1 cup each).

SHAMROCK COOKIES

3/4 c. butter (1-1/2 sticks)
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract or vanilla
Few drops green food coloring
2 c. flour
Green colored sugar

In a large mixer bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until softened (about 30 seconds). Add sugar and salt and beat until fluffy.

Add the egg, peppermint extract or vanilla, and a few drops of green food coloring. Beat mixture well.

With mixer on low speed gradually add flour to butter mixture and beat well.

Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Shape each part into a roll about 1 inch thick and about 8 inches long. Roll each in green colored sugar. Wrap rolls in plastic wrap. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

Unwrap rolls. Slice crosswise so the slices are 1/4 inch thick. To shape each shamrock, place 3 slices of dough with sides touching in a shamrock shape on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cut a stem from a fourth slice and attach to the shamrock (save the rest of this slice for cutting other shamrock stems). Gently push the slices together so each leaflet curves in slightly.

Bake in a 350° oven about 8 minutes or until edges are light brown. With a pancake turner lift the cookies onto a cooling rack to cool. Makes 32 cookies.

SUGAR DREAM COOKIES

1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. cooking oil
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 tsp. vanilla
2-1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. granulated sugar, coarse crystal sugar or colored sugar

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Gradually add oil, beating on low speed until well combined and scraping sides of bowl. Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Beat until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in 1/3 cup granulated sugar. Place 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in granulated sugar, flatten dough to 2 1/2-inch rounds.

Bake cookies in a 350° oven about 9 minutes or until tops are slightly cracked and edges are set (do not let edges brown). Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool. Makes about 48 cookies.

IRISH COFFEE BROWNIES

1-1/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. butter or margarine, softened
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. Irish Whiskey
2 T. instant coffee crystals
1 c. chopped walnuts
2-1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T. Irish Whiskey
1-1/4 tsp. vanilla
3 to 4 T. brewed coffee
Chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat granulated sugar, butter or margarine, and 1/2 cup cocoa powder in a large saucepan over medium heat until butter or margarine melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat lightly just until combined.

Stir together flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl; set aside. Stir together milk and 1/4 cup whiskey; stir in coffee crystals. Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to the chocolate mixture, beating by hand after each addition. Stir in nuts. Pour into a greased 15x10x1-inch baking pan.

Bake in a 350° oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, for the Irish Coffee Glaze, stir together sifted powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon Irish whiskey, and 1-1/4 teaspoons vanilla. Stir in 3 to 4 tablespoons brewed coffee until of drizzling consistency.

If desired, sprinkle with additional chopped nuts. Makes 36 brownies.

SHAMROCK SHAKE

2 c. vanilla ice cream
1-1/4 c. milk
1/4 tsp. mint extract
8 drops green food coloring

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Stop blender to stir with a spoon if necessary to help blend ice cream.

Pour into 12-ounce cups and serve each with a straw