Some may not be up for a hearty meal like the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Food like corn beef hash, Shepard’s pie, and soda bread may leave you feeling very full and sluggish. However, you can still celebrate the luck of the Irish by simply eating “green.” Decorate your plate with green colored food, and you will feel in the holiday spirit. It works for green beer, why not dinner?
This “green” St. Patrick’s Day menu will fill your guests just enough, leaving room for some green beverages!
Hot and Spicy Spinach Dip
Life of the Party Cookbook, pg. 43
½ onion, finely chopped
½ (stick) butter
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped, thawed drained
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into cues
1 cup of sour cream
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained, chopped
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
Saute the onion in the butter in a large skillet until tender. Add the spinach, cream cheese, sour cream and Parmesan cheese, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the artichoke hearts, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper; remove from the heat. Pour into a baking dish. Top with the Pepper Jack cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. You may also microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot with assorted crackers and bread slices.
Life of the Party Cookbook, pg. 56
4 avocados, cubed
2 yellow bell peppers, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 pinches ground cumin
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Combine the avocados, bell peppers, onion and cilantro in a large bowl. Add the lime juice, olive oil, cumin salt and pepper and toss to coat well. Chill Covered, until serving time. Yields: 8 Servings
Green Spinach Noodle Casserole
Gasparilla Cookbook, pg. 86
1 8-ounce package spinach noodles (or spinach macaroni)
1 pint sour cream
2 6-ounce packages sliced natural Swiss cheese
Cook noodles in boiling, salted water, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain and rinse with hot, hot water. Drain thoroughly. In greased casserole alternate layers of noodles, sour cream and Swiss cheese. Sprinkle cheese with garlic salt. Have bottom layer noodles top layer of cheese. Repeat. Sprinkle again with garlic salt. Heat in 300-degree oven until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through. Serves 8.
Florida Key Lime Pie with Gingersnap Crust
Capture the Coast Cookbook, pg. 98
1 ½ cups crumbled gingersnap cookies
¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup Key lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
4 egg yolks
Toasted sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Pulse the cookies in a food processor until finely ground. Add ¾ cup coconut and pulse to mix. Add the butter and pulse to mix. Press over the bottom and up the side of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cook on a wire rack. Maintain the oven temperature. For a nuttier flavor, toast the coconut.
Combine the condensed milk, lime juice, lime zest and egg yolks in a bowl and beat well. Pour into the cooled crust. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until set. Let stand until cool. Top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted coconut. The pie also may be made using a graham cracker crust. Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Life of the Party Cookbook, pg. 45
2 ounces apple schnapps
2 ounces premium vodka
Splash of applejack
Combine the apple schnapps, vodka, applejack, and ice in a cocktail shaker; cover. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glasses.
If you are feeling a bit traditional, top off the night with a little caffeine.
Gasparilla Cookbook, pg. 16
Put ½ teaspoon sugar in an Irish coffee goblet (glass smaller than a water goblet, larger than a cocktail goblet). Fill nearly to brim with hot, stronger coffee. Add 1 jigger Irish whiskey. Then put dollop of fresh whipped cream on top.