Created on: February 28, 2011 Last Updated: March 02, 2011
Boiled bacon, cabbage and potatoes is the traditional combination on St Patrick's Day, but you don't have to go traditional these days. You can serve the basic ingredients in many different and tasty ways, or just try something completely different. Here are some ideas to take you out of the box on St Patrick's Day.
If you celebrate being Irish in a country where the weather is likely to be hot, like Australia, you won't want to slave over a hot stove boiling bacon and cabbage. Instead opt for cold cuts of smoked or honey cured ham, served with coleslaw for the cabbage and potato salad. Have ice cold lager instead of Guinness, and to keep it green, top pistachio ice cream with a drop of Irish Cream liqueur for dessert.
A BBQ is a great way to gather your friends around for a St Patrick's Day celebration. Grilled pork chops and salad will make a refreshing change from the traditional boiled meal. Instead of apple sauce, wrap fresh apples in foil and pop them on the grill with the chops. Try basting the chops with Guinness for great Irish flavor.
A St Patrick's Day picnic before or after the parade is also a way to enjoy non traditional dinner ideas. A quiche made with eggs and bacon can be prepared the night before and left in the fridge to chill. Into a pastry case, put two rashers of chopped, fried bacon, two chopped spring onions (shallots), and one thinly sliced boiled potato. Top the filling with three or four beaten eggs and bake in a moderate oven until the eggs are set. This delicious picnic dish goes well with fresh strawberries and cream and a loaf of good Irish soda bread (don't forget the butter!).
Gather your friends together after the parade for a glass of Guinness and some tasty snacks. Serve the popular Angels on Horseback, a simple snack made of cooked bacon rashers wrapped around fresh oysters and held in place with a cocktail stick. Add bacon flavored crackers and some good cheese.
Of course, these days the homeland enjoys cuisine from all over the world, and the Irish enjoy a good curry or stir fry as much as anyone else. Why not serve up something completely different, with a nod to St Patrick? Try sweet and sour pork for dinner, or a Thai pork curry - green of course!
St Patrick's Day dinner can be anyway you want it to be - the important thing is the chance to celebrate your heritage with family and friends, and enjoy the craic - which is simply the Irish word for good times, good talk and good friends all in the same place.
Learn more about this author, Gail Kavanagh.
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