Janet's Notebook
Three Cheers for Irish Recipes Rich in Tradition and Flavor

Chocolate Irish Creme Pie!

Aside from irrepressible wit and that adorable accent, my absolute favorite thing about the Irish is their food! Not only do traditional recipes contain potatoes galore (yum!) but Irish cuisine is also packed with fresh ingredients, rich flavor and tons o' nostalgia. The Crew and I are prepping the kitchen for our annual St. Patrick's Day festivities and we wanted to share with you some of our favorite Irish-inspired recipes we've come across since this time last year!

First off, what better way to start an Irish feast than with Pub Cheese?! Stephanie Tate recently won a Blue Ribbon for her horseradish-cheddar version, and it has fast become a party fave for us. "We love the pub cheese at Trader Joe's," says Stephanie. "[We] didn't want to drive to get it, so I hopped in the kitchen to see if I could recreate it. A friend says she likes this one better now!" Score one for the home cook! Like Stephanie, we really enjoy her recipe's strong horseradish flavor, but do of course adjust the levels to your liking. A simple blend of cheeses, mustard, stout ale and kicky seasoning, this is a great last-minute appetizer.

Corned Beef and Cabbage is a St. Paddy's day staple for my family. Whether you’re trying it for the first time or looking to find a recipe for this old favorite, Janette Suber has just the ticket in her straightforward Fried Cabbage and Corned Beef. Her recipe is very accessible to cooks of all skill levels... and you'd never guess that such a flavorful dish is so simple to prepare. "My dad's mother used to fix Corned Beef and Cabbage with cornbread for him when he was younger, one of his favorite meals," says Janette. "I took the recipe and changed it up a little... My dad, my family and friends love it. Hope your family and friends love it too. This recipe is a good stick to your ribs meal."

While your cabbage is simmering it's time to get started on another of our all-time favorites: the Irish Boxty! Boxties are simply fried potato cakes that well, frankly, are the perfect accompaniment to Janette's rich, savory corned beef. Home cook Nancy Patrykus recently shared with us a beloved boxty recipe that came from her Irish friend, Colleen, who moved to the United States in 1940. You can taste the authenticity in every bite of these darling, savory cakes. Potato, flour, onion and basic seasoning are fried to a spectacular golden brown then served with applesauce and sour cream. Goodness, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

And as if that weren't enough, chef Scott Anderson presents his over-the-top decadent tribute to Irish desserts: Irish Creme Moussecarpone Pie! This is a chocolate-lover's must-try. "This pie was created after working with Wisconsin mascarpone [cheese] in a variety of fashions including simply blending equal parts of mascarpone and chocolate," explains Scott. "I took it one step further and created a crispy crust of fresh chopped pretzels, a little bit of butter and some brown sugar for sweetness." Oh, and don't forget the addition of zippy Irish Creme liquor! The recipe calls for just a small amount, but it's enough to add a subtle flavor to break up the intense chocolate of the pie. "It’s a nice dessert to have ready in a few minutes," continues Scott. "Your guests will think you went to great lengths; going to a bakery to purchase the pie or that you spent a lot of time in the kitchen creating this masterpiece."

And more than anything isn't that why we love celebrating all things Irish this time of year? It's the coming-together of friends and the merriment that surrounds simple indulgences. Like Just A Pinch, the Irish are a welcoming, come-as-you-are culture with a strong sweet tooth and love of real food... Now that's something I can drink to!


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lydia tango - Jun 8, 2012
yeah.. where is it??
Talia Matthews - Mar 20, 2012
you have to click on the link in the second to last paragraph inorder to see the pie recipe. That's how I got it.
Barbara Mitchell - Mar 19, 2012
I gain 5 pounds every time I come in. That Chacolate Irish Creme Pie sounds delicious. Irish Crème Moussecarpone Pie
Peg Barker - Mar 19, 2012
Janette, thank you for all the wonderful suggestions. I'm allergic to all forms of garlic. Several years ago, for our anniversary, my husband and I went to our favorite place for dinner. It was the kind of place you have to save up for. Anyway, I told our waitperson about my allergy and asked that he tell me if I started to order anything with garlic in it. At one point he went to ask the chef. He came back and said, "The chef wants to know if you're really allergic or if you just don't like garlic." (He said it in a very snotty tone) I replied, "Does projectile vomiting mean anything to you?" When our dinners arrived I had a steak with no sauce of any kind and a spoonful of vegetables with nothing...not even a little butter..on them. That was it. No potato as they mash them with garlic. My meal cost us over $20.00. We've never gone back and it makes me kind of sad since it really was our favorite place to go to celebrate special occasions. Oh well.
Janette Suber - Mar 19, 2012
Peg, sorry for your allergies, I know they can be aggravating. I have used all sorts of different seasonings to substitute for garlic. Are you allergic to just fresh garlic or fresh and powdered?
If you are allergic to both, then you could try using some of the Mrs. Dash seasonings. There are different ones for different meats....ie, original, chicken, beef, low sodium, and a couple of others. Lemon pepper is a good seasoning for chicken and fish. Italian Seasoning adds a nice flavor to soups, stews, pasta's, marinade's and tomato sauces. Things like Teriyaki (a liquid marinade) goes well with pork. I like to use the McCormick seasonal salt, and they have it in low sodium as well, it is not spicy at all, just full of flavor. I would suggest that you buy a bunch of different seasonings (sometimes you can get the $1 generic at Wal-Mart or they also have cheap seasonings at the dollar stores) and just have a taste test, you and your husband both. You can usually tell by the flavor of the seasoning as to what it would taste good with. The labels sometimes give you food suggestions as well. Also, look online, do a search of seasonings and you will get a very large list of choices, and it gives hints and food ideas for each and every seasoning or spice. Hope this helps. Happy Seasoning! :D
Peg Barker - Mar 19, 2012
Hi all, I need help! I'm severly allergic to garlic!! I had no problems with it when I was younger but over the last nine years, everytime I try to eat even a little bit in a recipe I get so sick I think I'm going to die. I know that sounds melodramatic but it's true. My husband has been complaining that our meals are too bland for his taste and he says what I put on the table for dinner just fills the hole in his stomach. He used to rave about my cooking. I've written to several T.V. chefs and none has bothered to respond. I just want to know what I can use in place of garlic to make our food more interesting. I can't use peppers or anything else hot because my husbands stomach can't handle the heat.(We both have to deal with acid reflux) Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to use to add flavor? I don't know anything about herbs so don't know what to use with any particular food. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
Cheryl Clair - Mar 18, 2012
Sorry guys, I promised that stew recipe days ago and then couldn't find the thread. It's hard to get old. Okay, here goes. All measurements depend on how many people you need to serve:
Diced lamb, potatoes, carrots, onions, parsnips and celery, all roughly chopped. For the three of us, I use a couple of lbs. of diced lamb, 5 or 6 potatoes, 3 stalks of celery, an onion (large) 3 or 4 carrots and 3 or 4 parsnips. I peel everything, but you don't have to. I throw it all in a large stock pot; now here's the tricky part: you need a package of Knorr Oxtail Soup mix. Follow the instructions on the packet to make it then add it to the stock pot. Once it's boiling I add a couple of Knorr Lamb stock cubes and a couple of Knorr Onion stock cubes. Turn the heat way down and cover and let simmer for at least 2 hours, 3 is better but watch it and stir frequently. I also make this in the slow cooker. Either way, it's wonderful. I just hope you can find the oxtail soup mix. I guess if you can't, beef broth would work. At least one can; eyeball it to see if you need two cans. I hope y'all can make this and enjoy it as much as we do. Had it for supper this evening.
ruth brown - Mar 18, 2012
Where is the recipe for the chocolate irish creme pie.....
Cherie Cabral - Mar 14, 2012
Look forward to the stew recipe. Am going to try the bacon and cabbage. Will butcher myself.
Cheryl Clair - Mar 14, 2012
I'll try and get those recipes posted tomorrow. It's almost 2:30 a.m. and I need to go to bed. Boiled bacon and cabbage is super easy, but you will have to substitute ham I'm afraid. The states just doesn't have a bacon joint. Well, at least Texas doesn't. I'd suggest a bone in ham. Just boil it till it's nearly done and throw in cabbage, chopped any way you like. Boil for a few minutes until the cabbage is tender and there you have it. If you want to add some potatoes and onions to it even better. Put the cut up potatoes in before you put in the cabbage. I would add onion at the same time. Cook until almost tender, then add the cabbage. I promise to get here tomorrow with the lamb stew recipe. It's dead easy.
Janette Suber - Mar 14, 2012
The pie is called "Irish Creme Moussecarpone Pie", click on the name of the pie, and you go straight to the recipe. Same for all the recipe's mentioned. Enjoy!!
Deborah Harvey - Mar 14, 2012
Cheryl Clair, there is nothing better than boiled bacon & cabbage with parsley sauce.. I just wish that boiling bacon was available here in the States. I use fresh ham as substitute but.. my memory of those big platters of bacon & cabbage reminds me that as good as it is ~ it's still better when made with Irish bacon.
Cherie Cabral - Mar 14, 2012
Cheryl Clair (irishfancy): I'd like those recipes!!!
Dee O - Mar 14, 2012
looks great and all the recipes are sounding really good.
We usually put a corned beef in the oven with mustard rubbed on it and then brown sugar, baked in foil till done and then opened and browned sticky gooey chewy goodness.
Colleen Sowa - Mar 14, 2012
Congratulations everyone that was mentioned in this article!!! Love the article.... Of course me being a wee bit Irish.... lol xo