11 March 2011

My totally weird, but totally perfect new St. Pat's meal

I like to give props to my Irish roots around St. Pat's time, and I do loves me some boiled potatoes and cabbage, but it can be kinda bland.  And not brimming over with nutrients (because Irish cuisine seems to be cooked to death and then drowned in butter, see).

Enter Sauerkraut--I know, it's weird!  But it adds just the right amount of pickle-y zing that Irish food needs, and apparently it's all packed with probiotics and stuff. Splurge and get the stuff in the refrigerated section--the canned stuff is as healthy as corned beef.

Sauerkraut Plate: serves 4

Souped-up Sauerkraut

2 cups prepared (refrigerated) sauerkraut
¼ yellow onion, thinly sliced
½ small carrot, grated
2 green cabbage leaves, chiffonaded
Handful of raisins, optional
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and allow to sit about 15 minutes.

Spinach and lentil salad

1 teaspoon olive oil
4 cups frozen chopped spinach
2 cups puy (French) lentils
½ yellow onion, chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine broth, mustard, lemon juice, and garlic and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet or large saucepan over medium heat.  When it shimmers, add the onion and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add the lentils and broth mixture and bring to a boil; lower heat to simmer, cover and cook until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.  Stir in spinach and heat thoroughly, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Super-salted potatoes

2 pounds small red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
¼ cup salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

Pour salt into a large saucepan; add potatoes and shake to coat.  Cover with water and bring to a boil; cook until potatoes are tender but still hold together, about 20 minutes.  Drain and pour olive oil over hot potatoes; serve immediately.

Serve all with pickles, Irish soda bread, and lager.