MARCH 10, 1997

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Dining In: Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Irish stew and lots of potatoes


Irish Stew
   1 lb. lean lamb, from shoulder or leg, cut into 2-inch chunks
   1 lb. lean beef, such as top round, cut into 2-inch chunks
   1/3 to 1/2 c. flour
   2 Tbsp. corn oil
   1 large shallot, minced
   2 large cloves garlic, minced
   2 yellow onions, cut into eighths
   2 fresh tomatoes, cored and skinned, or 1 can tomatoes (8 1/4 oz.), no salt added, drained
   2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces
   2 ribs celery, diced
   2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
   12 whole small white onions, peeled
   1/2 c. peas
   1/3 c. yellow turnip, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
   2 c. beef stock
   2 c. water
   1/2 c. white wine
   1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary leaves, crushed
   1 tsp. dried sage leaves, crushed
   6 dashes cayenne pepper, or to taste
   Small bouquet garni
   Chopped fresh parsley

   Wipe meat dry with paper toweling. Dredge lightly in flour, shaking off excess. Heat half of oil in large heavy casserole. Brown meat, half at a time, on all sides. Transfer to bowl. Heat balance of oil until hot.
   Sauté garlic, shallot with balance of meat, and brown lightly. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add stock, water, bouquet garni, and dried herbs. Return first batch of browned meat to casserole and stir to blend. Bring to simmering point. Cover and cook for one hour, stirring often to prevent sticking.
   Add balance of ingredients with exception of peas, white onions, and parsley. Bring to simmering point on top of stove. Cover and place in preheated 325-degree oven for 1/2 hour. Add white onions and peas. Re-cover and return to oven for 40 minutes. Pour into tureen. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve.

Twice Baked Potatoes
   5 large potatoes
   1 Tbsp. onion flakes
   1/2 c. cottage cheese
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1/4 tsp. pepper
   1/2 c. sour cream
   1 1/2 tsp. parsley, chopped
   1/8 c. milk
   2.5 oz. Cheddar cheese, shredded

   Bake potatoes at 375 F for 1 1/2 hours until soft. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out potato, saving the skin. Mash potatoes. Add remaining ingredients except Cheddar cheese; blend together until smooth.
   Fill potato skins and top with 1 Tbsp. Cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes or until hot. Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen.

Au Gratin Scalloped Potatoes
(From Darigold's Celebrations recipe collection)
   6 medium potatoes
   1/4 c. butter
   2 c. (8 oz.) Cheddar cheese, shredded
   1 1/2 c. sour cream
   1 tsp. salt
   1/4 tsp. pepper
   1/3 c. chopped green onion, including tops
   Paprika

   Boil potatoes in jackets until just tender; cool. Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in cheese and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until cheese melts. Stir vigorously to blend cheese and butter. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients except potatoes and paprika. Peel potatoes and cut into cubes. Stir in sauce. Spoon into well buttered 2-quart casserole. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least two hours or overnight. Allow to warm to room temperature. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in 400 F. oven about 25 minutes.

Potato Surprise
   4 large baking potatoes
   1/4 lb. butter or margerine
   1/4 lb. Swiss cheese
   3 onions
   Salt
   White pepper
   Paprika

   Parboil potatoes in salted water. Meanwhile, sauté onions in butter or margarine, adding salt and dash of white pepper. Grease bottom and sides of a 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Peel and then slice potatoes. Alternate layers of potatoes and sauteed onions. Dot each layer with Swiss cheese. Sprinkle casserole lightly with paprika. Bake at 350 F until cheese has melted, approximately 15-20 minutes.

Potato Skin Boats
   4 large potatoes
   3 Tbsp. oil
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1/4 tsp. garlic powder
   1/4 tsp. paprika
   1/8 tsp. pepper

   Prick potatoes and bake at 425 F for 45 minutes, or until tender. Cool. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out potato so that remaining shells are 1/4 inch thick. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Brush shells with mixture. Set on cookie sheets, hollow side up, and bake at 475 F for 7 minutes. Turn over and bake until crisp, about 7 more minutes.