Thursday, March 18, 2010

If You're In Recovery

If you're anything like most of my friends, the day after St. Patrick's Day is all about laying low, nursing a hangover, and trying to remember how many pints of Guinness you drank before passing out. If you are anything like me this year, you'll be doing none of these things. While I have been known to do my fair share of St. Patty's Day partying, this year I was having none of it. Driving almost five hours home had already undone all of the good from my massage, so I was a bit grumpy. I got home just in time to throw the Corned Beef in the crock pot before heading out to work, then home to see E for the first time in almost a week. We decided to stay in, eating our American Irish dinner and watching In Bruges (which stars Colin Farrel, so at least it's a wee bit Irish).

I was left with a tremendous amount of leftover boiled meat, cabbage and potatoes, not to mention the Guinness. Not a pretty sight if you ask me. What to do with all of this before it goes to waste? Just ask Martha.

The corned beef is easy to turn into hash or sandwiches, but the rest had me puzzled. I found the recipe for Colcannon, and knew it would be perfect. If you want to make Colcannon from scratch (that is, in case you don't happen to have a bunch of boiled cabbage and potatoes lying around) you can find the instructions here.

Even Quicker Colcannon
3 cups boiled potatoes, mashed
2 cups boiled cabbage, roughly chopped
1 leek, chopped
1 cup lowfat milk
1 Tbls. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 Tbls, butter

In a large saucepan, bring milk, 2 Tbls. butter, and leeks to a low simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and nutmeg and cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until leeks are tender.
Stir in potatoes and cabbage and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat until warmed through. Pour into a casserole dish. If you want the extra butter (I didn't bother) make a well in the center and place remaining 2 Tbls. of butter into it. Put casserole under the broiler for 5-8 minutes, until top is browned and butter melted.

Hopefully I don't need to tell you what to do with leftover Guinness. In case you won't actually drink it all, you can always make dessert. I made Irish Car Bomb Brownies last year (they were slammin', by the way), but I thought I'd do cupcakes this year instead and try to lose the horribly offensive title. Apparently I'm very unoriginal :)   It seems like everyone and their mother has made Chocolate Guinness Cakes this year. Search any popular baker from Smitten Kitchen to my girl Nigella and you'll find recipe. I'm partial to a recipe given to me by a friend, but it is a secret, sorry! It is, however, very similar to this recipe of Dave Lieberman's, which I have also tried. Under bake them a bit and they are fantastic. They are actually (unlike many cakes) even better the next day if you seal them in an airtight container at room temperature once they've cooled completely. They take on an almost fudgy vibe. I like mine with the obligatory Irish Cream frosting, but buttercream is a little too heavy for it. Instead I used a cream cheese base.

Irish Cream Cheese Icing
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Irish Cream (you don't need to use Bailey's, since it's going to be mixed with so much sugar!)
About 1 lb. powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Continue beating as you slowly pour Irish Cream into the mixture. Don't worry if it looks curdled, it will smooth out! Once incorporated and smooth, add cream, beating constantly. Slowly add sugar (1/2 cup at a time), beating constantly. I like my icing to be a bit runny, so it slips off the sides of the cupcake and looks like a glossy head on a Guinness, so I actually use less than 1 lb. If you want a thicker, fluffier icing, add more sugar!


Jessica Gardner said...

This post could not have come at a better time! For my friend Matt's bday on Sunday, I am making him Chocolate Guinness Cake and was wondering what kind of frosting I should go with. Hooray! Are you suuuuure you don't want to share that secret recipe for the cake with me? :)

Danielle said...

I didnt even have a chance to make my corned beef and cabbage :( thats this weekends goal. no one in my house (besides me) even likes cabbage so I'm sure I'll have plenty leftover....and this casserole sounds perfect. I think I'll sneak it into sundays dinner hee hee

and that icing? ooooh wow! THAT is a must! I love me some baileys