March 16, 2010
On St. Patrick’s Day, I enjoy making a traditional meal to celebrate the 17th, corn beef, cabbage and potatoes. I make the whole thing in one pot, coating the cabbage and steamy potatoes with butter and sea salt. It’s delicious. I always make extra, because corn beef hash the next day is pretty darn incredible, too. Years ago, during my first spring harvest from my garden, on March 16th I wandered outside to see what was happening with my veggies and “ta-da” there in full force was a row of ready-to-be-harvested cabbage. I had a blonde moment of epiphany- so this is why the menu includes cabbage! While it may be obvious to some, it was another moment where I found new understanding and appreciation about the beauty and history of seasonal, holiday recipes.
In Santa Barbara we are fortunate to have such an amazing climate and so many abundant choices compared to those poor, cold Irish folk. Because of this, I am going to serve something a little off the wall, but still green for appetizers. I discovered my first harvest of Shishito peppers. Have you had them? They are incredible. These Japanese peppers are thin, mild and tasty and every so often you find a semi spicy one, which is a little treat all unto itself. I normally grow them in the summer so I was surprised to find them so early in the season. (BTW I have lots of seeds if anyone wants them, let me know). What is St. Patty’s day in the States without a little cross-culture?
Flash Fried Shishito Peppers.
20 Shishito peppers
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
2 pinches of Sea Salt ( I like Murray River or Maldon Sea Salt)
Clean and dry the peppers. Leaving stems on, that’s your handle. Heat oil on med high in a large skillet. When you see the oil move around add the peppers and sauté until they begin to blister. Put on a platter and sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately with a small deposit bowl for the stems.
Drink: We might venture to Japan for the appetizers, but we like to stay in Ireland for our beverage. Harp Pale Lager is a great fit for the food. If my friend Colleen comes over we might just have a finger (or 3) of Jameson!
Corn beef I buy pre-brined at White Foot Market.
I found the shishitos at Nikka Japanese Market in Goleta next to TJ’s.
Murray River Salt at Dean and Deluca and Maldon at Amazon (best price I have ever seen!)