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By Barbara Beltrami

Here it is St. Patrick’s Day, and if you’re not obsessive about having the usual corned beef and cabbage or haven’t gotten around to shopping and cooking for last week’s recipes, I’ve got some interesting other traditional Irish recipes that can be prepared easily and quickly and are just as delicious and satisfying. If you want to keep the corned beef and cabbage, but have no time to cook, how about using those two ingredients in a soup?  You can pick up some corned beef at the deli.  And then there’s boxty, Irish potato pancakes, great with just about anything else you cook. If you have time, or even if you don’t, be sure to whip up a batch of oh-so-easy shamrock cookies for a nice finale to your St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


1/4 cup vegetable oil 

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 celery rib, sliced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

1 pound cherry tomatoes, chopped

3 cups beef broth

4 cups chopped green cabbage

3 to 4 potatoes, peeled and diced

1/3 pound cooked corned beef, diced

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion, celery and carrots and cook, stirring a couple of times, until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, cabbage, potatoes and 3 cups water.; bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until veggies are tender; add corned beef and salt and pepper and cook another minute. Serve with Irish soda bread and butter.


YIELD: Makes 10 to 12 pancakes


1 pound all-purpose potatoes, peeled, diced

1 pound all-purpose potatoes, peeled, grated

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

5 tablespoons unsalted butter


Place grated potatoes in cold water. Fill a pot with salted water and bring to a boil; add diced potatoes and cook till soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain grated potatoes, wrap in a kitchen towel and squeeze out all moisture; transfer potatoes to a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss. Mash cooked potatoes till creamy, then add the seasoned grated potatoes and thoroughly combine the two. Add buttermilk, stir lightly, then add flour and baking powder and stir again to thoroughly combine. In a large skillet heat two tablespoons of the butter over medium heat; drop batter by one-third cupfuls into butter and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side; repeat procedure with remaining butter and batter. Serve hot with smoked salmon and sour cream or eggs and bacon.

Shamrock Cookies

 YIELD: Makes about 3 dozen cookies


1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 large egg at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Green decorative sugar


Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg and extract; gradually add flour and salt and thoroughly combine; refrigerate for one hour. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to 1/4” thickness, then cut with a lightly floured shamrock-shaped cookie cutter; place one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet, sprinkle with green sugar and bake until edges start to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with Irish coffee or cocoa.