SAINT Patrick's Day is just around the corner and I love that this year it is on a Saturday. We'll all be able to have a day off after the big celebrations.
Why not host a great Saint Patrick's Day feast at home with some friends in the evening? I've chosen a starter, main course and dessert using very Irish ingredients. And there's not a bit of bacon or cabbage in sight!
Cream of Cod and Salmon Soup
>10 sprigs fresh rosemary
>3 bay leaves
>4 tbsp butter
>2 tsp dried thyme leaves
>2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
>1 large onion, diced
>1.5 litres cream
>250g cod, cut into 2-inch pieces
>250g salmon, cut into 2-inch pieces
>Salt and pepper
> Using twine, tie the rosemary and the bay leaves together.
> In a saucepan, melt the butter.
> Add thyme leaves, leeks and onion. Sauté for 5-8 minutes.
>Add the cream and milk and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
>Add in the bay leaves and rosemary. Tie the string to the handle of the pan.
>Let simmer for 20 minutes.
>Add in the sweetcorn, cod and salmon and cook for a further 5-7 minutes.
> Season with salt and pepper and stir.
> Serve in bowls with Irish soda bread.
Guinness Braised lamb shanks
>2 tbsp vegetable oil
>4 lamb shanks
>Salt and pepper to taste
>1 onion, diced
>4 cloves garlic, smashed with the back of a knife
>2 carrots, diced
>2 celery ribs, diced
>40g tomato paste
>500ml beef stock
>500ml Guiness stout
>4 sprigs fresh thyme
>4 sprigs fresh parsley
>1 bay leaf
>2 sprigs fresh rosemary
>12 baby potatoes, sliced in half
>Preheat oven to 180°C
>Heat oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish. Season lamb shanks with salt and pepper.
>Sauté lamb shanks until they become nice and brown then set them aside on a plate.
>Cook onion in the oil for 3-5 minutes until softened.
>Add garlic, carrots and celery and cook for a further 5-7 minutes.
>Stir in tomato paste until well combined with the vegetables.
>Stir in stock and stout and simmer.
>Add back in the lamb shanks. Then add the thyme, parsley, bay leaf and rosemary. Press down into the liquid using a wooden spoon.
>Season. Cover with the lid and place the pot in the oven on the middle shelf for 2 hours. Add potatoes for the last 25 minutes.
Chocolate Guinness Milkshakes
>1 tsp vanilla extract
>6 scoops vanilla ice-cream
>2 scoops chocolate ice-cream
>1 square of dark chocolate
>Place ingredients in a blender and blitz until well combined.
>Pour mixture into tall glasses, top with whipped cream and grated chocolate shavings.