Whether you live in a city that shuts down when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around or you just want an excuse to throw a party, you can do more than wear something green to properly mark March 17. The wearing of the green is important to be sure, but to really get Irish eyes smiling, your menu must reflect the hue of the day as well.
Few March food and cooking magazines went all out in providing ideas for green grub, but what you will find ranges from fairly fast to very traditional—meaning you still have time to pull together your own lucky celebration.
Everyday Food magazine’s suggestions are perfect for last-minute party planning with two quick and easy recipes. Serving Irish bucks—a blend of ice, Irish whiskey, lime juice and ginger ale—will help get guests into the spirit. And for even more touches of green, garnish with lime wedges.
Though Everyday Food’s leek-and-cheddar dip won’t match the color of the day, it does at least incorporate Ireland’s favorite brew—Guiness—in its creamy, cheesy mix. The magazine suggests it’s best served with mini toast or crackers.
Better Homes & Gardens offers more kid-friendly ideas if you’ve got little ones on the guest list as well. For a non-alcoholic punch, simply combine lime sherbet and ginger ale in individual glasses and serve with shamrock-shaped sugar cookies for dunking.
For something a little more filling, cut spinach tortillas into shamrocks using a cookie cutter. Toast at 350 degrees for five minutes, then serve with a festive salsa verde, salsa or cheese dip.
Heartier options for the whole family include making shamrock-shaped toasts topped with pesto that are served with potato soup or spaghetti. Or Better Homes & Gardens’ very green pasta that incorporates spinach, basil and pistachios tossed with–what else?–spinach pasta that’s seasoned with cheese and red pepper.
To really up the ante on your celebration, go very traditional with Cook’s Country magazine’s corned beef and cabbage, the meal commonly served in St. Patrick’s honor. The magazine’s test kitchen went through quite the trial and error process to develop a recipe that would yield a moist—but not too salty—brisket, complemented with tender vegetables.
And if you’re not feeling leftovers on the day after, Cook’s Country’s creamed chipped beef on toast repurposes the holiday meal to make something a little different.