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March Recipes

TRADITIONAL

IRISH SHEPHERD'S PIE

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil 

1 tsp. Black Pepper

1 lb. Ground Beef or Lamb

1 Large Onion (diced fine)

1 Cup Frozen Peas      

3 - 4 Large Carrots (diced fine)

3 - 4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme (chopped fine)

2 Tbsp. Flour

1 Tbsp. Butter

1 Cup Red Wine

2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1 Cup Chicken Stock

6 Cups Mashed Potatoes (fresh made or leftovers)

1 Egg (beaten) 

   Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Saute carrots in the olive oil until starting to get tender. Add in the onions and saute for 2 minutes, add the meat. Season with pepper and thyme. Cook until the meat is browned, drain fat. Add the butter and peas. Sprinkle with the flour and stir through. Add the tomato paste, wine and Worcestershire sauce. Cook and let this reduce slightly then add the chicken stock. Allow to reduce down until you have a thick meaty gravy. Season to taste.

Remove from heat. Grease an oven proof, 9x13 dish with butter and add the sauce. Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over the top. Brush with egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired. Bake for 20 minutes or until the potato is nice and browned on top. Serve as is or with some crusty bread to mop up the sauce.


COLCANNON

4    Russet Potatoes (about 2 1/2 lbs. peeled, cut into large chunks)

      Salt (to taste)

5    - 6 Tbsp. Butter (plus more for serving)

3    Cups Kale, Cabbage or Chard (lightly packed, chopped)

3    Green Onions (including the green part, minced)

1    Cup Milk or Cream

Place cut potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by at least 1 inch. Add 2 Tbsp. salt and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender (15 to 20 minutes). Drain in a colander.

Return the pot to the stove over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pot and when its hot add the greens. Cook the greens for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are wilted. Add the green onions and cook 1 minute more. Pour in the milk or cream, mix well and then add the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium. Use a fork or potato masher and mash up the potatoes, mixing them with the greens. Add salt to taste and serve hot with a knob of butter in a center well.


MARASCHINO CHERRY CAKE

3       Cups Cake Flour (sifted)

2 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

1       tsp. Salt

1/3    Cup Butter (room temp.)

1/3    Cup Vegetable Shortening   

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

1/4    Cup Maraschino Cherry Juice

3/4    Cup Milk

1/2    Cup Nuts (coarsely chopped)

16     Maraschino Cherries (cut into 8 pieces)

5       Egg Whites (stiffly beaten)

Prepare ahead of time: Coarsely chop 1/2 cup nuts. Cut the 16 maraschino cherries into eights and set aside. They can be put together in same bowl.

Combine the 1/4 cup cherry juice and 3/4 cup milk in a one cup measure. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease and flour two 9-inch round layer cake pans and set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a medium bowl set aside. 

Cream the butter and sugar and shortening in a large bowl until fluffy, about five minutes.

Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk-cherry juice mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat well after each addition.

Wash the beaters very carefully to remove all fat from them. The egg whites will not whip if the beaters have grease on them. If you have a second set of beaters, use them.

Beat egg whites until stiff and form peaks. Fold the nuts and cherries into the batter then gently fold in the egg whites. Fold until combined. Divide the batter between the pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until springy to touch.

Cool the cakes in pans on wire racks for about five minutes. Using a thin blade knife loosen carefully around edges and turn out onto the racks and cool to room temperature.

Ice with your favorite icing. 

Makes 1 beautiful, double layer, 9 inch cake.


THE BEST

WHIPPED CREAM FROSTING

2    Cups Heavy Whipping Cream

1    Box (3.3 oz.) White Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix

1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar

For best results, put the bowl (stainless steel is the best) you will be using to mix the frosting in the freezer for an hour. Add the whipping cream to the cold bowl. Use an electric mixer and whip for a few minutes until peaks form. 

Alternate adding the pudding mix and the powdered sugar and continue mixing until completely mixed. Watch the frosting carefully as it will set up quickly. If it gets too thick add a bit of milk (1 teaspoon at a time). 

Yields 2 1/2 cups.


CHERRY PIE BARS

3       Cups Flour

1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

3/4    tsp. Salt

1 3/4 Cups Sugar

1       Cup Butter (unsalted, softened)

3       Large Eggs

1       tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/4    tsp. Almond Extract

1 1/2 (21 oz.) Cans Cherry Pie Filling

Glaze:

1      Cup Powdered Sugar

1/2   tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/4   tsp. Almond Extract

2 1/2 - 3 Tbsp. Half & Half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13x9 inch baking dish. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs, one at a time, then blend in vanilla and almond extracts. With the mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Reserve and set aside 1 1/2 cups batter. Spread the remaining batter evenly in the prepared baking dish.

Top with the cherry pie filling, spreading it out into an even layer. Dollop small spoonfuls of reserved batter evenly over the top. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 37 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.

For the Glaze: In a small mixing bowl whisk together all the glaze ingredients adding enough half and half to reach desired consistency. Pour into a resealable baggy, seal bag and cut a small tip from one corner, then drizzle over top of cooled bars. Allow glaze to set then cut into squares. 

Makes 16 squares.


SWEET AND SOUR PORK CHOPS

1       (20 oz.) Can Pineapple Chunks (drained, reserve juice)

1 1/4 Cups Ketchup

1       Tbsp. Brown Sugar (packed)

1       Tbsp Cider Vinegar

3       Carrots (1/4 inch round slices)

1/2    Green Bell Pepper (cut in chunks)

2       Tbsp. Vegetable Oil

4       to 6 Pork Loin Chops (1 inch thick)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large saucepan, combine reserved pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar; cook 5 minutes, until hot. Add pineapple chunks, carrots and green pepper; remove from heat.

In a large skillet, heat oil; add chops and brown them.

In a shallow baking dish arrange chops; spread pineapple-vegetable mixture over top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the chops are done and vegetables are crisp-tender. Bake longer if you desire softer vegetables. Serve over rice. 

Serves 4.


BLUE RIBBON TUNA CASSEROLE

3       Cups Cooked Egg Noodles

1       Onion (chopped)

2       Ribs Celery (diced)

1       tsp. Butter

1       (10.5 oz.) Can Condensed Cream of Celery Soup

1/2    Cup Mayonnaise

1/2    (10.5 oz.) Can Evaporated Milk (can substitute regular milk)

1       tsp. Black Pepper

1       Cup Frozen Peas and Carrots 

2       (6 oz.) Cans Tuna (drain one)

2 1/2 Cups Cheddar Cheese (divided)

1/2    Cup Potato Chips (crushed)

Cook egg noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside.

In same pot, melt butter and saute celery and onions until tender. Combine all ingredients in a large casserole, except for the potato chips and 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Put cheese on top, then sprinkle top with the potato chips. Return to the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Serve with crusty bread. 

Serves 4 to 6. 


LAYERED BURRITO BAKE

1    lb. Extra-Lean Ground Beef

1    Red Bell Pepper (chopped)

1    Carrot (chopped)

1    Large Onion (chopped)

2    Cloves Garlic (minced)

2    Cans (14.5 oz. each) Diced Tomatoes (undrained)

2    Cups Chunky Salsa 

1    tsp. Ground Cumin 

1    Cup Frozen Corn

6    Flour Tortillas (8 inches, cut in half) 

1    Can (16 oz.) Refried Beans

1    Pkg. (8 oz.) Mexican Style Shredded Four Cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Brown meat with peppers, carrots, onions and garlic in a large, non-stick skillet. Add tomatoes, salsa and cumin; mix well. Cover; simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the corn.

Spread 2 cups tomato mixture onto the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish sprayed with cooking oil; top with 4 tortilla halves, with cut sides of tortillas facing the sides of the dish. Cover with layers half the beans, 2 1/2 cups of remaining tomato mixture and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layers. Top with the remaining tortillas, tomato mixture and cheese; cover with a sheet of foil sprayed with cooking oil. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through, uncovering for the last 5 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting. 

Serves 8.