#ChewOnIt: Irish Inspiration

Happy (almost) St. Patrick’s Day! I always love finding new ways to celebrate my Irish roots – and I tried to do so in a pretty healthy way this year since Arkansas has been really making it hard our immune systems with all these weather changes. For your luck this weekend, please enjoy the Green & Gold Smootie, Colcannon, and Irish Beef Stew.

Green & Gold Smoothie: Right now I’m battling the daily change of Arkansas’ seasons and spring allergies – so this smoothie is choc-full of good-for-you ingredients. I’m cur-rently experimenting with bee pollen as it’s supposed to help with allergies, so it’s totally optional. While the bee pollen doesn’t affect the taste, it does look absolutely perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Colcannon: This Irish side dish is most likely a way to stretch potatoes and get rid of some cabbage. Whatever the background, it’s a tasty way to get some bonus nutrients in the traditional mashed potatoes and add a little extra Irish luck into a meal.

Irish Beef Stew: Keeping with my theme of battling our weather changes, this stew is incredibly hearty. I made it with beef stew meat from Ratchford Farms that I got via Conway Locally Grown (one of my freezer staples). I happened to have barley flour on hand and used that as a thickener as it was more festive, but you can use regular flour. Same with the beer – use whatever stout you happen to have on hand or add another cup of beef stock and a ½ cup of water if you don’t have any. This was the first dish I made in my new Instant Pot, but I’ve also include the traditional cooking method as well.

There aren’t as many local ingredients in these recipes as I prefer, but they are both tasty and nutritious. If you’re looking for local ingredients, check out the “market update” for details on our two year-round farmers markets. If you didn’t place an order, make sure to check out their Facebook pages on Friday to see what they have on their “extras” tables.

Green & Gold Smoothie

Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:

• 1 cup frozen pineapple

• 1 cup frozen mango

• 1 inch fresh ginger

• 1 grapefruit

• 1 orange

• 2 bananas

• 1-2 cups milk/nut milk

• 4 handfulls of greens

• Optional: bee pollen

Method:

1. Peel grapefruit, orange, and bananas. Peel and chop ginger. Blend every-thing together

Enjoy. Note: If saving the second for another day, stick it in the freezer and move to the fridge at dinnertime the evening before. It’ll stay cold and be ready-to-enjoy in the morning.

Colcannon

Servings: 8-10

Ingredients:

• 2 pounds golden potatoes

• 1 cup milk

• Butter

• ½ green cabbage

• Sea salt

• Fresh ground pepper

Method:

1. Scrub potatoes clean and chop into cubes. Cook in salted boiling water until soft. Drain and smash with milk and butter. Season to taste.

2. While potatoes are cooking, chop half a green cabbage and rinse. Cook in a skillet over medium until softened. Mix into mashed potatoes. Check seasoning to taste.

Enjoy as a side dish or underneath a hearty serving of Irish Beef Stew.

Irish Beef Stew

Servings: 8-10

Ingredients:

• 2 tablespoons olive oil.

• 2 pounds beef stew meat*

• Sea salt

• Fresh ground pepper

• 2 tablespoons barley flour

• 2 sweet onions, chopped

• 3 cloves garlic, chopped

• 1 stout beer

• 1 pound of carrots, pealed & chopped

• 1 bunch of celery, chopped

• 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes

• 3 cups beef broth

• 2 bay leaves

• 1 tablespoon thyme

• Garnish: parsley

Traditional Method:

1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high. Season stew meat with salt and pepper. Sauté until beginning to brown.

2. Mix in flour and onions, stir together and cook until onions are soft.

3. Stir in garlic cook for a minute until fragrant.

4. Deglaze the pot with beer. Add the rest of the ingredients and turn down heat to medium low. Let simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes, or until tender and cooked through.

Instant Pot Method:

1. Set Instant Pot to sauté and add olive oil and stew meat. Season with salt and pepper and stir occasionally while preparing the rest of the veggies.

2. Mix in flour and onions, stir together and cook until onions are soft.

3. Stir in garlic cook for a minute until fragrant.

4. Deglaze the pot with beer. Add the rest of the ingredients and close the lid. Set on basic soup/stew setting let it finish cooking.

Enjoy on its own or with Colcannon.

*Local eats via Conway Locally Grown.

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