Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day...

I am sure that there are kitchens across the continent and beyond beginning to prepare the world's most famous Irish dish for tomorrow festivities...Corned Beef and Cabbage.  I can tell you which kitchen is not brining a beef or shredding cabbage...mine.  Unfortunately this dish is not on my list.  I know absolutely nothing about choosing the best cut of beef, the type of cabbage to use, spices, or cook time.  But what I can tell you is that even though I will not be eating or preparing the traditional Irish feast tomorrow I will be celebrating! I wish you the Luck of the Irish with your meal and I invite you to raise your Guinness and Jameson glasses to a toast and enjoy whichever meal you choose...Corned Beef and Cabbage or Spicy Cauliflower Soup and The Up North Panini.

Kicked Up Cauliflower Soup

1 lb. Cauliflower (cleaned and rough chopped)
3 Tablespoons Butter
3 Large Onions (chopped)
2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
5 Cups Whole Milk
1 lb. Yukon Gold Potatoes (diced)
A Pinch of Red Pepper Flake
1 1/2 Cup Pepper Jack Cheese (shredded)

In a large stock pot heat butter over medium heat
Add onion and cook for 4-5 minutes
Add  garlic and cook 1-2 minutes
Add potatoes and cauliflower
Season with salt/pepper and red pepper flake
Add milk and bring to a boil
After the boil cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender
Cool slightly
With an hand held blender slowly blend soup to desired consistency
Add cheese and stir to incorporate
Serve Warm

The Up North Panini

Fresh, Sliced Italian Bread
Deli Sliced Roast Beef
Deli Sliced Provolone Cheese
Roasted Red Peppers
Arugula (cleaned and torn into pieces)
Balsamic Vinegar
Pam Spray

Preheat Grill Pan or Skillet

Assemble sandwiches:
Spray Italian bread with Pam Spray (both the outside and inside of bread)
Spoon a little bit of balsamic vinegar onto one side of the bread
Place roast beef, roasted peppers, arugula, and cheese on bread
Place sandwich on grill pan and press down until cheese is melted and bread has grill marks about 3-4 minutes per side

***If you do not have a panini press make one - take a brick and cover it with tin foil for an instant panini press

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