Looking forward to St. Patrick's day?
Those of us without kiddies can throw back a few green pints in the local Immigrant pub (is it just me, or is every Irish-themed pub named either the Immigrant or the Emigrant?) while providing strangers a fairly convincing reason for kissing them via a simple slogan on a button or t-shirt.
Before I had ever heard of green beer, I knew green food. A famed snapshot stands out in my photo album of my mum's attempt at green dinner. A green and white checked table cloth covered the large table, and all us kids were wearing green. Salad, of course, is a gimme. Spinach pasta, steamed broccoli, and lime jello with kiwis rounded out the dinner that evening. It was certainly a hodgepodge of flavours, but we didn't care - it was green.
This year we'll being sticking to green food (and maybe an Irish soda bread if time allows) since both the hubs and I have been hit with a nasty cold - no green beer this year. I decided to do a test run on a vegetarian green gnocchi dish. The tofu really soaked up the chili and citrus flavours, which were fantastic for our congested heads. I imagine it could go down equally well as a family dinner with a bit fewer chilies, although, I've really got no idea if kids like tofu.
Recipe: Spinach Gnocchi and Peas + Lemon Cream Sauce
Eat with Guinness
4 small crushed red chilies
1 firm block tofu
2 cups peas
215ml heavy cream
zest and juice of 1 lemon
400g fresh spinach gnocchi
fresh parmesan shavings
Start the water boiling for the gnocchi. In a deep frying pan on low heat get the garlic, red chilies, onion and tofu cooking in a bit of oil. After 3 minutes, add the peas, cream and zest. Simmer for 5 minutes and toss the gnocchi in the boiling water (fresh ones should take 5 minutes or less to cook.) When the cream sauce gets a bit thick, add the lemon juice and simmer for another 2 minutes. Finally, drain and add the gnocchi to the sauce. Serve with parmesan shaved into thick curls and parsley.
To enhance flavour for carnivores, substitute the tofu for bacon! I would normally eat it this way, but with the zabijačka last weekend and a fridge stuffed with pork products (sans bacon) I couldn't bring myself to buy bacon.
Dobrou Chut' / Enjoy.