I’ve got a refreshing cocktail for y’all just in time to say cheers on St. Patrick’s Day: an Irish Mojito! Bright and a little on the dangerous side (because you can’t taste the alcohol), the Creme De Menthe gives this cocktail a minty flavor and a festive pop of green color. It’s fruity and just the kind of thing I love to sip on while watching the parade go by in the 80 degree Savannah, Georgia “spring” weather. Continue reading “Say Cheers with Irish Mojitos”
It’s that infamous time of year in The Hostess City when everyone, no matter who your people are, becomes Irish for a day. Since I met and married a bonafide Savannahian, my life has never been the same. On March 17 each year, come rain or shine, we will don our green and orange, raise our glasses, pack our picnic baskets and join the hundreds of thousands of others in the Spanish moss-covered oak tree city of Savannah, Georgia.
At my house, whenever leftover mashed potatoes are around, you can bet Shepherd’s Pie will be on the menu soon. Cheesy, warm and full of veg, the flavors are comforting and clean up is easy. This dish epitomizes homey, good, comfort food and is especially fun to eat when it’s cold outside. Using a cast iron skillet (a real workhorse in the kitchen!) makes the job super simple. From stove top to oven, this recipe is ready to eat in 35 minutes.
Shepherd’s Pie has been around for centuries, and there are a ton of variations on the recipe. For me, it’s one of those “kitchen sink” recipes, where anything goes. Traditionally, garden peas and corn are used, but recently, I had a bag of frozen vegetables (for vegetable soup) in my freezer, and they worked perfectly! When it comes to cheeses, I’ve used everything from sharp cheddar to pepper jack to Parmesan. Parmesan cheese gives it a nice bite and works wonderfully with creamy potatoes. I love hearing the timer sing and pulling this hearty skillet, perfectly browned on the top, and bubbling around the sides, out of the oven.
Parmesan Shepherd’s Pie
- 1-2 scant cups leftover garlic roasted mashed potatoes
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Garlic salt
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Dried Oregano
- 1 16 oz. bag of Frozen Mixed Vegetables
- Fresh Parmesan Cheese
In a cast iron skillet, saute lean ground beef and onion until beef is brown. Add seasonings: garlic salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and dried oregano. Add frozen vegetables and cook until incorporated. Top mixture with grated Parmesan cheese. Then gently spread leftover mashed potatoes evenly over the top. Grate more cheese to cover the circumference of dish. Dot with butter. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes until hot & bubbly. Devour!
What is your ultimate winter comfort food?
March is finally here and that’s something to get excited about for SO many reasons–1) I’ve got a new episode of “Statesboro Cooks” premiering this Friday, 2) Daylight Savings Time and 3) St. Patrick’s Day!
Here in Statesboro, I’m just a few miles down the road from Savannah, Georgia where one of the largest parties celebrating Irish history and culture, second only to New York City, takes place in the United States every year. Last year was my first experience at the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and what a blast it was! My Savannah-born-and-raised boyfriend and I donned our green, packed a festive picnic including Paula Deen’s Green Grits Pie and Trisha Yearwood’s Green Punch (spiked of course) and spent the day on Johnson Square playing beer pong with complete strangers at 10 a.m., watching the horse and buggies pass us by and enjoying the sound of bagpipes. It was an unforgettable event I believe everyone should experience at least once.
On my upcoming episode of “Statesboro Cooks,” a local 30-minute televised cooking program produced by students in the Department of Communication Arts at Georgia Southern University, I share an Irish menu featuring Shepherd’s Pie and a Mixed Green Salad with seasonal strawberries and candied Georgia pecans. To round out the meal, I get a little help from some local businesses: Simply Sweet Cakery provides dessert (you won’t believe these cupcakes!) and Sugar Magnolia Bakery and Cafe sends me home with a loaf of fresh-baked Irish Soda Bread.
With a couple of extra stout Guinness beers and an Irish Coffee or 12, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in true Savannah style. Also on the show, I couldn’t be more excited to introduce one of my dear and talented friends from Vidalia Georgia’s Tiger Creek Band, lead vocalist and guitarist Justin Dukes. Justin entertains us with one of his new singles, “Rolling with the Flow,” and the two of us join voices singing Luke Bryan’s, “Tailgate Blues.” This is my favorite episode to date and I’m on the edge of my seat just thinking about it. Good food and good company, that’s what it’s all about!
Tune in to “Statesboro Cooks”on local cable channel 99 at 7:30 p.m. seven days a week beginning Friday, March 7. The show will also air again at 1 p.m and 1 a.m. daily. Be sure to check back right here on “Some Kinda Good” to get my St. Patrick’s Day menu, including all the recipes featured. If you’re not local, no worries! The program will be available on my blog.
Now, here’s an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look on set during the filming of “Statesboro Cooks.” Will you be watching? Thanks for tuning in!
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A Season 2 Contestant on ABC’s “The Taste,” I’m the Statesboro Herald food columnist as well as host and executive co-producer of “Statesboro Cooks.” Some Kinda Good is a Southern, coastal food blog highlighting East coast restaurant reviews and Lowcountry-inspired recipes. I hope you’ll stick around, and follow me on Twitter at @SKGFoodBlog or find me on Facebook. Thanks for visiting!