St. Patrick's Day is here again, and you know what that means: parades, corned beef and boiled cabbage, "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" t-shirts, and of course, green everything. People wear green clothes, paint their faces green, don green nail polish, drink green beer, and stuff their faces with green food. Whether you are planning to go out to a bar this St. Patrick’s Day or celebrate at a friend’s house, you’re sure to encounter all different shades of green — from the cupcake frosting down to the jello shots. But with so much green, especially in the kitchen, I can't help but feel a little skeptical. How good can unnaturally green food possibly taste? Usually, when food is green when it shouldn't be, my mind goes to mold or rotten food, and I end up feeling a little green myself. So how can you navigate the food table this holiday?
Have no fear, because this year I decided to try out some green foods for myself, some traditional and some not, from recipe to taste test. Some I liked, some I loved, and some of them made me feel a little strange — it is green food, after all. But in the spirit of the holiday, here are four green foods I tried so you know what to expect this March 17th.
You see it at bars and parades, but have you made it at home? Different kinds of beers will give you different shades of green, so experiment a little to get the shade you want.
- 12 oz. beer
- 2 drops green food coloring
In a clean pint glass, add two drops of food coloring to your drink. Pour beer. Serve. (Seriously, it's that easy.)
The IPAs, pilsners, and other light beers worked best. They give you a nice green foam at the top, and a bright green color. Darker beers looked like puke or mold. Not very appetizing, to say the least.
Avocado Deviled Eggs
Consider this a modern twist on green eggs and ham. Deviled eggs are a must at any party, so I decided to give them the green treatment in honor of St. Patrick's Day.
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1 tbs. hot spicy mustard
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 tsp. of pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Cayenne pepper
Place eggs in a pot and fill with enough water so that they are covered under about 2 inches of water. Cover the pot and heat on high until the water is boiling. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, but keep the pot covered for 14 minutes.
Run the eggs under cold water for a few minutes, and then carefully peel. Cut them in half lengthwise, scoop the yolk out into a bowl, and set aside the rest of the egg. In the yolk bowl, mix in mayo, mustard, avocado, salt, and black pepper, until well blended. The filling will look light green.
Add scoops of the filling to each half egg (you will likely have extra filling at the end because of the added avocado, so don’t worry about over filling). Sprinkle with cayenne pepper, and serve.
I am a huge fan of deviled eggs, especially non-traditional styles that play with different ingredients, so I was excited to make these. The filling wasn’t as thick as a standard deviled egg, but it was still creamy and tasty. This was the food I felt the least weird about eating green, and maybe I have Dr. Seuss to blame for that.
Mint Butter Cookies
This is where my Irish and Italian heritages collide. Italian butter cookies are traditionally colored pink or green, so I took the standard recipe and added a mint twist to it.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1 egg + 2 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 tsp. mint extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Chocolate, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until fluffy. Mix in your egg and egg yolks, mint extract, and a few drops of green food coloring. With a spoon, stir in flour, baking soda, and salt until well blended. Your dough will be thick.
Make small balls about half an inch wide, and press them onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden on the bottom. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Cool, and serve.
YES, YES, YES! Green or not, I ate about six of these when they came out of the oven. I would make these cookies all year long! They are sweet and buttery with just a touch of mint. The drizzled chocolate gives them that extra special touch.
Sweet Pistachio Bread
The only way I could get myself to eat green bread was by making it pistachio flavored. It was just too weird to snack on a loaf that looked moldy otherwise.
- 1 box of vanilla cake mix
- 1 box of instant pistachio pudding mix
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup whipped cream cheese
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup canola oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cake mix and the pudding mix. With an electric mixer, beat in the eggs, cream cheese, water, and oil.
Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until cooked throughout. Cool, and serve.
This was easy to make and delicious to eat, but to be honest, it was still weird to eat green bread. When I tried to give it to my roommates, they all turned it down, saying it looked like I had been saving it since last St. Patrick’s Day.
Images: Fotolia; Sadie Trombetta