100°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

DIVAS ON A DIME: An Irish twist on potato pancakes for St. Patrick’s Day

Every year, I try to come up with a creative spin on Irish food for St. Patrick’s Day beyond corned beef and cabbage, things soaked with Bailey’s or regular food magically tinted green.

As I was thinking, I remembered an old Irish rhyme that goes – “Boxty on the griddle, boxty in the pan, if you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get your man!”

So, this year I unearthed an old favorite, Irish Boxty, the holy grail of pancakes for potato lovers! They’re made with a mix of mashed and grated potatoes. Essentially, they’re a delicious blank canvas. They’re crispy on the edges, pillowy and creamy in the middle and exactly the kind of peasant food that we love – hearty, economical, filling and endlessly versatile.

Boxties can be served many sweet and savory ways. Think of how we serve biscuits alongside practically any meal. That’s a great way to understand how boxty are served.

They can be enjoyed simply with butter or sour cream, sprinkled with sugar or honey, as a side dish for any meal, or as a base for wonderful fillings.

In the photo, the boxties are served with sausage and topped with a buttery boozy mushroom mixture I call Drunken Mushrooms. In honor of St. Paddy’s Day, I added a handful of green spinach and used Irish whisky to deglaze the pan, but you could use other liquors or even just a splash of broth. Then I drizzled it with tangy mustard gravy to bring it all together.

IRISH BOXTY

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Time: 1 hour

What You’ll Need:

2 pounds (6 to 8) russet potatoes

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for water

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ cup whole milk

1 large egg

3 to 4 tablespoons butter

Splash olive oil

Here’s How:

Preheat oven to 200°F degrees. Peel half of the potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place them into a medium saucepan, covered with salted water by an inch, then bring to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the cooked potatoes and force through a ricer or mash until relatively smooth and place into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, as those potatoes are cooking, peel the remaining potatoes and grate with a box grater. Wrap the grated potatoes in a kitchen towel and squeeze as much liquid from them as possible. Put the grated potatoes into the mixing bowl along with the mashed potatoes when they are ready. Add the flour, ¾ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, baking powder, milk, and egg and stir until well incorporated.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat until hot, melt half the butter and a splash of olive oil (the oil keeps the butter from burning), then cooking in small batches, add the batter ½ cup at a time, flattening the boxties with a spatula.

Turn them occasionally, and cook until golden, about 8 minutes per batch. Make sure you get the edges browned and crispy because that is to die for. Place cooked boxties on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm as you repeat with the remaining patties, adding butter to the pan as needed.

DRUNKEN MUSHROOMS – Clean and thinly slice 1 pound mushrooms (button or cremini), set aside. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons butter and a splash of olive oil.

Place 2 cloves minced garlic in the skillet and sauté for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently until mushrooms are cooked through and golden.

Add 1 tablespoon liquor of choice (marsala, Irish whisky, sherry, or broth should you prefer sober mushrooms) and ½ teaspoon dried thyme and stir, letting the liquor evaporate. Add a handful of spinach, if using. Stir to wilt the spinach. Serve with boxty.

MUSTARD GRAVY – Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter then add 2 tablespoons flour to make a roux. Stir the roux as it cooks to a pale golden color and begins to smell nutty.

Gradually add 1 cup beef, chicken, or vegetable broth, whisking until smooth after each addition. Add 1 tablespoon grainy mustard and optionally, add 1 tablespoon marsala, Irish whisky, or sherry. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on everything.

While I can’t guarantee you’ll get a man, if you’ve never tasted an Irish Boxty, you are in for a treat. This boxty recipe is simple, delicious and makes the best potato pancakes, in my humble opinion. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the recipe developer and food writer of the website “Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at divapatti@divasonadime.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
California lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, June 12 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $55 million.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Start grilling season with a twist on burnt ends

Memorial Day weekend fills my heart with gratitude as we honor those who made possible, the freedom we so often take for granted. It’s a weekend of recognition, remembrance, and thanks. For many families, this weekend also signals the official beginning of grilling season. Care to join me in a patriotic foodie-licious happy dance?

DIVAS ON A DIME: Celebrate strawberries and cream with a vintage cake recipe

Each year on May 21st we celebrate a dessert that just squeals Spring! National Strawberries and Cream Day brings together two favorites, fresh ripe strawberries, and homemade whipped cream. While that alone makes a divine dessert, let’s add a mildly sweet, vanilla fragranced, easy to make from scratch cake and we’ve just won at life.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Meet the underrated and versatile baked potato

Remember baked potatoes? I was chatting with friends about food (because what else do I talk about?) and none of us could remember the last time we had stuffed baked potatoes for dinner. We’ve been so busy with our quinoa we forgot about the King of Carbs. Good carbs, naturally.

Make Mother a sandwich that she will never forget

Meet smörgåstårta, your new favorite party recipe. Smörgåstårta (pronounced SMORE-gas-TOR-ta) is simply a beautifully decorated savory sandwich cake. It’s popular when celebrating special occasions in Sweden. To celebrate Mother’s Day and honor the influential women in your life, may I suggest serving a smörgåstårta?

DIVAS ON A DIME: Easy pork carnitas are perfect for Cinco de Mayo

Melt-in-your-mouth, flavorful and juicy with irresistible caramelized crunchy bits, this pork carnitas is brimming with classic flavors like Mexican oregano, cumin, chili powder and a surprising bright note of citrus. I’m so excited to share this divine recipe, just in time for Cinco de Mayo.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, March 20 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $31 million.

DIVAS ON A DIME: Secret tips for hiding vegetables from picky eaters

Even the most enthusiastic vegetable lovers can have a hard time getting that five a day. But when you have kids who act like you’re trying to poison them with peas, it’s even harder. That said, I’m not above suggesting you sneak veggies into your children’s food. Welcome to this episode of Crouching Mother, Hidden Veggies.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Saturday, March 13 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $29 million.