I know, the box of chocolate and the bouquet of flowers from Valentine’s Day still grace your counter, but it is time to start thinking about the next holiday’s food. I mean, aren’t themed food menus a major topic for your spare thinking time? If they aren’t yet, they should be. Think about how much more fun holidays and events could be with the perfect menu.
The next holiday that we are planning at Think Tasty is St. Patrick’s Day. For me, I have been making the same menu for the same group of people for the last six years: corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and my grandmother’s Irish Soda Bread. The only item I have changed is the adults only beverage, the Minty McFreeze, which is a recipe I have changed a couple times.
Although corned beef and cabbage are the typical fare on March 17th, there is a much wider variety of Irish foods that could be served. As my repertoire is small, I have enlisted the help of several chefs and cookbook authors. Over the next four weeks, I will be sharing their sweet and savory dishes that would make a great addition to your St. Patty’s Day menu.
We start the series with a dish that could be served as an appetizer or a main dish. Although fondue typically makes one think of France, this recipe has an Irish flair.
Irish Aged Cheddar Cheese Fondue
Chef Shane Schaibly of Front Burner Brands, The Melting Pot
1 cup Guinness Extra Stout
4 tsp. dry mustard powder
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. Tabasco Sauce
2 Tb. chives, chopped
11 oz. (2 1/2 – 3 cups) Irish aged cheddar cheese
3 Tb. all-purpose flour
Cheese should be shredded and tossed with flour to aid in thickening and improve the viscosity of the fondue. The cheese should be the consistency of warm honey when complete. Monitor your cheese as it is being added and note that not all cheese may be needed and in some cases a bit more may be needed to get it to the perfect consistency.
Turn heat source to high, place pot with 1” water on burner. Place liner into pot. When steam is visible, reduce heat to medium. Add beer to liner. While stirring with a fork, add Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, and Tabasco. Stir for approximately 30 seconds. Add 1/2 of cheese and stir until fully incorporated into liquid. Then add pinches of the cheese in very small increments until the rest of the cheese is used and stir using a circular whipping motion until smooth. Remove fork and garnish with chopped chives.
Served with cubes of crusty bread, broccoli florets, apple chunks, or other dip-able items.