Given that I live with a Very Nice Irish Young Man, I felt it was my duty as a loving partner to give my man some corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. As I tend toward the masochistic in my cooking pursuits, I immediately set off on preparations to corn an entire brisket. Thing is, a brisket can run up to 10-12 pounds. There’s two of us in the house and even with Soup taking his fair share, we’d never make it out alive.
Enter Melissa Clark and her newest book, Cook This Now. My copy is already well worn and taggedwith post-its. Melissa Clark also writes for the New York Times and keeps a blog of her own but I really would recommend you pick up her book, too. Her recipes are fresh riffs on classics with a new spin on ingredients and a streamlined method (no redundant steps, millions of dishes or marathon cooking sessions unlike some other cookbooks, ahem!). One of my favorite features of the book is at the end of each recipe where Melissa offers you alternatives/additions to recipes (“What Else?” she asks,) or offers you an entirely different variation on the same dish (“A Dish by Another Name).
These twice-baked potatoes are a great option to celebrate the holiday while keeping your waistline, pocketbook and dignity in check. The entire recipe uses only one large mixing bowl which makes clean-up a snap. If you’re in a rush, you can bake the potatoes off ahead of time. Or bake the potatoes, make the filling and re-fill the potatoes ahead of time and later re-bake them to warm through when you’re ready to serve. Easy. Fast. Festive. Look at you go.
I served them with roasted cabbage and you guys? Roasted cabbage is AWESOME. I was so skeptical. It sounded outdated at best and bland and soggy at its worst. But a little rubdown with olive oil, a scatter of salt and a grate of parmesan later, I was nibbling it straight off the sheet pan before I had even called Justin in for dinner. No soggy bland mess in sight. Roast yourself some cabbage and treat yo’self.
One last note: if you know what’s good for you, you’ll serve this with a green beer.
Twice Baked Potatoes with Corned Beef
adapted from Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now
4 russet potatoes, scrubbed well
¾ pound thinly sliced corned beef, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
1 heaping tablespoon fresh dill, chopped*
1 heaping tablespoon fresh chives, chopped*
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
black pepper, ground
*Save yourself money and effort and instead of buying a whole bunch of fresh chives and fresh herbs, buy a “Seafood Pack” from the herb section of the grocery store. It will have just the right amount of dill and chives for this recipe, plus a little parsley as an added bonus.
Preheat your oven to 425. Rub each potato with a pinch of salt and pierce twice with a fork or knife. Place potatoes on a foil-wrapped baking sheet and bake for 60-70 minutes until the skins are crispy and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
When the potatoes have cooled enough to handle (or sooner, if you’re inpatient like me), lop off the top third of the potato and scoop the fluffy insides into a large bowl, leaving a ¼ inch of potato still attached to the skin. Add the corned beef, butter, sour cream (or yogurt), dill, chives and a good pinch of salt and pepper to the bowl. Mash it well. Taste for seasoning.
Stuff the potato skins with the potato mixture, mounding it up on top but being careful not to rip the potato skin. Top the potatoes with the Parmesan cheese, sprinkling evenly. Throw the potatoes back in the oven and bake until heated through, about 10 minutes (this will take longer if you baked the potatoes ahead of time and your potato mixture is cold from the fridge).
half a big-ass green cabbage, cored
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 425. Carefully slice the cabbage into 1-inch-thick steaks. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and rub with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle the slices with a generous seasoning of salt. Roast, turning once, for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with Parmesan and return to the oven for another 5 minutes until crispy and browned.