Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy St. Patricks day...and irish tamales?

Ah St.Paddy’s day…culturally speaking, being raised in a Latino household - St. Patrick’s day does not commonly mean the wearin’ o the green!

Despite my roots, my childhood "Americanization" started early on (I was born in Washington, DC) and my mother gleefully embraced all North American “culture”, be it macaroons at Passover/Easter on sale at Safeway or the cute green clover cookies in the bakery in March. As a young mom in the 70’s she embraced recipes that were just as foreign as the land she now called home and delighted in it. My Salvadorian mother makes a mean shepherds pie!

I was blessed with the opportunity to live in Ireland in my 20’s and will always look upon that time as magical. Ireland was truly the Emerald Isle I’d imagined it to be. I’d never seen such lovely rolling green hills all dotted with little cotton balls (actually sheep)all over the country side, enjoying these sites as I rattled along in trains from one end of the country to the other sipping my Lucazaid (tastes like a sparkling , not so sweet Gatorade) and smokin’ “fags” (slang for cigarettes- rid of that habit thank goodness!).

Though many years have passed since my last visit to Eire, I hold dear in my heart all of my fond memories and the beautiful people who crossed my path.

In Homage to the Saint, his adopted country, and the true Irish spirit of the Shamrock and its meaning- my low carb St. Paddy's day dinner!

Starter: Dublin Bay Prawn Cocktail Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes

(photo istock .com)

Ingredients: * 1cup peeled, cooked prawns or shrimp * 2 tbsp mayonnaise * 1/2 tbsp creamed horseradish sauce * 1/2 tbsp tomato ketchup * 1 cups shredded Romaine or iceberg lettuce * 1 lime, quartered * 2 large, cooked prawns, shelled with tail on (garnish) Preparation: Serves 2 * Place the prawns, mayonnaise, creamed horseradish and tomato ketchup into a mixing bowl. Stir to combine all the ingredients; make sure all the prawns or shrimp are coated in sauce . * Divide the shredded lettuce between 2 large wine glasses and top with the prawns and sauce. * Decorate with a wedge of lime and a large prawn on the edge of the glass and serve with small slices of buttered brown bread (or not)

Main Course:

Salmon- The mythical Irish Fish of Wisdom.

Poached "Shannon" Salmon w/ Picatta Cream Sauce (Eating Well magazine) recipe dubbed "Shannon" Salmon by little old me!
· 1/2 lb center-cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 2 portions
· ½ cup dry white wine, divided
· 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 small shallot, minced
· 1 tablespoons lemon juice
· 2 tsp capers, rinsed
· 1/8 cup reduced-fat sour cream (for lower carb – use full fat)
· 1/8 teaspoon salt
· 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1. Place salmon in a large skillet. Add ¼ cup wine and enough water to just cover the salmon. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, turn the salmon over, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining ¼ cup wine; boil until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and capers; cook 1 minute more. Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and salt. To serve, top the salmon with the sauce and garnish with dill.
Per serving: 304 calories; 16 g fat ( 4 g sat , 7 g mono ); 73 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 0 g fiber; 307 mg sodium; 500 mg potassium.
Accompaniment :
Steamed Asparagus

Bailey’s Butter-Pecan Creme Brulee ( a recipe for 2- double recipe for 4)
(Low Carb –Sugar free!)

1 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks
1/4 tspvanilla
dash of caramel extract (if you can find it for the “baileys” flavoring)
Dash of salt
1 tablespoons Splenda

Heat cream over medium heat, just until bubbles start to form.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, vanilla, salt and Splenda.
Gradually whisk in cream.
Strain mixture.
Divide into two custard cups.
Bake in a water bath for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Custards should be set, but still jiggly.
Chill for one hour.
Make butter-pecan topping and divide between between cups.
Refrigerate for four more hours or overnight.

Butter-Pecan Topping:
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 cup pecans - finely chopped
1 teaspoon Splenda

Melt butter.
Stir in pecans and Splenda.
Heat just until nuts begin to color, being careful not to burn!
3 to 4 carbs per serving

Served with :
Irish Coffee
Happy St. Patricks day!
Remember to find a way to make every day a reason to celebrate.


  1. All of the above were delish...the "Shannon" Salmon was a new recipe, I can say it was easy, and delicious...I did not use was $7.99 a pound! I made a sauteed spinach instead. Instead of brown bread for the prawn cocktail I used a gluten free cracker topped with dubliner cheddar cheese...deeeeelish!

  2. what a great blog! I`m so happy I found it! Here is so many inspirations and I love it! <3

    Have a nice time,