Recipes with a touch of green for St Patrick’s Day

Memories of a New York sojourn flood back at this time of year

Baked collar of bacon, Highbank Orchard syrup, rhubarb and wild kale. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Baked collar of bacon, Highbank Orchard syrup, rhubarb and wild kale. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

I’ve always regretted not living in New York. London had me in its grasp for many years and when it was time to move, home and elderly parents won the toss. 

A few years ago, my old pal Donal Crosbie and I were asked to cook a pre-St Patrick’s day dinner for Kerrygold to promote the brand in the US. A snowstorm had enveloped the city. I woke early and trudged through the snow from our hotel in Tribeca up the 20 blocks or so to the Hudson Hound where the dinner was taking place.

I stopped for an egg roll and cheap coffee in a convenience store; that’s what real New Yorkers do. I was inexplicably happy, head down against the biting flurry, heading towards the West Village, me, the world’s most unlikely explorer.

There was work, then there was play, as there always is with me. We relished those few days in NYC catching up with old friends and making new ones. We stayed in a cool hotel, too cool as it happens. On the last night they closed lobby bar to facilitate “an important private party” in the basement club. The residents could suck it up. I was not happy.

A posse was organised to penetrate the proceedings, through the now empty kitchens. There were giggles and anxious hushes as we all squeezed into the service lift for an interminably slow decent. Then the doors opened to a bubble-filled mirage, a tower of champagne coupes worthy of The Great Gatsby. We edged towards it, stunned at our own bravado, and grabbed some unattended glasses.

Just as we were getting settled, a group of large men approached us and relieved us of our champagne. It was an after-party for the rock band Green Day and we weren’t invited. They escorted us out, all muscles and burly indignation.

We laughed a lot that night and we flew home the next morning, Paddy’s day.  One day, when we’re allowed to travel again, I’ll see that big parade.

These recipes all have a little bit of green, using some of the finest Irish ingredients. Search them out if you can.

In the case of the glorious greens, this dish is all about technique and a little patience. The garlic perfumes the greens in a subtle way. Velvet Cloud sheep’s yoghurt is a very special Irish product, but you can use good natural yoghurt or some soft goat’s cheese if you can’t find it. This is great with rice, pasta or cous cous, or as a lovely accompaniment to a traditional dinner.

Recipe: Roast loin of bacon, pickled rhubarb, Highbank Orchard syrup

Baked collar of bacon, Highbank Orchard syrup, rhubarb, wild kale and potato. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Baked collar of bacon, Highbank Orchard syrup, rhubarb, wild kale. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Recipe: French beans, Parma ham, Green Goddess dressing

French beans, Serrano ham and Green Goddess dressing. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
French beans, Serrano ham and Green Goddess dressing. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Recipe: Glorious greens, Velvet Cloud yoghurt, nuts and grapes

Glorious greens with Velvet Cloud yogurt and pine nuts. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Glorious greens with Velvet Cloud yogurt and pine nuts. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
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