Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Giving Thanks on St. Patrick's Day

Okay, so one might not exactly invite the in-laws, the "once a year" friends and their out of town guests, and the obligatory "alone for the holiday" co-worker to give thanks over green beer, corned beef, cabbage, and boiled potatoes (in no particular order.) However, yours truly still gives thanks every single St. Patrick's Day. No, not for beer. That's more of a done-with-work daily thanksgiving for me.

The thanks that I give every St. Patrick's Day is to my Nana, Dora Alvarado. She got her butt to the hospital a day early and gave birth to my father on the 16th of March. Had she given birth on the 17th, being a good Catholic, she would have named her son Patrick.

P-A-T-R-I-C-K, Patrick.

Patrick Guillermo would have then begot Patrick Miguel some 22 years later, and 30 years thereafter fully put my first son in danger of being named Patrick as well. Surely you can see how this would have created catastrophic results on the time continuum.

For all of time, or as Andre Benjamin puts it: "Forever? Forever ever? Forever ever?"

Thankfully my father was named Fernando Guillermo, he begot Fernando Miguel, and after all of that, we named our first son William, and I only use my legal name on my taxes. Which was another catastrophe of sorts this year, but I'll get to that in another post.

So back to the corned beef I say! There is a great glaze recipe in The Silver Palate, I think it's the Back to Basics one--it's gray. Use Dundee's Bitter Orange Marmalade, and a spicy Dijon for this recipe. Score your already boiled way past dead Corned Beef, lightly glaze it, and throw it in the oven. Keep glazing it every ten minutes or so. You can stop here and you'll have a great hit (next year or for for St. Patty's in July,) or you can look at that left over glaze and say to yourself, "I should make a savory caramel with that."

Take that left over glaze, add 1/4 cup of brown sugar, about 1tbsp and a half of apple cider vinegar, and put it in a 2qt sauce pan. Bring it up to a rapid boil, and after it has been bubbling away for two minutes add in 3 tbsp of unsalted butter one tbsp at a time, whisking constantly, and waiting for one to dissolve before adding the next. Once that last pat of love has been incorporated, pull it off of the heat and let it sit. You can get cute and put the sauce in a little jar, with a green and white gingham ribbon, and cut a faux leaf clover out of flat-leaf parsley for garnish.

Or you can lick the whisk every time you walk by as you plate the dinner and give thanks for not being named Patrick.

*edit* - "I would like to apologize to my -1 or so readers, none of whom are named Patrick, or even have names that start with a "P."

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