Friday, March 16, 2007

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Martha

Andy Richter and chef/restaurant owner Cathal Armstrong were on Friday's episode of Martha's show, kicking off St. Patrick's Day festivities a day early.

Comedian Andy Richter bellied up to the bar and plowed through a few traditional Irish cocktails, making Irish Rickeys and Hot Nutty Irishmen.

Chef Cathal Armstrong owns two restaurants in Virginia, each one named after his children. "Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Virginia, chef Cathal Armstrong presents his version of simple, straightforward cuisine, sourcing the highest-quality ingredients. At Eamonn's, a Dublin Chipper, his new Irish hangout in Alexandria, Chef Armstrong gets back to his Irish roots."

Chef Cathal Armstrong got the deep fryer going and turned out some delicious looking Fish and Chips. He said that St. Patrick's Day is more of a religious holiday in Ireland, as opposed to the drinking holiday it has become in the US. Traditional food to celebrate would be more along the lines of our Thanksgiving feast, with turkey and smoked salmon hitting the table, believe it or not.

Battered Cod
Recipe courtesy of chef Cathal Armstrong.

2 Cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dredging
Coarse salt
1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
4 Cups canola oil
2 Pounds skinless cod fillets, cut into 4 pieces
Marie Rose Sauce
Kitty O'Shea Sauce
Tartar Sauce

Place 1 3/4 cups water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Turn mixer on low speed and beat in flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and baking soda. Strain through a fine mesh sieve set over a large bowl.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until it reaches 360 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Place 1 cup flour in a shallow dish. Working with one piece of cod at a time, dredge cod in flour and then place in batter to coat, shaking off any excess. Carefully place in heated oil. Fry until golden and crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer cod to a wire rack and sprinkle with salt. Repeat process with remaining fish and batter. Serve immediately with desired sauces.

A perfect complement to Battered Cod, comes courtesy of chef Cathal Armstrong.

Serving: Serves 4

Canola oil, for frying
5 large Idaho potatoes, peeled
Coarse salt
Malt vinegar, for serving

Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Then cut each slice lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips.

Fill a large saucepan with enough oil to reach a depth of 5 inches. Heat over medium-high heat until it reaches 285 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches, add potatoes and cook 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cool to room temperature and transfer to a refrigerator until chilled.

Reheat oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Return potatoes to oil and cook until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt and vinegar; serve immediately.

Photo from MS site.

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