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Need suggestions--appetizer or finger foods--Irish, or just green!

I admit it: call me a show-off, but I *like* going to potlucks and having everybody go on about my dish as one of the best ones there! And I've developed a bit of a reputation for that at this one monthly group I attend. So now, I need some help upholding it.

The next meeting is in mid-March, and the theme something Irish, or just green. I am stumped. It doesn't have to be really traditional, authentic, old-school Irish, and kitschy is fine. It needs to be finger food, or easy to eat with plastic utensils. I can't cook it there, so it has to travel well. I like to do savory dishes, because a lot of people tend to bring desserts and we often end up with too many of those (although I did a King Cake in February, so that's not a firm rule). I'm not working, and I have plenty of time to cook, so a lengthy prep isn't much of a problem.

I found a cheddar and Guinness dip recipe, but it's too easy to be very interesting. Irish eggrolls with corned beef and cabbage sound good, but they're deep fried, so they'd be cold and greasy by the time I got them there. Beyond that, most every other recipe I've found won't work for one reason or another. I'm just drawing a blank.

Suggestions, please...?

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  1. Similar to the eggrolls, but wrap them in bread dough and bake (like crescent roll dough or phyllo, or home made bread dough).

    corned beef dip

    bubble and squeak pasties (similar to my first suggestion)

    use lettuce to wrap the various fillings based on traditional corned beef /cabbage theme

    green pasta salad (using spinach pasta)

    green pancakes/blinis with salmon

    fresh pea dip, bright green

    1. Hmmm, that's a tough holiday to show off food! Unlike Valentine's Day or most others, unless you're talking veggies or cookies...green food just isn't that appealing.

      How about cutting some nice rye I to shamrock shapes and making corned beef "sliders?"

      Avocados are green. Kiwi...I bet you get lots of great ideas!

      1 Reply
      1. re: ItalianNana

        Stuffed green olives? Tiny stuffed green peppers or pepperoncini?

      2. Watergate Salad.

        j/k don't do that.

        I like ItalianNana's idea of doing corned beef sliders.

        1. as another poster said- reuben dip (corn beef dip)

          homebaked bread stuffed with swiss and corn beef.

          You could also do mini reubens using cocktail rye.

          Bring a big pot of either potato soup or irish stew. Easy to eat out of small cups.

          A spiked cheese fondue with irish soda bead for dipping.

          Colcannon or even Champ can be made more smooth and used as a dip.

          Of course if you really want to stoop you can color almost anything with green food dye. Green sour cream and onion dip. You can make green bread and use it for a myriad of things. I have seen green hard boiled eggs used for deviled eggs. Green Goddess dressing on a salad.

          Shrimp cocktail served with salsa verde for dipping.

          There are quite a few appetizing green foods, though many are not associated with St Paddy's day. If you can get past that you might find a more palatable offerings.

          1. This probably wouldn't be enough, but it could be one of two dishes......kale chips. They are yummy and can be made ahead.

            1. When I was shopping at my butcher, someone was asking about ordering a lot of blood sausage by mid March.

              1. This is what I have come up with for nibbles, so far, for my St. Patrick’s Day party:

                • Savory biscuit, cracker or scone made with a nice Irish cheddar or Cashel Blue
                • Brown soda bread - use it to make a variety of canapés – smoked salmon, crème fraiche and chives, cheeses, smoked salmon puree, corned beef with mustard
                • Stuffed new potatoes w/ sour cream, chives and bacon bits (rashers/ BB)

                2 Replies
                1. re: EM23


                  Tasty, and represents food you might even find in Ireland, without pandering to the "dye it green and it's Irish" school of thought.

                  I have an Irish friend who regularly serves smoked salmon with butter on her homemade brown soda bread. It's delicious.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    I think this is an excellent selection. My niece lives in Ireland, and when I asked her about this thread she could only come up with sandwiches as a cold option. The smoked salmon and soda bread certainly represent Irish food.

                2. Cockles and mussels with garlic and parsley.

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: ItalianNana

                      Hahaha I heard that same refrain in my head!

                      1. re: ItalianNana

                        Sung with simultaneous head waving and a happy smile!

                    2. Here's a slow cooker Reuben Dip that looks great. Serve with fresh rolls, crusty bread pieces and fresh cut veggies. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-coo...

                      1. Shots of pea soup garnished with a mint pesto puff pastry twists

                        Cabbage rolls filled with potato/kale

                        1. How about potted crab or fish with melba toast and/or crackers?

                          1. This isn't savory, and is admittedly a little silly/cutesy, but I saw a "green velvet" cupcake recipe where the cupcake liner was squished into the sides till it formed a three leaf clover.

                            The batter must have been substantial enough so it would hold, but yeah, it was cute!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Violatp

                              I think one can use marbles to squish the sides.

                              1. re: wyogal

                                Oh, that's a good idea!

                                MsMary - sorry to threadjack a bit - I know you want savory, but those cupcakes just looked so cute.

                            2. Something with smoked salmon? Cracker/cream cheese/salmon/dill garnish. Instead of crackers, use homemade Irish soda bread and creme fraiche.

                              Here's a link to other suggestions from a site called "Little Shamrocks":


                                1. Michael Smith once made green eggs and ham. I know this isn't an Irish food, but it would be pretty fun.


                                  There is a similar recipe that makes this dish in mini tart shells rather than ramekins, which would make them more finger friendly.

                                  1. I'm making Guinness Sausage Rolls and serving them w HP's new Guinness HP Sauce.

                                    I'm also making miniature Irish Potato Cakes and serving them topped with dill butter for a hint of green and smoked salmon.

                                    I recently used Guinness Sausage for Scotch Eggs and they were the best Scotch eggs I'd ever made so I thought that sausage would make for a perfect St. Patty's Day snack.

                                    Here's a link to a Guinness sausage recipe if you're interested:


                                    1 Reply
                                    1. http://www.food.com/recipe/barefoot-c...

                                      Ina Garten's red pepper and goat cheese sandwiches are delicious. Fresh basil leaves provide the green. If you're going all out Irish you could use orange bell peppers and white balsamic to really wave that flag. :)

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: bonoeuf

                                        Oh, now that's clever. Sort of an Irish Caprese? O'Caprese? ;-)

                                        1. re: Violatp

                                          Homemade potato chips would be great with these sandwiches and nothing says "Ireland" like a potato. :)

                                      2. How about mini shepard's pies, sausage rolls, potato and salmon pancakes with a dill creme...

                                        1. Green theme ideas:

                                          Pasta & pesto salad, maybe with peas, and/or olives and/or corned beef. One recipe here http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/...

                                          Pickles wrapped in dried corned beef slices, with or without a cream cheese layer. One recipe here

                                          Coleslaw salad with chicken and almonds & poppyseed dressing, ramen noodles for crunch (aka Chinese Chicken Coleslaw). Recipe here is close to what I've made, but omits a key step of using the seasoning packet from the ramen noodles in the dressing. This is a very easy salad to travel with. Make the dressing ahead of time, keep each of the other ingredients in separate containers/bags, and just combine in a large bowl when you arrive at the event. http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs...

                                          1. Please no fake green food (green beer for example) makes my Irish ancestors cry...

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Mairebk1

                                              granted wiki isn't always accurate, but this:

                                              "In North America corned beef dishes are associated with traditional Irish cuisine. However there is considerable debate about the association of corned beef with Ireland. Mark Kurlansky, in his book Salt, states that the Irish produced a salted beef around the Middle Ages that was the "forerunner of what today is known as Irish corned beef" and in the 17th century the English named the Irish salted beef, corned beef.[7] Some say it was not until the wave of 18th century Irish immigration to the United States that much of the ethnic Irish first began to consume corned beef dishes as seen today. The popularity of corned beef compared to bacon among the immigrant Irish may have been due to corned beef being considered a luxury product in their native land, while it was cheaply and readily available in America.

                                              In Ireland today, the serving of corned beef is geared toward tourist consumption and most Irish in Ireland do not identify the ingredient as native cuisine."

                                              what on earth is "irish" about a reuben sandwich? that's jewish deli food.

                                              i wouldn't call all these dishes "irish" but there are some good ideas:


                                              i once was a bridesmaid to an irish girl and one of my gifts from her was a wee irish cookbook. ALL but one of the recipes started with 1. boil the potatoes. the exception? 1. boil the blood.

                                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                My Irish neighbor told me that she makes a traditional dish called "spiced beef" for St Patrick's Day -- on comparison, it's the same as what we call 'corned beef'.

                                              2. re: Mairebk1

                                                No worries--I might make something a little kitschy (shamrocks and leprechauns may make an appearance) but I draw the line at fake green food. Green beer has always looked revolting to me.

                                              3. I haven't made these (yet), but they're on my list: pigs in sleeping bags!


                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                  Those look and sound wonderful and I've saved the recipe. But what's Irish about them? Maybe with ground lamb.

                                                2. This was a big hit at last year's St. Patrick's Day party: like pigs in a blanket but with Irish bangers. I found the bangers at Trader Joe's. They were raw so I precooked them. I spread puff pasty with whole grain mustard (Guiness brand) and rolled up the cooled sausages and baked them. To serve, I cut them into 2" slices with more mustard on the side.

                                                  1. WOW. Thanks to everybody--I see a whole bunch of ideas here that sound great. Now my challenge is to narrow it down!

                                                    1. "Peacamole" (instead of guacamole) is a great appetizer & very green:

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: boredough

                                                        Although I was reluctant to click on anything called chocolateandzucchine :), I did and this sounds and looks great!. Saved. I've never had almond butter but it's now on the list. Thanks.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          Hope you like it (as I do!). It's very refreshing.
                                                          Have also tried her (very good) chocolate & zucchini cake (out of extreme curiosity) - the zucchini just gives it moisture, but does not flavor the cake.

                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                            it's great blog, and she's a well-respected author of several cookbooks.

                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                              Thanks for the rec, sunshine. I'll check it out more.

                                                          2. re: boredough

                                                            I've made hummus with edamame, it's also VERY green. Tastes just like regular though.

                                                          3. Irish coffee will make everyone happy, even though it is not savory! I brought this to work years ago on St. Patrick's day, of course I would never do this today!

                                                            16 Replies
                                                            1. re: Ruthie789

                                                              Actually I think Irish coffee made with Irish whiskey, rather than that (IMO) dreadful Baileys-kinda stuff, isn't particularly sweet. I like your idea.

                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                I don't like Bailey's at all, don't understand the fuss about it.

                                                                1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                  To each 'her' own. It seems like a frou-frou thing to me. Shiver.

                                                                  1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                    Ugh, Bailey's. Ghastly sweet and artificial.

                                                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                                                      At New Years friends invented a drink which I believe was half Bailey's and half Patron cafe XO. They called it a G-ddamn Awesome.

                                                                      We were out of Bailey's by 11 pm.

                                                                      1. re: melpy

                                                                        Hope all were feeling well the next day!

                                                                        1. re: melpy

                                                                          That makes me shiver...and not in a good way.

                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                        irish coffee is most definitely made with jameson's.

                                                                        not bailey's. blech.

                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                          ...if you're Catholic. It's Bushmill's if you're Protestant.

                                                                          Although I hear that's an Irish-American idea--in Ireland, they don't much care as long as you're buying.

                                                                          1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                            and there's more than two brands of Irish whiskey available in Ireland.

                                                                            1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                              ha! i didn't want to bring religion into it, but i know several bar owners who are irish.catholic and refuse to stock bushmill's.

                                                                              1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                                I've switched over to Paddys and Powers myself.
                                                                                Eliminates the religious aspects.

                                                                                My father discovered the secret to a great Irish coffee, a spoonful of Kahlua in place of the demarrara sugar. Works for me!

                                                                          2. re: Ruthie789

                                                                            My first job out of college, my boss used to keep a bottle of Bushmill's in her desk drawer. Anytime we had a birthday in the office she'd break it out and we'd all have Irish coffees--and she was one of those hosts who'd grab your glass as soon as it was near-empty, and fill it up again. There were days when i had to take a walk at 11 am because I was too buzzed to go back to work. But who was going to say anything? It was the boss who was pouring them!

                                                                            It did give me a very skewed picture of what the working world was like, though. I managed to adapt, but it came as kind of a surprise that EVERYBODY didn't drink like that on the job!

                                                                            1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                              This really amused me! I was in SF in the mid70s and beyond and we drank A LOT. When I read how things are now, I'm kinda amazed :)

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                This WAS in SF, in the mid-80's. Those were the days...

                                                                                1. re: MsMaryMc

                                                                                  The few jobs I had in the 70s and 80s (all long term) involved a lot of drinking too. My boss even used to call one of us into his office at the end of the day (after UPS pickup but before punch out time) for a couple of shots, and I was honored to be invited on several occasions. He would share his wisdom and philosphies about business, and it was very special. Times were certainly different.

                                                                          3. Irish Nachos are going to be on our table....layers of potatoes , beer cheese sauce topped with bacon pieces and green onions

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: LaLa

                                                                              Yum! As a casserole, or are they badada (potato) skins? That sounds deeeeeelish! :)

                                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                Kinda casserolish ...we layer them in a cast iron

                                                                            2. These Corned Beef Puffs are perfect for St. Patrick's Day. Just add 8 oz. of thinly sliced deli corned beef and 2 green onions in the Manual Food Processor or Food Chopper. Stir in 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese, 3 tbsp. mayonnaise and 1 tbsp. country-style Dijon mustard. Then, place crescent dough squares into the Mini-Muffin pan, scoop filling into cups, and bake at 375°F for 11-13 minutes, or until golden brown.

                                                                              I tried to paste pic, but failed. Might have been on Pampered Chef. Not sure.

                                                                              1. Maybe mini shepherd's pies made in a mini muffin tin.

                                                                                Guinness cake/cupcakes/cake pops