Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What to do With Your St. Patty's Day Leftovers??

Hi everyone!  How are you all?  We are good here.  Freezing, but good.  It is super windy.  Like so windy that it keeps you up all night.  I am pretty sure that if I hadn’t held Addy down today at the bus stop, she would have flown away.  Lucky for me, I am pretty sturdy….so I wasn’t going anywhere. 

Are you getting ready for St. Patrick’s Day?  I talked about this last year, but St. Patrick’s Day sure has changed for me.  In my college days, St. Patrick’s Day was huge!  It was pretty much a two day affair, if you could make it that long.  I never could.  Now, St. Patrick’s Day is all about setting leprechaun traps and green milk.

At our house, the “mischievous leprechaun” visits every night for a full week before St. Patrick’s Day.  He does things like dying the milk green, peeing green into the toilet, stealing shoes, etc.  The girls love it.  I, on the other hand, have been rethinking the whole “week before” thing.  I think maybe next year the leprechaun might just visit for a few days.  This is a lot of work!

So back to the food…..do you end up with a ton of leftover corned beef?  We always do.  As you know, I made one last week for the four of us.  I had bought a 4 pound chunk of corned beef.  Clearly, we weren’t all going to eat a pounds worth, so we have a whole lotta beef left over.  I wanted to come up with something creative to do with the leftovers.  Last year, I made an “Irish Mac and Cheese”.  This year, I wanted to use the leftover potatoes and cabbage as well.  So I made an “Irish Pizza”.

This pizza isn’t your typical pizza.  It doesn’t have a red sauce.  Instead of sauce, I used mashed potatoes.  You might have leftover boiled potatoes, and that will work too.  I topped the mashed potatoes with corned beef, cabbage, leeks and a mix of Irish cheddar and mozzarella.  After I cooked the pizza, I swirled on some thousand island salad dressing.  That might sound weird, but the whole thing kind of reminded me of a Rueben sandwich, so it worked.  Let me show you how I made it.

I used a packaged pizza crust.  You can use that kind, the kind in a tube, or you could make your own if you are super ambitious.  I also used everything I said above.  I had about a cup of leftover cubed corned beef, about 1 ½ cups of leftover mashed potatoes, about 1 cup of leftover shredded (raw) cabbage, one leek (chopped), Irish cheddar, fresh mozzarella and thousand island.

If you made corned beef, or you are planning on making it….chances are there will be potatoes involved.  If you make boiled potatoes, and you have some left over….just mash them up.  They will work perfectly.  Or….you could always get some pre-made mashed potatoes from the grocery store. 
I know mashed potatoes on a pizza might sound weird, but if you have ever had the pizza skins from Frankie’s in Chico…you know what I’m talking about.

The first step is to soften the leeks a bit on the stove top.  Have you ever cooked with leeks before?  You have to be really careful with cleaning them.  They get dirt and grit in between all of the layers.  You need to slice them first, and then you swish the slices around in a bowl of water.  The dirt and grit will fall to the bottom, and you can just scoop out your clean leeks.  Don’t skip this step or your leeks will be crunchy.  And not in a good way.

I tossed the leeks into a sauté pan that had a smidge of butter in it.  I also salted and peppered them.  I cooked the leeks just for a few minutes, until they were softened.

Then, I spread a thin layer of my mashed potatoes onto my pizza crust.  Just do a thin layer, or your pizza will get too heavy.

Next came the cooked leeks and the corned beef.

And then the leftover cabbage.

FYI-if you really like Rueben sandwiches, you could totally use sauerkraut here.  I would rather punch myself in the face then eat sauerkraut, but it’s your call.

Finally, the cheeses.  Like I said above, I used a mix of Irish cheddar and fresh mozzarella.  Little hint-if you are using fresh mozzarella…..throw it in the freezer for about 30 minutes before you grate it.  Otherwise it will be a sticky mess.

Now it’s ready for the oven.  I baked this according to the pizza crust package directions….about 15 minutes.

When the pizza came out of the oven, I let it cool a bit.  Then, I swirled on the Thousand Island dressing. 

Tada!  This pizza was amazingly good.  It was salty, creamy, crunchy, etc.  But really, what couldn’t you put on a pizza crust, cover in cheese, and have not be good?

If you have leftover corned beef and cabbage, you have to try this recipe.  Or maybe even make this instead of regular corned beef and cabbage.  I bet that there are a lot of people out there that think they don’t like corned beef and cabbage, but would love this!  It’s pizza…who wouldn’t love it??!!

If you are totally anti making your own corned beef, but you still want this pizza….you can get corned beef from your deli counter.  Just have them slice it thicker then they normally would for a sandwich.

Make this.  I promise…you will love it.

I will have a yummy St. Patrick’s Day dessert to show you on Thursday.  See you all then!

Irish Pizza

One packaged pizza crust

1 tablespoon butter

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 large leek, chopped and cleaned (white and light green parts only)

1 ½ cups mashed potatoes

1 cup corned beef, cubed

½ cup raw cabbage, shredded

1 cup Irish cheddar cheese, shredded

½ cup fresh mozzarella, shredded

¼ cup Thousand Island salad dressing.

Preheat oven according to pizza crust package directions.

In a sauté pan, melt butter.  Add leeks, salt and pepper.  Sauté leeks over medium heat until soft, about 4 minutes.

Place pizza crust on a baking pan.  Spread mashed potatoes on crust.  Top potatoes with corned beef, cooked leeks, cabbage, and cheeses.

Bake according to package directions.

Let pizza cool slightly and top with Thousand Island dressing.

Serves 4 to 6

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