I never really celebrated St. Patrick’s Day until moving to the panhandle and becoming best friends with Kate. St. Patrick’s Day 2011 coincided with Auburn’s Spring Break and we had Kate and her now husband Josh over for a simple dinner and game night – individual meatloaves and mashed potatoes. That event began a four year tradition. In 2012 Kate and Josh were now living here and we went to their apartment for Ruben Egg Rolls, Shepherd’s Pie, and a yogurt parfait with angel food cake and mango. (Lesson learned – do not dye vanilla pudding green, it will mess with your mind and fool your taste buds.) I hosted in 2013 and served an Irish bread braid, individual meatloaves, and colcannon. Kate brought over a beautiful rainbow cake too!
This year marks our fourth, and probably final (as we’re moving this summer), St. Patrick’s Day together. It’s Kate’s turn to host and we’re combining our favorites – the Irish bread braid, Ruben egg rolls, Shepherd’s pie with shamrock rolls, and for dessert maple shortbread cookies and chocolate chip ice cream. It’s a big menu for four people, but we’re going all out this year!
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it – my crescent rolls were very easily tear-able and no matter how much I pinched and tried to make the dough seamless there was no hope. Instead I made a rustic-looking tart. But the flavors were still beautiful. I don’t know if the dough warmed up too much in the 30 minute drive to Kate’s or if using the name brand product is simply too good at it’s job – Stuart suggested maybe buying a generic brand of crescent dough in the hopes that it’s not as perforated. Here’s the real advice – if your store sells seamless crescent dough, buy it! None of my local stores do.
Last year I made this bread braid (see pre-baked photo in above collage) for St. Patrick’s Day and it was such a hit that Stuart requested it again for Easter. I will probably make it again, and if I’m successful in the braid I’ll post it!
Irish Bread Braid
- 3 red potatoes
- 3 C chopped kale, stems removed
- 2 cans seamless crescent roll dough
- 1/2 lb sliced corned beef
- 1 C shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 egg
- caraway seeds, for sprinkling
- Boil kale in salted water for 4 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and set aside.
- Boil potatoes until tender. Let cool, slice, and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- On a greased baking sheet, unroll crescent dough and press side-by-side lengthwise into one larger rectangle. Additionally, press together all perforated seams if not using seamless.
- Place corned beef in the center of the rectangle, leaving 3″ on each side. Top with potato slices, kale, and shredded cheese.
Cut dough into the same number of strips on each side of the filling, leaving an inch buffer around the filling. Criss-cross the strips over the filling to create a braid.Fold crescent dough around the filling to create a rustic tart. (See above photos.)
- In a small bowl whisk the egg with 1 tbsp water. Brush the bread with egg wash and sprinkle with caraway seeds and kosher salt, if desired.
- Bake for 25 minutes. If your bread braid turned into a rustic tart lightly cover with aluminum foil for 20 minutes, remove foil and bake another 5-8 minutes until the crust is golden and cooked through. Allow to cool slightly before slicing.
*This recipe is modified from girlversusdough at http://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/irish-bread-braid/aa8ebb56-1255-4cec-996f-3de32cb5456e*