With St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching, I recently decided that this season would be a great time to dig up a few of my roots and learn a thing or two about Irish culture and cuisine. Though I’ve never personally had a genetics test done, my older sister went through the process a few years back and discovered that nearly 50% of our roots point straight to the beautiful country of Ireland. This was really no huge shock to us, as both my sister and I are rather fair complected. The fact that my Grandmother’s maiden name was McGillick was also a pretty good indicator that we might have a tad of Irish in us, too. While I know very little about my ancestors from this particular part of the world, I have picked up a few cultural tidbits over the years that make me look forward to wearing a little green to bring the luck of the Irish my way each St. Patrick’s Day!
When I was a young teenager, I had the good fortune to travel overseas as part of a student ambassador program to visit Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. I celebrated my 14th birthday shopping with my friends on O’Connell street in Dublin, and I even had the opportunity to stay in the home of an Irish family for a few days to absorb the culture and take in the beautiful sights around me. It was with this family that I learned a little bit more about traditional Irish cuisine, which largely consists of meat and potato-based dishes.
While there, I vividly remember trying many different types of stews made with lamb, pork and beef, and a favorite treat of mine was trying these delicious little potato pancakes and Irish soda bread that I still daydream about to this day. While the Irish aren’t particularly known for their spices and flavor palate, it’s no question that potatoes are the star of the show in much of their cuisine. To celebrate my heritage and to commemorate my trip abroad all those years ago, I decided to whip up a little dish inspired by the potato-loving people of Ireland to share with my family this St. Patrick’s Day.
I’ve always loved twice baked potatoes, and adding a little cheese and corned beef into the mix in this recipe really takes me back to so many of the traditional meat and potato dishes I enjoyed years ago. If you’re planning a St. Patrick’s Day party, or any sort of gathering with friends and family throughout the year, these Irish Twice Baked Potato bites are a great little appetizer to make and serve! Whether you have Irish roots that run deep in your family, or if you have no connection to the people of Ireland at all, this is a dish that will be loved by any and all people, guaranteed!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe. You may already have most of the ingredients needed right in your own pantry!
- 20 small, golf ball sized potatoes (I used a mixed bag of red and yellow)
- 1½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 Tbs butter, melted
- ½ cup canned corned beef
- Sour cream, green onions and bacon bits for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450 F
- Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray
- Wash each potato thoroughly and pat dry
- Cut a small amount off of one side of each potato so that they can stand upright on baking sheet
- Using a fork, carefully pierce holes all over each potato
- Bake for 40 minutes (add more time if potatoes are on the bigger side)
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before handling
- Cut the top off of each potato and carefully scoop the insides into a large bowl, returning the hollowed potatoes to the baking sheet
- Add heavy whipping cream, melted butter, corned beef, cheese, salt and garlic powder to potatoes and blend using a hand mixer until well combined
- Stuff potato mixture into each potato and continue baking in the oven for an additional 10 minutes
- Remove from oven and top with sour cream, green onions and bacon pieces
These potato appetizers are best served hot, and the pop of green that the chopped onions give them make them look especially festive during this time of year! Aside from the deliciousness of these potato bites, I love how easy they are to customize. Adding a little extra cheese, seasonings or toppings only makes them tastier, and the sky is really the limit with what you can do with them! They’re a fun little tip of the hat to the Irish culture, and with every bite I feel a bit more inspired to learn more about my Irish heritage and the cuisine!
How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? If you have a personal connection to the culture like myself, I encourage you to do a little digging into your heritage and discover more about the history and cuisine of the Irish. Who knows, you just might stumble upon a new-to-you recipe that’s better than a pot of gold!