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St. Patrick's Day Brunch

Chef Tom Douglas
Author of Seattle's Kitchen
Seattle, Wash.

Menu:
Corned Beef Hash with Yukon Gold Potatoes
Orange Cinnamon French Toast
Cherry Almond Scones
Spring Fruit Basil Salad

Corned Beef Hash with Yukon Gold Potatoes
(Serves 4>)

Ingredients:

2 pounds uncooked corned beef
1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes or other smooth-skinned potatoes
5 tablespoons unsalted butter or a combination of butter and bacon fat
2/3 cup diced onions
1 Poblano chile, seeded and minced
1 carrot, diced
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon bottled chili sauce (such as Heinz)
Kosher salt
8 large eggs
Habanero Ketchup

Method:
1. Place the corned beef (and any spices that were in the bag) in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until very tender, about three hours, adding more water as needed to keep the meat covered. Remove the corned beef from the pot and allow to cool. Remove and discard the fat from the corned beef and shred the meat by pulling it apart with your fingers. Roughly chop the shredded meat and set it aside.

2. Peel the potatoes, then cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place the potatoes in a pot of cold salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook just until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes total cooking time. Drain the potatoes and set aside.

3.Preheat the oven to 200-F. Melt three tablespoons of the butter in a 12-inch saute pan over high heat. Add the potatoes, onion, Poblano, and carrot. Fry, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes begin to brown and the vegetables are soft. Add the corned beef and stir in the chili sauce. Season to taste with salt. Add the remaining two tablespoons butter to the pan and continue to cook over high heat, tossing, or turning the hash with a spatula, until it starts to get crisp and brown. Set the pan in the oven to keep the hash warm while you prepare the eggs any way you like them: poached, scrambled, over easy, or sunny side up.

On the plate: Divide the hash among 4 plates and top each with two cooked eggs. If desired, serve with habanero ketchup.

Habanero Ketchup

**Note: Habanero chiles are hot, hot, hot. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water after handling them or wear gloves. Dried habaneros are easier to find than fresh ones. For this recipe, use a whole dried habanero or a fresh one cut in half. Or substitute a few dashes of a habanero- based hot sauce to taste. If all else fails, use a sliced fresh jalapeno.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/3 cup orange juice
1 dried habanero chile
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves

Method: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the ketchup, orange juice, habanero, molasses, Worcestershire, and cloves. Simmer for about 5 minutes and strain; discard the habanero and cloves. Let cool and serve. This keeps, refrigerated, for a week or more.

Orange Cinnamon French Toast

Ingredients:
6 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
Grated zest from 1 orange
1/3 cup pure maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (Ground nutmeg is fine.)
8 slices hearty bread, 1 inch thick
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for serving

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 375-F degrees. Combine the eggs, half-and-half, orange juice and zest, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl. Soak the bread thoroughly in the custard mixture.

2. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Once the butter is melted and beginning to foam, place four slices of the soaked bread in the pan. Fry the bread until golden brown, for about three minutes, then flip and brown the other side. Remove the French toast to a baking pan and brown the remaining four slice in the remaining two Tablespoons butter. When all the bread is in the baking pan, put the pan in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the French toast is hot and cooked through.

Serve with lots of butter and warm maple syrup. Garnish with fresh berries or sliced banana if you like.

Cherry Almond Scones
(Makes 8 scones)

Ingredients:
For the scones:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon kosher calt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into dice
1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted, and cooled
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract

For Brushing The Scones:
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 425-F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, salt, and baking soda. Cut the butter into dry mixture, using a pastry blender or two knives, until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Mix in the cherries and almonds.

2. Gradually pour in the buttermilk and extracts and mix with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until the dough just comes together. Do not over mix. Turn out the ough onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it with your hands into a 9-inch round about 1-inch thick. Cut the dough into 8 wedges with a floured knife or metal board scraper. Places the scones on a parchment paper-linked baking sheet. Brush them with the heavy cream and generously sprinkle them with the sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350-F and finish baking until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Serve warm with butter and honey or jam, if desired.

**For toasting nuts and seeds:
Place the almonds in a heavy skillet over medium heat for a few minutes, tossing, and stirring constantly until they brown lightly and give off a toasted aroma.
Nuts and seeds are high in oil and they turn rancid quickly. Buy the freshest, best-quality nuts and seeds you can find. For freshness, store nuts in the freezer; you can use them directly in the recipes without thawing.

Spring Fruit Salad

Ingredients:
4 Red Delicious apples, pitted and thinly sliced
1 pint of strawberries, sliced in half
1 pint of blueberries
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method: In a bowl, combine the apples, the strawberries, blueberries, basil, honey, lemon juice, and oil, tossing well to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

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