Celebrate St. Patrick's Day

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With St. Patrick's Day just a few days away, it's time to start making your preparations for the annual holiday that celebrates all things Irish. While the most popular modern rituals can make for a fun afternoon, for those with a little creativity, the holiday can be so much more than green shirts, line dancing, and pub-crawls. The potluck dinner is one tradition worth celebrating, and with a little luck, and a delicious recipe courtesy of the farm families who own Cabot Creamery Cooperative, your St. Patrick's Day gathering will leave your guests green with envy.

"Irish cooking often does not receive the respect it deserves," says Cabot Senior Vice President of Marketing and four-leaf clover expert Roberta MacDonald. "Historically, a potluck dinner involved family, friends, and neighbors gathering to share a meal, and tossing whatever ingredients they had handy into the pot. Often, this would lead to amazing creations that were difficult to replicate, but occasionally, the wrong combination of ingredients would spell disaster. Lucky for us, our farm families have provided some of their favorite potluck recipes, guaranteed to keep your guests smiling and coming back for more."

Jerry and Cheryl Connor of Morgan Hill Farm, proud members of Cabot Creamery Cooperative for more than 30 years, farm 600 majestic acres in Bridport, Vermont. "My Hash Brown Casserole recipe has been a favorite potluck dish for our family gatherings, and our guests at The Mountain View Inn, for years," says Cheryl Connor. "I'll often make two casseroles because it disappears so quickly."

The Hodge family of Echo Farm, located in Hinsdale, New Hampshire, are known for their amazing puddings, but they also have a special recipe they prepare every St. Patrick's Day. "Our mom Bonnie is Irish, and potatoes are one of her favorite ingredients," says Beth Hodge. "Her Au Gratin Potatoes with Stout recipe features another Irish favorite - delicious, dark stout beer - which infuses deep flavor into the cheddar sauce."

In addition to the Hash Brown Casserole and Au Gratin Potatoes with Stout, a leprechaun's horde of St. Paddy's Day recipes – like Double Baked Corned Beef Potatoes, Cheddar-Ale Soup, and Cabot Cheddar Soda Bread - are available at cabotcheese.coop/recipes.

And if you're really feeling a bit o' the Irish, check out Cabot's guide to Finding Four-Leaf Clovers – free online at: cabotcheese.coop/pdf/FourLeafCloverBook.pdf

HASH BROWN CASSEROLE
Recipe courtesy of Mountain View Inn at Morgan Hill Farm in Bridport, Vermont

Ingredients:
2 pounds frozen hash browns
½ cup melted Cabot butter
½ cup diced onion
1½ cups shredded Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar
1 teaspoon salt
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cups crumbled cornflakes + ¼ cup melted Cabot butter
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup Cabot Sour Cream
1 cup milk

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

2. Mix ½ cup of melted butter, diced onion, salt, soup, pepper, sour cream, shredded cheddar, and milk in a bowl. Pour over potatoes.

3. Sprinkle cornflakes and ¼ cup melted butter over the top and bake at 350 degrees for approximately one hour.

AU GRATIN POTATOES WITH STOUT
Recipe courtesy of Echo Farm in Hinsdale, New Hampshire
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:
2 pounds (about 2 large) Russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 tablespoons Cabot Unsalted Butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons King Arthur flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark beer, such as stout or porter
1 cup milk
½ teaspoon pepper
8 ounces Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar, grated and divided (about 2 cups)

Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat and add sliced potatoes. Stir to separate, reduce heat to medium and cook potatoes at a simmer for about 10 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 3-quart baking dish. 

3. Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about six to eight minutes. Stir in flour and salt and cook, stirring, one to two minutes until flour is golden. Whisk in beer and increase heat to bring mixture to a simmer. Simmer for three to four minutes. Whisk in milk and cook three to five minutes until slightly thickened.

4. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in 1½ cups grated cheese. Add pepper and more salt to taste.

5. Layer potatoes in prepared baking dish. Pour cheese sauce evenly over potatoes. Top evenly with remaining ½ cup grated cheese. Bake 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.