Our family is not fond of corned beef, but we are fond of St. Patrick’s Day. Actually, corned beef only joined the celebration of St. Patrick when the Irish reached the New World and couldn’t find the right bacon to have with their cabbage. From the Jewish immigrants they got corned beef. Personally I am not fond of cooked cabbage, but years ago I stumbled onto an Irish recipe that suited us all fine in the form of scallop mushroom pie. It has become a family favorite. I know that corned beef would be much more cost effective compared to scallops, but I only make it once or twice a year.
This originally came from A Taste of Ireland, but over the years I’ve tweaked it here and there and it has become a family recipe. This year I will be making it on the Ides of March, my middle son’s birthday and the day his wife and child return from an extended stay in Brazil. It will be comfort food for weary travelers.
Scallop and Mushroom Pie—I double this recipe for our family
8 scallops (if you use bay scallops, increase the amount)
1 C. milk
4 T. sweet sherry
1 heaped T. butter
1 lb (3 C) approx. cold mashed potatoes
¼ lb mushrooms (I love mushrooms and use a whole box of sliced)
1 heaped T. flour
1 T. chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Cut sea scallops in half. This is not necessary for the smaller bay scallops. Simmer in milk with salt and pepper to taste for 15 minutes. Strain, but reserve the milk. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and mix well, then gradually stir in the warmed milk, seeing that it is free from lumps. Add the mushrooms cut into pieces, the sherry and the scallops. Put into an oven-proof dish and cover the top with mashed potatoes. Dot with butter and bake in a moderate oven at 350 degrees until the top is gently browned, about 20-30 minutes. Garnish with parsley. Serves 4.
Serve with some soda bread. For years my husband has begged me to put food coloring into the potatoes, but I’m having none of that!