Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Mar 14, 2013

A Lush St. Patrick's Day

Well, that seems redundant, doesn't it?  Of course, it's going to be a lush day!  And in preparation for this day when non-Irish folk celebrate an Irish holiday by imbibing, here's a round-up of some of my favorite St. Patrick's Day-inspired recipes.  Just remember, lushes - pace yourselves.

The best way to truly enjoy a cupcake on St. Patty's Day is to pair it with the libation you're drinking.  Luckily, you have three options from me.  For Bailey's lovers, these Bailey's Irish Cream Cupcakes with a vanilla cake base and Irish Cream frosting perfectly embody the liqueur.

For those who prefer a rich chocolate dessert, my Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes contain the booze in the cake and frosting, and I filled them with a cinnamon, vanilla whipped cream for good measure.  It's like an Irish version of a Hostess Cupcake!

If you're going to be a little alternative and drink a non-Irish libation, then these Blue Moon Cupcakes with an orange and Hefeweizen-inflected cake and vanilla cream cheese frosting will do the trick.

You'll need some snacks to fill your belly and sustain you on this lush adventure, so whip up some Guinness and White Cheddar Spread the night before.  It'll be perfect by the next day, and your friends will thank you as they lap up this addictive dip with pretzels or crackers.

You can't go wrong with putting an egg on it.  This Beer-Braised Spring Onion, Asparagus & Goat Cheese Pizza has seasonally appropriate veggies and runny eggs to serve as the perfect sober-up or hang-over food.  Just remember to share a slice with your friends!

Need an easy snack to stash in your pockets or purse?  This Cheddar Beer Bread is not only one of the simplest breads out there to make, but it's perfect for transporting on your bar hops.

For a dinner party, these Guinness-Braised Short Ribs are decadent.  They'll take about two hours to braise, so start preparing it before the drinks flow.  They'll be ready just when you need them to be!

Jamie Oliver's recipe for Beef & Ale Stew, which I like to make with stout, is perfect for a large group.  The ingredients are very cheap and a hearty stew does wonders for those who have been drinking all day.

If you're a vegetarian, then this Vegetarian Stout Stew has plenty of potatoes and mushrooms to give it texture and make up for the lack of meat.  Your carnivorous friends will probably want a bite.
Cheddar Ale Soup is one of my favorite kinds of soups and an amazing way to cook with beer.  This version is super cheesy and is topped with diced pancetta and honey-mustard pretzel pieces.

Speaking of cheese, this Beer-Baked Mac 'n Cheese contains five kinds - Cream Cheese, Cheddar, Parmesan, Brie and Gorgonzola.  It's insanely rich and delicious.  The perfect stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal for this day.

If you're actually hosting a St. Patrick's Day party and need to make the drinks, this Jameson & Ginger Beer cocktail is incredibly simple and refreshing.  I like to use Reed's Extra-Ginger Ginger Beer to give it an extra kick.

If you're drinking a lot of beer and would like to mix things up, this Sidewalker cocktail, which contains beer, Applejack, maple syrup, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar is reminiscent of a sour beer.