One week today is St Patrick's Day. I've had this date rattling round in my brain for at least the last month, because, obviously, a special pie will be required for it. And I've thought about what this pie should be, but never actually got round to doing anything about it.
What I thought was, it should be a steak and Guinness pie. Irish stew would have been nice, but the traditional version of that is pretty damn runny and just wouldn't work in a pie - the pastry would dissolve before you got a chance to eat it. No, the good ole steak 'n' Guinness, but with a green pastry shamrock on the top (pretty much the whole planet agrees that a whole pie made out of green pastry would be somewhat unpalatable).
Food colouring is fairly hard to come by in Madrid - the only colour stocked in supermarkets is orange - tartrazine, the stuff that makes kids hyperactive. So I thought I would make my own by boiling up some spinach and peas and freeze-thaw gelatine-filtering it. This takes several days, and when I looked at the result it looked like the wee-wee of someone who isn't very well. I made up some pastry with it anyway, but the result just looked mouldy. Grr.
A trip into town was required, to Manuel Riesgo, the chemicals shop. I got the colouring and a couple of other things to play with in my molecular adventures. When I got home, I opened the container and was fairly disappointed to see this tub of brown powder. I chucked a load into a glass of water, and *kshing!* it was green. Oh boy, how green was it? Greener than all the valleys on the planet, I reckon.
I made up some pastry with it, rolled it very thin and froze it, and then cut out shamrock shapes. Here's the result:
Pretty good, methinks.
The Plague on the Prickly Pear
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