Interesting information about the Month of March. First, it’s the change of seasons. At least in the Northern Hemisphere it signals the start of spring – the first day of Spring is March 20. Second, and even more interesting is Saint David’s Day on March 1. From “About dot com”, “… From Elaine Lemm, your Guide to British and Irish Food – 
Thursday [March 1] is St David’s Day in Wales. St David is their patron saint, a Celtic monk who spread the word of Christianity across Wales in the 6th century. On March 1st the Welsh wear either a daffodil or leek, as both are the emblems of Wales. The healthy and healing qualities of the leek are associated with St David’s work and, understandably, it features strongly in Welsh food. So this week’s newsletter pays homage to the wonderful food of Wales and, of course, also include leeks.” The above photo is of Welsh Cawl, a lamb stew. Here is a recipe for it. I also have posted a recipe for Roast Leg of Welsh Lamb with Ginger, Honey, Cider and Rosemary. Enjoy and have fun with these recipes and the information! Cheers!

Welsh Cawl

Cawl is the national dish of Wales. Welsh Cawl is a stew and made from bacon, Welsh lamb or beef, cabbage and leeks. Be warned though, Welsh recipes for Cawl vary from region to region and sometimes even season to season.
Cawl can be eaten in one bowl, though often the broth will be served first followed by the meat and vegetables.
The flavors in Welsh Cawl do improve for keeping for a day or two, so don’t be afraid to make it in advance or save any leftovers for reheating.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours

1 tbsp lard or bacon fat
2 large onions, thickly sliced
1 medium swede, peeled and cut into 1″/2.5 cm cubes
4 large carrots, peeled thickly sliced.
4 leeks, cleaned and sliced
1 lb/ 450g potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 lb/450g brisket of beef
1 lb/ 450g piece of smoked bacon, cut in to 1″/2.5 cm cubes
1 bay leaf
Sprig fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper.

Melt the lard in a large stock pan over a high heat, take care not to burn the fat. Add all the vegetables except the potatoes, to the hot fat and brown for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and keep to one side.
Raise the heat and add the beef to the pan and brown on all sides. Return the browned vegetables to the pan with the bacon pieces and herbs.
Cover the meat and vegetables with cold water, bring to the boil, then lower the heat to keep the water simmering and cook for 2 hours, or until the beef is tender.
Lift the beef from the pan and keep to one side. Add the potatoes and bring back to the boil and cook for another 20 mins, or until the potatoes are cooked. Meanwhile, once the beef is cool enough to handle, cut into 2″/5cm cubes. Once the potatoes are cooked, add the beef back to the pot and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Season well with salt and pepper and serve while piping hot. The broth from the pot can be served first as a soup, followed by the meat and vegetables, the choice is yours.
The flavors in Welsh Cawl do improve for keeping for a day or two, so don’t be afraid to make it in advance or save any leftovers for reheating.


Roast Leg of Welsh Lamb with Ginger, Honey, Cider and Rosemary

Welsh recipes for main course dishes cannot ignore Welsh lamb. The naturally good flavor of Welsh lamb with the addition of spice, herbs and a little sweetness. The honey, cider and rosemary are local Welsh flavors, while ginger has been enjoyed in Wales since it was brought back by the Crusaders.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Serves: 6

2 inch/5cm piece of fresh root ginger , peeled
3lb 3 oz/ 1.5kg leg of Welsh lamb
Small sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 oz/25g butter, melted
9 fl oz/50ml dry cider
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven 375°F/190°C/gas mark 5
Cut the ginger into slivers. Using a sharp knife, make small cuts in the leg of lamb and insert the ginger and rosemary. Mix the butter and honey together and spread this over the lamb.
Put in a roasting tin, pour in half of the cider and cover loosely with foil. Roast in the oven allowing 25 minutes per pound.
When three-quarters cooked, remove the foil and continue cooking, basting frequently with the juices from the roasting tin, adding more cider if necessary.
Remove the joint from the oven, lift out of the pan, removing any excess fat, and pour in the rest of the cider to deglaze the pan. Boil this up well, return the non-fatty juices and thicken with a little arrowroot if you wish.
A well seasoned mixed mash of carrot, parsnip, turnip and potatoes tastes perfect with the roast leg of lamb.

The above two recipes are from British Food(dot)About(dot)com. Then, in mid March, we have the Ides of March. Here is a little history of the day from Wikipedia.

The word Ides comes from the Latin word “Idus” and means “half division” especially in relation to a month. It is a word that was used widely in the Roman calendar indicating the approximate day that was the middle of the month. The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th day of the other months. The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held.
In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date on which Julius Caesar was killed in 44 B.C. Caesar was stabbed (23 times) to death in the Roman Senate by a group of conspirators led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus. The group included 60 other co-conspirators according to Plutarch.
According to Plutarch, a seer had foreseen that Caesar would be harmed not later than the Ides of March and on his way to the Theatre of Pompey (where he would be assassinated), Caesar met that seer and joked, “The ides of March have come”, meaning to say that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied “Ay, Caesar; but not gone.” This meeting is famously dramatized in William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, when Caesar is warned by the soothsayer to “beware the Ides of March.”

So where, now, would we be without the infamous ……

Caesar Salad

6 cloves garlic, peeled
3/4 cup mayonnaise
5 anchovy fillets, minced
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups day-old bread, cubed
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

Mince 3 cloves of garlic, and combine in a small bowl with mayonnaise, anchovies, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cut the remaining 3 cloves of garlic into quarters, and add to hot oil. Cook and stir until brown, and then remove garlic from pan. Add bread cubes to the hot oil. Cook, turning frequently, until lightly browned. Remove bread cubes from oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Place lettuce in a large bowl. Toss with dressing, remaining Parmesan cheese, and seasoned bread cubes.

And once again from Wikipedia, the origin of the Caesar Salad, which has nothing to do with Julius!

The salad’s creation is generally attributed to restaurateur Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant who operated restaurants in Mexico and the United States. Cardini was living in San Diego but also working in Tijuana where he avoided the restrictions of Prohibition. His daughter Rosa (1928–2003) recounted that her father invented the dish when a Fourth of July 1924 rush depleted the kitchen’s supplies. Cardini made do with what he had, adding the dramatic flair of the table-side tossing “by the chef.”
A number of Mr. Cardini’s staff have claimed to have invented the dish.
Julia Child claimed to have eaten a Caesar salad at Cardini’s restaurant when she was a child in the 1920s.
Nonetheless, the earliest contemporary documentation of Caesar Salad is from a 1946 Los Angeles restaurant menu, twenty years after the 1924 origin asserted by the Cardinis.

Serve the salad with

Roman-Style Chicken

Source: Foodnetwork, Giada De Laurentiis
Serves: 6

4 skinless chicken breast halves, with ribs
2 skinless chicken thighs, with bones
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a heavy, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the peppers and prosciutto and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, and herbs. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.

If serving immediately, add the capers and the parsley. Stir to combine and serve. If making ahead of time, transfer the chicken and sauce to a storage container, cool, and refrigerate. The next day, reheat the chicken to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the capers and the parsley and serve.