Favorite Irish eats: Boxty—an Irish potato pancake. Not everyone knows what it is. The potato actually isn’t the quintessential Irish food. It didn’t get there until the English came. The cuisine is really pork, seafood—especially salmon—and really awesome dairy in Ireland.
St. Paul dining: If I were picking you up from the airport, the first stop would be the Hmong Marketplace for that sausage with purple sticky rice—you scoop the sausage with the rice and dip it in the sauce. Then, super-spicy green-papaya salad—you can’t talk about St. Paul cuisine without the Vietnamese influence. And pho from Pho 79, coconut fried rice from On’s Thai, a drink at the bar inside Mancini’s, and the wings at Skinner’s.
Weeknight dinners: At home I cook mostly Asian. I love the farmers’ market. I’m tactile. I need to see it and smell it. I love walking into the Wedge and seeing what’s there. My wife is a tremendous salsa maker. I’ll take her salsa mixed with honey, slather it on a chicken, and smoke it. I have an affinity for smoking. She eats all the skin off before it even leaves the kitchen.
Spices: Rosemary, right now, since we had to bring my rosemary bush inside. And Sameh Wadi’s line of spices from Saffron. I tend to lean towards Asian flavors and lots of curry.
Twists on St. Patrick’s Day classics: At Paddy Shack we’ll be serving corned-beef-and-cabbage tacos, a soda-bread corn dog, and Guinness-beer-battered cheese curds.
Paddy Shack at Halftime Rec, halftimerec.com