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Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with savory soda bread, Guinness stew and chocolate cake

Chef and cookbook author Clodagh McKenna will help you mark the festive Irish holiday with delicious twists on classic dishes.
by Donna Freydkin / / Source: TODAY

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Sure, we'll be seeing lots of green on St. Patrick's Day.

The celebration, which takes place on March 17, honors Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

The day is synonymous with lots and lots of shamrocks and pints of emerald-colored beer.

But how about a feast that celebrates the day with a nod to true Irish culinary traditions? For that, we turn to chef and cookbook author Clodagh McKenna, who's here to show us how to whip up a delectable rosemary bread, a stew made with Guinness beer and a scrumptious chocolate cake.

Her book, "Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen: A Fresh Take on Traditional Flavors", has a five-star rating on Amazon and shows the ins and outs of Irish cooking.

All the dishes are deeply personal. "This is the bread that’s always on my kitchen table at home. Bless the bread, and break the bread," said McKenna.

You won't need the luck of the Irish to cook these dishes!

Guinness Beef Stew with Potato Dumplings

The beef stew was a weekly staple at our Irish family table growing up, and it’s continued on to mine. I’ve added the herby potato dumplings, because they soak up the delicious juices from the stew. I make this for casual suppers with my friends, Irish-style.

It’s similar to the traditional Irish soda bread, but mine is made with yogurt and fresh rosemary. No kneading or proofing involved, just stirring and shaping.

Guinness Chocolate Cake

It’s majestically dark but surprisingly light and velvety in texture.

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