The greenest, most Irish leprechaun-themed day of the year is coming: St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday, March 17. Though historically rooted in the religious celebration of some saint (maybe Patrick?), it turned into a broad celebration of Irish culture.

Through the power of cultural appropriation, it has further morphed into a marathon day of drinking. I’ll refrain from commenting on whether that is for better or worse.

Madison embraces St. Patrick’s Day with enthusiasm displayed by green outfits, green beer, Guinness, Jameson and Bailey’s Irish Cream. It’s almost like a green game day minus the animosity towards an opposing team. Personally, I think the city should dye the lakes green to mimic Chicago, but that may be pushing it.

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Formerly known as Feast Day during the 17th century, it is fitting that St. Patrick’s Day is the topic of this column. However, when I think of Irish food, not much comes to mind besides cabbage, potatoes, corned beef, shepherd’s pie and Irish soda bread. And to be honest, none of these foods really spark my interest, especially after drinking a few beers. Nevertheless, keep reading for the diamond in the rough, pot of gold at the end of the rainbow recipe to keep you standing this St. Patrick’s Day.

Reuben Rolls

The Reuben is a sandwich made with corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss cheese, rye bread and thousand island dressing. It isn’t Irish at all. The sandwich was first sold by a German immigrant in New York City, but the sauerkraut (containing cabbage) and corned beef make it feel Irish enough to pass.

Nevertheless, eating a Rueben is a messy endeavor. So, rather than making sandwiches, this week’s recipe stuffs Reuben toppings into an eggroll paper and deep fries them. I guess that’s cultural appropriation in action, but America is a melting pot, right?

Jonathan Sogin/The Badger Herald

Ingredients (12 rolls, 30 min prep)

12 egg roll wrappers, defrosted

8 oz. sliced corned beef

16 oz. sauerkraut

10 oz. swiss cheese

1 qt. vegetable oil

1 bottle of Thousand Island dressing, for dipping


  1. Finely slice the corned beef into strips.
  2. Drain and press the sauerkraut so it is not too wet.
  3. Finely shred the swiss cheese.
  4. Place oil in a small, heavy bottom pot and heat on medium-high; to test the heat, a drop of water should vigorously boil when dropped into the oil.
  5. To make egg rolls, place swiss cheese followed by sauerkraut and then corned beef on one egg roll wrapper, and then roll according to package instructions.
  6. Fry egg rolls in oil until they are golden brown, about 5 min.
  7. Cut in half and serve with thousand island.


As always, hit me up with questions, comments, or concerns.

Chef Sogs

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