NEW YORK (WLNY) — Daina Falk, known as The Hungry Fan, joins us on The Couch with some quick and easy March Madness recipes with an Irish twist.

Shepherd’s Pie Quesadillas


Meat Filling
1 lb. ground (grass-fed) beef
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
Several stalks of chives, finely minced
3/4 cups yellow onions, diced
3/4 cups carrots, diced
1/2 cup English peas (or more to taste)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Guinness Stout

Mashed Potatoes
4 large potatoes, peeled (or 6-8 small/medium potatoes)
Several sprigs of chives, finely minced
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 oz Irish (salted) butter
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper

Flour tortillas
Irish (salted) butter
Several sprigs of chives, finely minced
1 cup Dubliner cheese, shredded
1 cup mild white cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large skillet over medium heat combine the olive oil and enough Guinness to fill the bottom of the skillet with liquid.

Add in the onions and carrots and saute until the onions are translucent and the veggies have sucked up much of the liquid.

Add the chives, nutmeg, cinnamon, Worcestershire sauce and meat, stirring constantly until the meat is cooked. Be sure to mash the meat well so as to avoid large chunks. If the mixture starts to dry as you cook, splash with more Guinness.

Add in the peas at the end and then remove from heat.

Drain additional liquid and set skillet aside.

Boil potatoes until soft enough to mash.
Mash and then add in the butter, cream, salt, pepper, and chives.
Mix well and set aside.

In another large skillet, melt a small amount of the Irish butter.
Lay a flour tortilla out on a plate.
On one half of the tortilla, spread mashed potatoes.
Top with a large spoonful of the meat/carrots/peas/onion mixture.
Top with a generous sprinkle or two of cheese.
Fold the other half of the tortilla over and throw the quesadilla in the skillet. Let that side brown and then flip over and brown other side (adding more butter to the skillet if necessary).

Serve in triangular pieces topped with a sprinkle of minced chives.

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Icing

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Icing (credit: WLNY)

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey’s Irish Cream Icing (credit: WLNY)


4oz unsalted butter (brought to room temperature)
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup (plus an extra splash) of Guinness Extra Stout

1 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
2 oz unsalted butter
About 5-6 tsp of Bailey’s Irish Cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In one large bowl, cream together the 4 oz of butter with the brown sugar. Then slowly mix in the eggs. Set aside.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set side.

In a third bowl, combine the Guinness with the cocoa powder.

Add a little of the Guinness and cocoa powder mixture into the sugar/butter mixture. Stir well. Then add in a bit of the flour mixture and stir well. Continue to alternate adding in the Guinness and the flour mixtures, stirring with each addition until all three bowls have been incorporated into one bowl of well-mixed batter with no lumps.

Fill a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers and then fill about halfway with the batter. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

While the cupcakes are baking, make your icing. To do this, cream the 2 oz of butter with the powdered sugar. Add in a little Bailey’s at a time, mixing well, until you achieve the icing consistency you prefer. Set aside, careful not to let get too warm. (You can stick it in the fridge if you’d like).

Once the cupcakes are baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool. Then top with your Bailey’s icing.

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