Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Colcannon - Another Irish Dish

The food of my ancestors - potatoes, cabbage, onions, and kale.

I am pretty proud of my Irish heritage, and while I have taken this holiday as an excuse to drink some beer, I prefer to honor my ancestors with some traditional dishes. As many of you know the potato has been a staple in the Irish diet, mainly because it is abundant and cheap.

My mom has always served colcannon on St Patty's Day, and so I whipped up this batch in honor of her (she's 100% Irish) and my ancestors. Colcannon is traditionally a potato mash combined with boiled cabbage or kale, and onions. My mom serves hers with cheese.

Peeling potatoes. A pain but worth it.

I decided to use three different kinds of potatoes that I got from the local farmer's market, a yukon gold, a redskinned, and a baker's. The yukon gold added great color and flavor.

Onions, kale, and cabbage - gotta love that green!

My mom usually does just cabbage and onions, but there was some beautiful kale at the farmer's market so I decided to add some of that in as well. It turns out kale is often served in colcannon around Halloween, as it is in season, whereas cabbage is used in the spring. Kind of cool. In California I can do both. The kale added some vibrant green color and a spinach like flavor. I think it is a keeper!

Mashing the potatoes with buttermilk, butter, and thyme.

This dish is pretty simple, you basically boil everything, mash the taters, add the boiled veggies, some cheese (I used some great Irish cheddar) and then bake it for 20 min. If you love mashed potatoes this is a great way to add some more vegetables to your diet. Boiling mellows out the cabbage and onion. I will be having colcannon leftovers tomorrow!

Colcannon Recipe

3 potatoes, peeled
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
6 leaves of kale, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp fresh thyme


Bring large pot of water to a boil. Halve the potatoes and cook for about 20-30 minutes until tender. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove potatoes from water. Add cabbage, kale, and onion to water. Boil for 6-8 minutes until tender. Mash potatoes in a large bowl with a couple tbsp of buttermilk, the butter, and thyme. If needed add more buttermilk until creamy. Salt and pepper to taste. Add half of cheese and boiled vegetables and mix well. Pour mixture into a buttered dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes. Broil for two minutes until cheese is golden brown. Serve with brown bread or simply by itself.

2 out of 3 JAMs


Gastronomer said...

I bet your ancestors are smiling down on you ;-)

Hi! My name is erica. Would you be my friend? said...

That sounds yummy! By the way, I use a carrot peeler to peel everything. It makes it super easy to peel anything! I have the Good-Grips one, which I find rather nice.