Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Irish Colcannon

     Irish Colcannon!  Mashed Potato & Cabbage!
     A lot of history, pride and tradition is associated with Irish Colcannon.  Colcannon is a traditional Irish recipe for late summer and fall.  When the kale harvest starts, Colcannon is made with kale instead of white cabbage.  For Halloween, lucky coin prizes are put in Colcannon for children.  Colcannon is also a good vegetable choice for a St Patrick's Day menu.

     Colcannon is usually garnished with scallions or parsley.  Colcannon is often served as a lunch item with leftover ham from a previous dinner or with pan fried Irish bacon.
     White potatoes are traditional for Colcannon, but red bliss potatoes can be used to add some color.  Rich Irish Butter is usually either mixed into the Colcannon or it is melted over the Colcannon.  A little bit of cream can be added to the potatoes while mashing or the potatoes can be mashed plain.
     Irish style Pickled Cream can also spooned over Colcannon.  Pickled Cream refers to a few different types of cream preparations.  Clotted Cream, buttermilk, crème fraîche and sour cream all fit into the Irish Pickled Cream category, so it is easy to imagine what the flavor and texture is like.
     Colcannon is a very simple recipe that tastes far better than what the few ingredients would suggest.  Irish Colcannon is a good example of "the simpler, the better!"
     This recipe yields 1 large lunch portion or 2 medium size accompaniment portions!
     Rich Plugra or Irish Butter makes a difference in this recipe.
     Step 1:  Place 10 ounces of whole red bliss potatoes or peeled white potato in a sauce pot.
     Cover the potatoes with an extra 1" of water.
     Add 2 cups of thin sliced white cabbage, kale or a combination of the two.
     Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat.
     Step 2:  Reduce the temperature to medium heat.
     Gently boil, till the potatoes are fully cooked and tender.
     Drain the water off of the potatoes and cabbage.
     Step 3:  Place the potatoes and cabbage in a mixing bowl.
     Add 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons of softened unsalted Plugra Butter or Irish Butter.
     Add 1 tablespoon of cream or crème fraîche.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1/2 of a thin sliced green onion.
     Mash the potatoes, so they are still a little bit chunky and not too smooth.
     Scallions are the traditional garnish, but fresh scallions are not easy to find in grocery stores because they are highly perishable.  Scallions do have more flavor than green onions.
     Mound the Colcannon on a plate or a shallow bowl.
     Sprinkle some thin sliced green onion top over the Colcannon and on the plate.
     Sprinkle some chopped parsley on the plate.
     Serve with some pickled cream on the side.
     Served with grilled Irish Bacon or ham.  (optional)
     The flavor of Irish Colcannon is comfortable and appealing!  

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