Though it's yet to break big on American menus, Colcannon, a traditional dish of potatoes mashed with cabbage or kale, is big in Ireland.
So beloved, in fact, that there's even an Irish folk song about the dish:
"Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream? With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream. Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake of the creamy, flavored butter that your mother used to make?"
"Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I. And
the more I think about it sure the nearer I'm to cry. Oh, wasn't it the happy
days when troubles we had not, And our mothers made Colcannon in the little
Make your own version on St. Patrick's Day (or any day) by following these simple steps...
- 2 Pound starchy potatoes (Russets, for example), peeled and halved if large
- 1 Bunch kale, trimmed from stems, washed well and chopped small (approximately one quart, packed)
- 5 Tablespoon butter
- .5 Cup chicken stock
- .5 Cup milk
- 2 Clove garlic, minced
- 3 scallions, greens only, sliced (with some reserved for garnish)
- salt and pepper to taste
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- Boil potatoes in salted water until soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Melt butter in medium-large sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in garlic and let cook, but not brown, approximately 1-2 minutes. Add stock and milk and bring to a simmer. Add kale to the pot — greens will wilt down to a much smaller volume quickly. Cover and cook until greens begin wilt and darken in color, 3-5 minutes. Mash potatoes in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add kale and stock, plus scallions. Stir, season to taste. Garnish with scallions and extra butter (per the song), if desired.
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