Saturday, March 17, 2012

Colcannon: perfect Irish side for people who (think they) don't like cabbage

Want to serve cabbage in honor of St. Patty's Day but afraid your family won't touch it? Try Colcannon! Basically, colcannon is mashed potatoes and cabbage. My husband and I were both afraid it would be gross and were surprised to totally love it. And while it sounds complicated, it is actually really simple once you do it. So if you're looking for something new to try tonight, we definitely recommend it.
photo of cabbages by La Grande Farmer's Market via Flickr

What you need:
  • 2 lb potatoes
  • 1 lb cabbage
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4tbsp (half a stick) of butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper

What you do:
  • Rinse and chop, but don't peel the potatoes
  • Boil the potatoes until soft enough to mash (for me, about 20 minutes, but your stove mileage may vary)
  • Rinse the cabbage and place in a pot.
  • Cover cabbage with water (actually, mine stuck up out of the water a tiny bit. It was fine) and bring to boiling
  • Cover, turn heat down to medium, and boil for 12-15 minutes.
  • Chop onion
  • When the potatoes and cabbage are almost done (or after the potatoes are done, if you are running out of burners), put your chopped onion and the milk into a saucepan/skillet/whatever. Cook on medium until onions are soft, but milk isn't boiling yet.
  • Drain and mash potatoes. Add butter.
  • Drain cabbage and chop on cutting board, then add to potatoes
  • Add onion and milk mixture to mashed potatoes
  • Add garlic, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
  • Mash it all up, serve, and enjoy!
My notes:
  • The original recipe called for an entire stick of butter, and I'm sure that would taste even better if you aren't too concerned about the fat/cholesterol content of this meal.
  • Fresh garlic is so delicious and easy to use, but feel free to use garlic powder if that's all you've got on hand. The garlic flavor is important to this dish, but the texture isn't
  • Leeks were in the original recipe instead of onions, so for more authentic Irish flavor, use that.

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