Colcannon, a traditional Irish potato dish, is a simple, filling, creamy bowl of comforting goodness. It is made with potatoes, either cabbage or kale, lots of butter, and lots of cream or milk. Sometimes ham or bacon, and/or cooked leeks or onions can be incorporated for some extra flavor. In this version, I use kale, and add some garlic, too (because I like it like that).
I am an unashamed potato lover; I have yet to meet a potato I don't like. I'll take them mashed, fried, roasted, baked, steamed, plain, buttered, seasoned...I really don't care - potatoes are just good. The humble potato has been around for thousands of years, is easy to grow in the back yard, and a lack of them wreaked havoc on an entire nation. That's pretty impressive, if you ask me.
Most people familiar with Colcannon associate it with cabbage, but it is traditionally made with either cabbage or kale. I find it easiest to make this dish using a pasta pot (a big pot with a removable strainer); the potatoes boil in the water on the bottom while the greens steam in the strainer on the top. If you don't have a pasta pot, you may either want to use two pots and cook each separately, or you could still use one large pot; use just enough water to cover the potatoes and then toss the kale on top before covering, but be sure to strain well. If you want to add the onions or leeks, melt some butter in a pan and saute until tender; stir them into the dish after mashing.
Mashed Potatoes with Kale (Colcannon)
- 2 lbs potatoes (russets are ideal), peeled and chopped into 1 1/2 inch chunks
- 2 - 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 lb kale, stems removed and roughly chopped or torn
- 4 Tbs butter, divided
- 1/2 c whole milk or cream
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of mace or freshly ground nutmeg
Place the potatoes and whole garlic cloves in the bottom of a pasta pot; cover with water. Insert the strainer; place the chopped kale in the strainer.
Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer 11-13 minutes, or until potatoes and kale are tender.
Remove the kale and set aside. Drain the water from potatoes and place the potatoes back into the pot. Add 3 Tbs butter, milk or cream, salt, pepper, and mace or nutmeg. With a hand held mixer, beat potatoes until creamy, about a minute. Add the kale and mix until blended.
Remove to a large serving bowl. Make an indentation with the back of the spoon and add the remaining 1 Tbs butter.
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Al Dente Gourmet ~ Aldy ~ @AlDenteGourmet
Baking and Cooking, A Tale of Two Loves ~ Becky Higgins
Cheap Ethnic Eatz ~ Evelyne ~ @cethniceatz
Easily Good Eats ~ Three Cookies