Monday, March 12, 2012

Colcannon – The Name Has Nothing to Do with Viking-Killing Leprechauns

You’ll be happy to know that since finishing this St. Patrick’s Day-inspired colcannon video, I’ve come to learn what the name actually means. Apparently, “colcannon” is Gaelic for "white-headed cabbage," which I’m sure everyone will agree is not nearly as interesting as my explanation.

Regardless of its etymological origins, colcannon is probably my favorite St. Patrick’s Day recipe. It combines the lovely, Spring-is-finally-here-greenness of kale and leeks with the always-alluring comfort of buttery mashed potatoes. Thinking about this next to some beautifully roasted lamb, makes me wonder why it’s only made once a year?

There are so many holiday-inspired recipes that are certainly easy and delicious enough to be added to the regular rotation, but for whatever reason aren’t. Why don’t we roast a turkey with all the fixings other times of the year? Wouldn’t Easter bread be just as awesome in November? Why we deny ourselves these things the rest of the year is one of the great culinary mysteries.

In fact, I think I’m going to heat up the last of my colcannon, sip on a Guniness or three, and carefully ponder this and other great questions. Anyway, I hope you give this a try soon, and may you all have a very happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Enjoy!

For the green mixture:
4 oz trimmed kale leaves
1 leek, light parts only, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 tbsp room temp butter
*boil kale and leeks for 5-6 minutes in salted water, then puree with butter and onions in blender
For the rest:
3 pounds russet potatoes, boiled tender, drained VERY well
2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup cream or milk, or to taste
butter and green onion for the top

Bonus Colcannon Coverage!

Check out this great video from my new friend, Jay del Corro aka The Aimless Cook. He's using a variation on colcannon as a base for lamb stew. Why didn't I think of that? I invite you to get the recipe, and read the original post here. Enjoy!

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