Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Colcannon by Heather Goodman

This is a recipe from County Mayo, Ireland. Kale can be substituted for cabbage.

1 pound cabbage, chopped or shredded (I used half of one large head of green cabbage)
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used 4 medium russet potatoes, probably more than a pound)
2 leeks, finely chopped
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 cup melted butter

- Saute kale/cabbage in a little olive oil and chicken stock until tender. Keep warm.
- Boil potatoes until tender. Remove from heat and drain.
- Chop leeks, green parts as well as white, and simmer them in the milk until soft (about 10 minutes).
- While leeks are simmering, season potatoes with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and mash well. Stir in cooked leeks and milk. Mix in the kale/cabbage. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Make a well in the center and pour in melted butter, mix well.

Note about leeks:
I had never cooked with leeks until I made this recipe, so I had to learn how to get them ready for chopping. So if you're in the same boat I was, this is one method I learned, I'm sure there are others. Cut the roots off the white part, plus about 1/4 inch of white. Then cut the greens down to the light green. There are recipes out there that use the dark greens if you don't want to waste them. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, then place cut-side down in a bowl of water to soak. Agitate ocassionally and slightly separate layers to loosen and remove sandy soil that is trapped inside the leek. Once clean, shake dry and chop.

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