I must say, I have been pleasantly surprised to discover that a commonly held belief is definitely NOT true.
Whoever started the rumor that food from the British Isles is bland, boring and uninteresting needs to have their head examined! After numerous trips to visit my daughter and her family in London, I know this is definitely not true about England. We have had scads of fabulous, fresh, creative meals while traveling in this lovely country.
I've never been to Scotland or Ireland, but have had friends and family who've traveled there and brought back rave reviews regarding the cuisine. A sweet co-worker/friend of mine toured Ireland several years ago and brought back enthusiastic praises about the delicious meals they enjoyed She also surprised me with a lovely cookbook called Irish Pub Cooking (thanks Dana!). As I paged through this recipe collection, with it's gorgeous photos, I bookmarked page after page and have had fun trying out some of these delicious recipes.
This recipe for Colcannon has been calling my name for awhile now, so I decided that this was the perfect time to give it a try with St. Patrick's Day at the end of this week.
Colcannon is a very traditional Irish potato dish, usually combining cabbage and scallions with classic mashed potatoes. Like most ethnic specialties, however, there are as many variations as there are tales of Leprechauns with pots of hidden gold in the Irish countryside. The different versions depend on the season, the region and on personal taste. And though Colcannon was, historically, quite popular among the peasant class in Ireland (it's ingredients being cheap and available year round), I think it makes a delicious, unique and quite gourmet side dish for a lovely dinner! What do you think?
P.S. Check back tomorrow for another yummy recipe from "the Emerald Isle" - Irish Roasted Salmon - a delicious, super simple dinner entree that will wow both family and friends! In fact, if you stop by The Café each day this week you just might feel like you're taking a vacation to that fair, enchanted Celtic land (at least in a culinary sense!) We'll be featuring delicious Irish-inspired recipes all week!
- 2 pounds russet or golden potatoes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup milk
- ½ small green cabbage core removed and finely shredded
- 6 scallions
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes. Remove potatoes to a large bowl with a slotted spoon, draining off all excess water.
Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add the butter and milk and stir well. Add a bit more milk, if needed to make a smooth, creamy consistency. Season to taste with sea salt.
Add shredded cabbage to the potato water and return to a boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes until cabbage is soft. Drain thoroughly, squeezing off excess water. Mix the cabbage and mashed potatoes together, then stir in the scallions, reserving a handful for garnish. Taste and season if needed with more salt. Place in a large bowl or small individual bowls and sprinkle generously with freshly ground pepper. Scatter reserved sliced scallions over top and drizzle with melted butter.