Friday, March 15, 2013

GGFF: Classic Colcannon


I think one of the reasons I love Halloween so much is because the Irish invented it. What kind of people would create a holiday that involved dressing up to confuse the dead, asking perfect strangers for tricks or treats, and setting pumpkins on fire? A people fueled by whiskey, that's who!

I always aim to make this side a few times a year, but especially in the fall. I never got around to posting this in the fall, but March is as good a time as any to share it, especially as many of my fellow Chi-rish are celebrating St. Patrick's Day this weekend. This is a really easy side for St. Patrick's Day, and it's a nice take on the traditional American mashed potatoes we serve so often.

Classic Colcannon
(Adapted from Ghoulish Goodies, by Sharon Bowers)

1 lb. curly kale, leaves stripped and tough ends discarded
2 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 1/2 c. milk
1 stick butter, divided
4 scallions, chopped
Pinch ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in kale leaves and cook for 10 minutes, until kale is tender but not turned to mush. Drain well and set aside, let cool.

Bring another pot of salted water to a boil. Add in potatoes and summer until tender, 20-30 minutes. As potatoes cook, thinly slice the kale. Rotate 90 degrees and slice again, discarding any rough pieces you may encounter along the way.

In a small saucepan, heat milk with 4 T. butter. Add in the scallions and heat the milk to a simmer. Set aside.

When potatoes are cooked, drain and return to pot. Mash the potatoes and stir in the warm milk mixture. Stir in kale and nutmeg. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Mix well and check for seasonings. Add remaining 4 T. butter to the saucepan used to heat the milk. Melt the butter and set aside.

Pour potatoes and kale mixture into a large bowl and create a crater in the center of the bowl. Pour in melted butter and serve immediately.

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