Happy St. Patty's Day!!! Now I have to be honest (I always am though... haha!), I really don't care about this holiday. I know, I know, I am part Irish and that's a horrible thing to say so I'm sorry to my Irish Ancestors, but I really don't get the point of turning everything green, and since I've never seen a leprechaun (other than on my lucky charms box) I'm pretty sure it's just a silly holiday. I do however enjoy one particular Irish dish, Colcannon! Haven't heard of it? Not surprised... It's not the most famous Irish dish there is (Corn Beef and Cabbage = yuck in my book but that's just me!) but it is my family favorite and is what I grew up on for St. Patty's Day. Traditionally this can be made with either Cabbage or Leeks, and without Ham (though most recipes do add it these days). For a little bit of background info on Colcannon, it was not traditionally served for St. Patrick's Day. *In Ireland colcannon was associated traditionally with Hallowe'en (31 October) festivities, when it was used for the purposes of marriage divination. Charms hidden in bowls of colcannon were portents of a marriage proposal should unmarried girls be lucky enough to find them, whilst others filled their socks with spoonfuls of colcannon and hung them from the handle of the front door in the belief that the first man through the door would become their future husband.* Pretty interesting huh? Yeah I thought so too, now to be honest I did not hide any charms in my Colcannon tonight, ah the joys of being happily married! haha! Now I have to tell you the one thing that totally made me laugh out loud, when I was at the store the other day and bought the ingredients to make this wonderful dish, I got home and was perusing my receipt just to double check some things I realized I was charged for a head of lettuce... I did not buy any lettuce... I already have lettuce in my fridge... I start scratching my head... Suddenly I realized, she rang up the cabbage as lettuce!! HAHA!!! Oh I laughed so hard, it was to precious a mistake to upset me whatsoever, but it did make my day!
Ingredients: this serves 4, you can double it to make more
4 Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 Head of Cabbage, Shredded
1lbs. Pre-cooked Ham Steak
2-3 Green Onions, diced
1 stick +1 Tablespoon of Unsalted Butter
1/2-3/4 cup Milk (I used 1%, and eyeballed it for the right texture)
Freshly Ground Pepper
Peel, and wash your potatoes and cut into quarters. Place in a large pan and cover with water, and boil. Cook until fork tender and drain. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, shred the cabbage. Place into a medium sized pot, cover with water and boil til darkened and tender. Turn off the burner and add the 1 Tablespoon of butter and let it sit with the lid on for 2 minutes, drain and set aside. Once the potatoes are done, drain and place back into the pot. Add in the stick of butter and milk, and using a hand masher, mash the potatoes just like normal. Add in the pepper and stir. (Taste to see if you need more milk, butter or pepper) Cut the ham into small cubes, and chop the onion. Add the ham, onion and cabbage to the potatoes and mix. Serve warm with a dab of butter in the middle, and some green onions on top. Tip: You can make this ahead of time and place in a well greased crock pot on warm until ready to serve. Especially nice if you're serving this at a party for St. Patty's Day
For me this brings back so many memories, so I just love this meal. Now I am going to shock you with this fact.... This meal... 1 serving... 392 Calories!!! Yes, you read that right!!! It's comfort food, without the guilt! This is different, and not everyone may like this as I do. My hubby is on the fence about it, but hey he's eating it! 4 stars.
*---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 203)