Sunday, October 26, 2008
Let's face it, I'm predictable. As soon as the thermometer drops below 40, I break out the potatoes. There are so many heart-(and soul)- warming dishes that are based off of (or include) potatoes -- creamy chowders, shepherd's pie, New England boiled dinner, and my favorite -- colcannon!
Colcannon is a delicious Irish concoction of mashed potatoes, boiled cabbage or kale, butter, salt & pepper. It can also include leeks, ham or bacon, but mine's always got ham.
I usually make it pretty standard, the way I learned from Tyler Florence -- boiled mashed potatoes, mixed with cream or half&half, butter, boiled cabbage and bits of ham. It usually looks like this.
Just the other day, I thought I might branch out and use some other ingredients I had on hand. I boiled some local purple potatoes (from River Berry Farm) along with some green lacinato kale, then fork-mashed them with half&half, butter, salt & pepper. Then I threw in some shredded imported Spanish Serrano ham. This ham has got a completely different texture than boiled ham -- it's sliced thin and is very waxy to the touch. The result -- a delicious mix of healthfood (kale) and satisfaction (salty ham!!).
I challenge you to make your own version of colcannon -- try different greens or different ways of preparing the ham... Hey, you could even make it with a different kind of meat. Check out a few different recipes here, here, and here.