Last weekend I picked up my CSA box, which was, as usual, packed full of yummies demanding to be made into something lovely. There was also, as usual, a newsletter with suggested recipes. Including one for something I've always meant to try and never got around to: Colcannon.
Doesn't that sound festive? Jubilant? Exuberant? It's Irish! Colcannon!
Plus its base ingredient is mashed potatoes, the king of comfort foods. So I took it as a sign that I should jubilantly cook a festively exuberant batch of colcannon.
Mmmmmmm. Mashed potatoes. I think--and this is a tough competition--that mashed potatoes might just slightly edge out pasta as my favorite comfort food. I grew up with these. My mother made them all the time. She's a master of lump-free mashed potatoes. Somehow I grew up without the lump-free gene, so I rely on this magic tool:
A ricer. Lump-free potatoes every time. Guaranteed!
You've got your mashed potatoes, now you saute chopped leeks in butter.
Mmmmm. Leeks. I often get leeks and fennel mixed up. Leeks I love, fennel not so much. I was glad the recipe called for leeks.
Once the leeks are nice and soft, you dump in the mashed potatoes.
Yes, you need a really big skillet for this.
While you were cooking the potatoes, you were also lightly cooking some kale and cabbage. I steamed the cabbage and boiled the kale. They don't need to be soggy, just softened. Then add them to the potatoes and leeks.
Yes, you can use purple cabbage. It was what was in my box, so that's what I used. Obviously using green cabbage would give the colcannon a bit less neon color scheme. Hey, do you know what happens when you steam purple cabbage?
The water turns a pretty shade of blue.
Mix all the veggies together, add a bit of cream and salt and pepper to taste, and voila! Colcannon!
Oh, my, this is SO good. The recipe is huge, but it makes great leftovers. I've had it just about every day this week for lunch. The potatoes eventually start turning purple as the cabbage color seeps into them, but the first day, it was just a pretty pile of white potatoes with purple cabbage and green kale. I will definitely be making this often this winter.
6 large potatoes, boiled
4 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, white and light green parts chopped
½ bunch kale, destemmed, chopped, and cooked
2 cups cabbage, chopped and cooked
¼ pint cream
Salt and pepper to taste.
Mash the potatoes. Melt the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pan and sauté leeks in butter until soft and tender. Add potatoes to pan and mix together. Add cooked cabbage, kale, and cream to potato mixture. Mash or whip until fluffy. Serve warm with more butter, and season with salt and pepper to taste.