Simplest thing in the world

Mashed potatoes + cabbage sautéed in butter = GENIUS.

Colcannon

Ok. Maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself. But it’s creamy and a bit crunchy and savory and … have you smelled cabbage when it’s cooked in a bit of butter, and mixed with a bit of salt and pepper? After the first minute or two (when cabbage-haters will ask whether you really plan on feeding them that stink), it transcends its humble reputation and smells warm and golden, somehow. Pure heaven, I say. But maybe it’s just the red hair talking.

The dish I’m talking about is called colcannon. It’s a traditional Irish dish, which can really be made with kale or cabbage, and is filling enough to serve as dinner if you have a bit of bread and cheese on the side. I’ve strayed a bit from the traditional recipe here, with some sautéed onions, garlic, and paprika, and some leftover whey to cook the potatoes in (thanks for the tip, Dad). Either way, it’s worth a try.

Colcannon

Serves 4.

The whey is totally optional, but does make the potatoes creamier and more savory. In this case, I used some I had leftover from making yogurt cheese (which I suppose is another story).

  • 8 red potatoes, cleaned and quartered.
  • 2 c. whey (optional), plus enough water to cover the potatoes
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded. Local cabbage is relatively easy to find (and cheap) in the Northeast. Have a look for some at your local health food store or farmer’s market.
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t. hot paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 c. whole milk

Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with water and whey mixture. Cover and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down to medium, and let cook until to potatoes are soft. You should be able to pierce the pieces easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, melt 1 T. of the butter in a heavy frying pan over medium high heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, add the garlic, and cook, stirring rapidly, for another minute or so. Add the cabbage, paprika, a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir for a few more minutes, until the cabbage has wilted. Cover and remove from heat.

When the potatoes are done, drain, add the remaining butter and milk, and mash them until smooth. Stir in the cabbage, adjust the seasonings, and enjoy.

This is even better the next day.

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Filed under cabbage, main, potatoes, seasonal, side

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