Last Modified: Tuesday, March 05, 2013 5:21 PM
There is an Irish dish that may be one of the best examples of a satisfying and filling comfort food.
Colcannon — a mashed potatoes and leafy vegetable concoction — is regarded as poor folks food on the Emarald Isle. Like many dishes from around the world — that fall under that meaningless and informal culinary category — it is absolutely delicious.
Over the years, I’ve seen the moist and flavorful dish served in restaurants and pubs in the northeastern states. I never seen it served in the south until MacFarlane’s Celtic Pub in Lake Charles made it a staple side item on the menu.
Traditionally, colcannon is served during Halloween in Ireland. But it gets some added mileage during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations since it is very easy to prepare.
As with most aspects of Irish life, there are stories, songs and poetry in which colcannon is either referenced or the main theme.
Mary Black, a Celtic and folk singer, wrote some lyrics that are appropriate:
“Well did you ever make colcannon
Made with lovely picked cream
With the greens and scallions mingled
Like a pitcher in a dream
Oh you did, so you did
So did he and so did I
And the more I think about it
Sure the nearer I’m to cry
Oh weren’t them the happy days
When troubles we knew not
And our mother made colcannon
In the little skillet pot”
What follows is a colcannon recipe. I hope you recall days that someone special made your favorite comfort food.
• Simmer the potatoes in lightly salted water until cooked — when pierced with a sharp knife the potato is soft in the middle.
• Blanch the curly kale in boiling water for one minute. Drain and reserve.
• Chop half of the scallions roughly and the other half finely. Add the roughly chopped scallions to the drained kale and pulse in blender for 10 seconds.
• Drain the potatoes and add the butter. When the butter has melted, mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy. Add the kale mixture and mix.
• Finally, add the finely chopped scallions and season to taste.
From “Celtic Cuisine” by Gilli Davies
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Eric Cormier writes about food every Wednesday. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 494-4090.