Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Colcannon for Halloween

We're moving to Ireland soon, and I have recently befriended a lovely group of Irish mothers online.  In the past few days, they've all been talking with one another about a dish called colcannon.  These discussions caught my eye because they kept mentioning "kale" and "curly kale."  As any of you who read this blog regularly know...I'm a little obsessed with kale.  So...I asked them to explain the dish and tell me how to make it.

Colcannon is a signature Irish comfort dish traditionally made for telling fortunes on Halloween.  The cook will hide coins, rings, and other tokens inside the dish to predict marriages and wealth for the coming year.  It is simple peasant fare, and it's absolutely and utterly delicious.  Here's how to make it:

1:29 Project Colcannon
4-5 lbs. of good, starchy Potatoes
2C Kale, chopped
2C Cabbage, chopped
1/4C Scallions, sliced
1C Soy Milk
6T Vegan Butter (I didn't say it was health food)
4 Cloves Garlic, pressed or minced
Dash Grated Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper to taste

Scrub and cut up your potatoes.  Peel them if you like (if your potatoes have a thick skin that will not easily mash, I recommend you peel them).  Put them in a large pot just covered with salted water.  Boil until forkably soft the way through.


While the potatoes are boiling, heat 3T butter in a pan.  When just bubbly, toss in your Kale and Cabbage.  As these begin to wilt (about 1 min.), add the garlic, scallion, and some black pepper.  Let these continue cooking for another minute or two until everything is soft.


Drain the potatoes and put them in a mixer or a large bowl for mashing.  Mash the potatoes down a bit and add the soy milk.  Once well mixed, add the nutmeg and another 2T of butter.  Stir in the kale mixture and mix until everything is well-incorporated.  Taste test for salt/pepper content and adjust.  Almost done!

Transfer the colcannon to your serving dish.  Make a well in the hot potatoes and place your last tablespoon of butter inside to melt.  Voila!  You now have before you a scrumptious vegan version of Irish Colcannon.


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