Monday, March 14, 2011

Colcannon


Even though I normally talk of my Italian grandmother, Italian food and all things Italian that apply in my life, I never talk about the fact that I am half Irish as well. Both of my grandfathers are Irish where both of my grandmothers are Italian. Quite the combination, let me tell you. I believe I inherited more Irish traits than Italian (although the grandmothers may deny that just on principle): Loads of red in my hair and the quick-fire temper that fizzles as soon as it starts, to name just a couple. My daughter got the freckles like my red haired Papa. Small things, but they are important to me. I can't say I grew up on big Irish dinners but I do remember my maternal grandfather baking his mother's bread rolls, or Irish Buns as he called them. Lucky for me, I inherited that recipe from Papa, written in my great-grandmother's handwriting. While it isn't the most legible, it is one of my most treasured family recipes. My remaining grandpa promised to take me to Ireland one day, but he now unfortunately is too ill to travel. One day I will go and bring back stories and photos for him so he can armchair travel and dream.

This year I decided to honor the Irish in me by starting a new tradition to cook their foods more often. I started with Colcannon just in time for St. Patrick's day. While colcannon is traditionally made during Halloween, I figured not to many potato lovers as myself would turn it down at this time of year. I swapped the usual cabbage and added kale instead and added in some bacon and green onions instead of the leeks. I think this tradition is one that will stick around in our house.


Colcannon

4 large baking potatoes
3/4 to 1 cup half and half, warmed (depending on how creamy you want your potatoes)
3 tbsp butter
4 strips of bacon, cooked and cut into chunks
2 cups kale
3 green onions, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, boil the potatoes whole for 20 minutes or until soft but not mushy. Drain and let the potatoes sit in the covered pot until cool enough to handle. In a large saute pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add the kale and cook until soft. Set aside. Peel the potatoes and cut them into large chunks and place them in a large bowl or the bowl of a mixer. Mix the potatoes until some are creamy but you still have chunks and slowly add in the half and half to get your desired texture. (I like mine pretty chunky, but do as you please). Stir in the cooked bacon chunks, your kale and the sliced green onion then salt and pepper to taste. Top with your remaining 2 tablespoons of butter on top (optional) and serve.

61 comments:

dinnersanddreams.net said...

I've never heard of colcannon but it looks delicious and I would happily give it a try. Anything with potatoes gets my approval :)

Nisrine

Vivienne said...

haha yes what a combo!
this looks like a potato mash with a twist!! hehe
im not too familiar with irish food at all, so looking fwd to other irish food you will make in the future!

My Little Space said...

How cool is that for being a little of both! No matter you're more to Irish or Italian. You're still you, you're Brigett. And this dish would represent you, just you. What a great combo! Thanks for sharing. Hope you're having a great week ahead, dear.
Blessings, Kristy

Emily said...

I'm going to use this recipe to contribute to our friend's St. Paddy's Day feast on Thursday. It's sure to be a hit because who doesn't love potato goodness!? And I like how you swapped out the cabbage for kale. Yum!

Joanne said...

I would have never guessed that you were half Irish! And how funny that it's the same heritage on both sides of your family.

Colcannon is truly the perfect comfort food for this time of year. Your version sounds delicious!

Pegasuslegend said...

Best of both worlds and this is a wonderful recipe I am truly grateful you would share with us!The Kale is a wonderful additon to this... and what a great background to have such wonderful cooks your so lucky! Happy St Paddys /Day!

Audrey said...

What a wonderful combination of heritages! As someone who inherited a love of pierogies, potato pancakes and stuffed cabbage from her four Ukrainian grandparents, I could almost pass this off as being part of my heritage. (I would eat it if I couldn't, of course!) I'd heard of Colcannon but never knew what it was, so I learned something today, too.

Julie said...

My hubby has decided he loves kale; I should definitely make this for him.

Michael Toa said...

I love colcannon. I like your substitution with kale. I'll try that next time. And I think bacon is definitely a must. :)

Barbara said...

What a fun dish for St. Paddy's Day Bridget!
I've never made it, nor have I ever eaten it. Can't imagine why as I love all the ingredients!

5 Star Foodie said...

Your colcannon looks delicious, love the bacon here!

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

One of my absolute favourite dishes - I always make too much and then make bubble 'n squeak cakes the next day to suit my greedy self! Perfect with sausages and gravy (the British rather than the American stuff!)

cookfor5 said...

I've never heard of this but it looks very good so I'm definitely gonna try it! I love hearing your family stories, Bridgett.

Lindsay said...

I have never heard of this before but it looks delicious. Do you eat it as a side dish?

Hillary said...

This looks perfect for dinner on St. Patty's Day! Can't wait to try it. Yum!!

vanillasugar said...

i do love a good colecannon. and it looks like you nailed it right on.
whats the other one? bubbles & squeak? have yet to make that one.

Kim said...

Very cute that both of your grandfathers are Irish and your grandmothers Italian. Certainly makes for a feisty combination, right?

I love how you made the colcannon your own by subbing kale (love kale) in place of cabbage and adding bacon. I can see why this would be a huge hit! Happy St. Patrick's Day Bridgett!

Marisa said...

I love that you're honouring your heritage through food - I think too many times it gets forgotten.

Love that you've used kale here instead of cabbage - sounds much nicer to be honest!

Angie's Recipes said...

Colcannon is new to me. It looks truly comforting and delicious with bacon and kale.

Choclette said...

What, I'm wondering, is an Italian nose? Your colcannon sounds delicious - how interesting to have such diverse cuisines in the family.

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never heard of that, but it looks wonderful!

At Anna's kitchen table said...

How lovely!
I do hope you get to visit Ireland and share your trip with your Grandpa :-))

Pam said...

I could eat a whole plate of just this for dinner and be perfectly happy. It looks fantastic Bridgett.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love that dish! Your colcannon looks mighty good. Bacon is a great addition.

Cheers,

Rosa

Jeannie said...

I love your Irish dish, I am sure my boys would love this too, they love anything with bacons in it!

Jeannie said...

I love your Irish dish, I am sure my boys would love this too, they love anything with bacons in it!

Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

this looks so so good and wow you are a cool combo for sure love it

pigpigscorner said...

This reminds me of Scottish rumbledethumps!

Debbie said...

I've heard of this dish but have never had it. It's perfect for St. Patrick's Day tomorrow! Love the addition of kale.....

Simply Life said...

Oh i've never heard of this - it looks wonderful!

P.S. I don't have facebook either - are we the last 2 remaining?! :)

Reeni said...

Your colcannon looks wonderful! A sweet tribute to your Irish genes!

Taylor said...

This dish is a new one to me, but sounds delicious! I love the combination of kale and bacon and anything with potatoes, butter, and half and half is a winner to me :)

Angela said...

Oh, Yum! This is a heavenly dish for sure!

Cake Duchess said...

I never had colcannon before. Lucky you your grandpa is still here to tell you sweet stories. Irish tempers are pretty similar to Italian ones;)This looks delicious!

The Cooking Photographer said...

Wow a good Colcannon recipe. I hope someday you make it to Ireland. What a trip that will be.

L

Kitchen Flavours said...

Very new to me....looks creamy and indulging....

Elena (Running in Heels After Child) said...

Sounds good. I am Irish and German but I tend to cook Mexican and Italian food, go figure...

Happy St. Pattys day,

Elena

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

What a delicious looking meal! This looks creally creamy. I spot kale on the ingredient list; kale is such a good vege! Thanks for sharing.

Jeannie said...

Sorry for the double post up there, I didnt know it went through the first time! Btw, I have a little award in my blog for you, please feel free to pick it up if you like...ciao!

Domestic Goddess Wannabe said...

This is a new one to me, but looks great! And the potatoes had to be compulsory given the Irish influence.

Mary said...

Colcannon is Irish soul food :-). Your recipe is wonderful and your photo makes one of the plainest of dishes actually attractive. I'd be happy to have a serving of this. Enjoy the day. Blessings...Mary

Gloria said...

Love this dish, look yummy,yummy Bridgett, huggs, gloria

Victor said...

Good to know you are part Irish because I'm so clueless about Irish cuisine. Looks like a great dish.

Happy St-Patrick's day!

cailen ascher said...

i love colcannon...we're having it with our corned beef and cabbage tonight!

great blog - i'm your newest follower!
cheers,
cailen
www.cailenascher.blogspot.com

FOODESSA said...

If it weren't for the fact that you had mentioned your half Irish side to me the other day, I really would have been surprised.
Bridgett, I do love the way you describe yourself. How incredible that your Nonnas married Irish blood...too funny.

I so appreciate the way you adapted kale in this dish...I've been using this green veggie a lot lately also. Potatoes are like my love of pasta...can't get enough.

Happy St. Patrick's day Bella.

Ciao, Claudia

Fresh Local and Best said...

This is one of those belly warming dishes that is distinctly Irish. I like your substitution of cabbage for kale, and I always love the combination of green onions and bacon.

grace said...

simple satisfaction--i had no idea, but apparently colcannon is the given name for my ideal comfort food! granted, i don't usually include kale, but i wouldn't mind a little greenery! :)

Manuela said...

Great story about your grandparents... loved it. And lovely and earthy dish too!!
Manu (Manu's Menu)

Val said...

Ahh, What could be better??? A big bowl of "delicousness".

Steven said...

Irish and Italian? I can only imagine what large family get togethers might be like. I'm
Polish and Italian, so can sort of understand.

Your colcannon looks quite good. You could leave out the bacon for a veggie version that I think would be quite good.

What does the name mean, anyway?

Roz from 'la bella vita' said...

Other than Italians, the only other ethnic group that has married into our family are Irish! My first husband was Irish, last name was Kinney, so my kids are part-Irish. And boy, does my family ever know how to party hard! It is a fabulous combination and we dearly love our Irish heritage that has blended with the Italian in our family! Hope yours was a happy day and enjoy all of the recipes that you'll be sharing with us!

lena said...

sorry to hear about your grandpa and i'm sure he'll be verty glad to know that you're starting to cook irish food. These potato dish look simply delicious and attractive!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Yes celebrate the Irish side too - and this is a great way to do it. Sorry your grandfather isn't well.

The Blonde Duck said...

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

mangocheeks said...

Wow, that does look like 'real Irish food on a plate'. Marvellous.

Indie.Tea said...

It completely new to me - I haven't had much Irish food at all - but it looks delicious.

Beth said...

Like you, I'm half-Irish but have never visited that beautiful country. I think the addition of bacon to this recipe is brilliant!

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Comfort on a plate. I adore this. And I'm adding your blog to the daily reads on my own. Should have a long time ago!!

That's Ron said...

looks awesome

cajunlicious said...

Great dish! Came across your wonderful blog and am a new follower!!!
- Jessica
http://cajunlicious.blogspot.com

Comfy Cook said...

I made this once and liked it but I completely forgot about it. Thanks for reminding me.