Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I'm a little bit Irish. I know that on St. Patty's Day, everyone claims to be a little bit Irish, but if I look back in the family tree, some Irish links do exist.
I had hoped to make soda bread this year, but ran out of time. Inspired by a bunch of Lacinato/Black/Tuscan Kale I bought at the co-op in Milwaukee last week, I made Colcannon, a traditional Irish dish.
According to Ireland Now, a website of questionable credibility, Colcannon, though often made with cabbage, is more traditional when made with Kale. It was a fast dish, eaten on Hallowe'en. and originally included various inserts--thimbles, rings, coins, and such, to symbolize life changes for the lucky lads and lasses who found the trinkets in their portions of the dish. Wikipedia, another website of problematic credibility, confirms this story.
I made my single serving of Colcannon as follows:
Boil 3 small Yukon Gold potatoes.
Meanwhile, saute 1/2 small shallot and one clove garlic in olive oil until just lightly browned. Next, add several handfuls of chopped Kale. Cook until Kale is slightly wilted.
On another burner, heat milk until scalded.
Add potatoes to kale mixture and mash with a potato masher, or, if you inexplicably lack such a handy utensil (as I do), a fork works just fine. Add the scalded milk, a pat of butter, salt and pepper to taste, and a nice grating of parmesan cheese. Mash some more. Pile on a plate and enjoy with a side of roasted chickpeas and a splash of Shiraz.
My version is more of a post-modern rendering than an authentic Irish or even Irish-American concoction. It is hearty, delicious, and easy.