Sunday, March 20, 2011

Colcannon or Mashed Potatoes with Kale

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that's basically a healthier version of mashed potatoes. I'd never had kale before this. Turns out, the leafy vegetable tastes just like broccoli, and cooks just like collard greens. Now, for those of you who have never been to "The South" and had "Soul Food", you're probably still skinny, but get a damn gym membership and stop missing out!

Some recipes, including the one I drew from, uses cabbage instead of kale. I changed the ratio of kale to potato from 1:1 to 1:2. So we begin with 3/4 of a pound of kale and a large pan. The kale will cook down a lot! But you need a big pan to start and add enough salted water till it goes half way up the volume of the veggies.

Chop up 1 pound of "new potatoes" or "red potatoes". Try and keep them roughly the same size, that way they'll cook evenly. Boil in salted water.

Chop up one big leek or two smaller ones. By slicing it down the center, you can easily rinse the dirt out from between the layers. Leeks are super dirty, so make sure you rinse thoroughly.

I had leftover buttermilk from the Irish Soda Bread I made earlier in the week, so I didn't use normal milk for this. It's like using sour cream instead of whole milk. The problem, is that when you heat it up, it curdles. Not too pleasant to look at. Dump the leeks, 1 cup buttermilk, and 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter into a pan on medium low heat until the leeks are soft.

Combine your cooked potatoes, wilted kale, and buttermilk mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste, but 1 tsp of ground garlic and 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg. The original recipe calls for mace, which is basically nutmeg. But the kale needs the fresh, punch of nutmeg. We have a grinder for nutmeg, and it's the most convenient thing in the whole damn pantry.

I had a hard time not eating the whole pan. I have a problem, I'm a potato salad addict. And this is like a nutritionally sound version of that sinful dish.

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