Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?
Yes 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, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot. (Traditional Irish folk song.)
Colcannon is a tradition Irish dish consisting of mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale. Some poorer people living in the coastal areas used kelp or seaweed. It is relatively easy to prepare. It is also one of those dishes that have loads of recipes for it. You can add scallions or leeks, for example.
The one I made this year was just mashed potatoes, cabbage, and kelp. The kelp was from Asian ingredients a friend gave me. It was dried and had to be hydrated.
If you want to get fancy, you could add shredded Irish cheese.
An Irish friend of mine asked: “Are you drunk? Irish like Italian food because our cuisine is terrible – all we can cook are whiskey, beer, and explosives.”
3 pounds red or Yukon gold potatoes
1 medium size head of cabbage or kale
1 package of dried kelp or seaweed, hydrated
1 stick of butter or more depending on how you like your mashed potatoes
You can choose milk, cream, 1/2 and 1/2, or sour cream. Enough to make the potatoes smooth and fluffy.
Fresh ground black pepper
Cook potatoes in water until fork tender.
Let cool and peel.
Cook cabbage or kale in salted boiling water until tender.
Make mashed potatoes to your liking, seasoning with salt and using 1/2 stick of butter or more and the liquid ingredients. I used about 3/4 cup of sour cream.
Mix in cabbage or kale, and kelp, if using. Check seasoning and add black pepper.
To make ahead, place in a baking dish. Dot with pieces of 1/2 stick of butter. When ready, place in 350 degrees (F) oven until heated through, about 30-45 minutes.