Colcannon is a favorite dish on any day. It's not just a St. Patrick's Day special, though it is a perfect choice to accompany a piece of corned beef and a pile of orange and honey sauced carrots. With a dish this tasty, why would you ignore it the rest of the year? Well, we don't.
Many traditional colcannon recipes call for creamy mashed potatoes mixed with shreds of cooked cabbage, a few scallions, heavy cream and a lot of melted butter. Oh yes, a whole lot of butter. A few recipes call for crumbled bacon, most have no bacon at all. I found one over-the-top recipe that suggested serving a colcannon volcano, complete with a depression on top to hold a pool of melted butter. That same recipe also called for rashers of crisp bacon stacked vertically around the volcano's outside edge. Could you argue that the shreds of green cabbage made this a healthy dish? Mmmmm, maybe not healthy, but it must be an amazing sight at the table.
My current version is tasty, quick and easy to prepare, but clearly not an Irish classic . No matter, we love this colcannon made with kale and a bit of butter... bacon optional.
Colcannon with Kaleserves 4-6
2 strips bacon (optional)
2 large russet potatoes (baking potatoes)
1 bunch skinny kale (lacinato or dinosaur kale), destemmed and cut in fine shreds
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cube butter (2 oz or 4 tablespoons) divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup low-fat milk
Salt and pepper to taste
- If you're using bacon, cook it till crisp and set aside. Use the microwave or do this on the stovetop.
- Use the microwave to nuke the whole potatoes; set aside and keep warm while you cook the kale.
- Melt a generous tablespoon of butter and a bit of olive oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the shredded kale a handful at a time until it wilts, and then add the chopped green onions. Stir in the broth and milk and bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Add the remaining butter to the pot.
- Slice the cooked potatoes lengthwise; use a fork, to shred the insides into the kale mixture. Mix together with the fork and roughly smash into the desired consistency (I like mine rustic rather than smooth and creamy). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with the crumbled bacon if using, or stir it in. Consider minced parsley as another topping option.
- On the boat I use the microwave for the entire dish rather than the stovetop. It adapts easily and the results are similar - delicious!
- Leftovers reheat well in the microwave, or even as potato patties on the stovetop.
- Thinned with more chicken broth, any leftover colcannon turns into a tasty potato soup. If you need to stretch it a bit, add some instant potatoes to the soup (I won't tell).
- Skip the bacon, substitute vegetable broth, and the recipe works on an Almost Meatless Monday menu.