Cál Ceannann – Colcannon – Mashed Potatoes with Kale

Ingredients:
8 Russet Potatoes, cleaned, chopped
10-12 oz Kale, stems removed
Water for Boiling
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
4 Tbsp Butter
4 Scallions, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste (be liberal)
1-2 Tbsp fresh Chives, minced

Directions:

  • Place the Potatoes in a large pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook till fork tender.
  • Strain and set to the side.
  • Using the same, fill half-way with water and bring to a boil. Add some salt.
  • Place the Kale in the boiling water, and let cook for 1 minute, until just tender.
  • Strain and run through cold water.
  • Roll out some paper towels and place the Kale on it, and let the water drain. You can cover the Kale with more paper towels–just make sure you get as much water out as possible.
  • Remove to a cutting board, and chop fine.
  • In a large bowl, mash the Potatoes with the Heavy Cream and Butter.
  • Mix in the Kale and Scallion to the Potatoes. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with the Chives

Makes 8 servings.

NOTES: Colcannon is a traditional Irish mashed potatoes that incorporates Kale or other types of Cabbage. It is very basic, and very easy to make, though you can add some additional flavor by adding some cubed Ham, or crumbled bacon. The use of Kale specifically rather than a head cabbage suggest it is best for the Winter months–though really you can make it all year.

Colcannon is also a traditional Halloween food in Ireland, wherein the host places a ring, coin, thimble, and/or button. This is similar to finding a “baby Jesus” in a three-kings cake, or a coin in Christmas pudding. The Ring means the person will get married in the year; the coin means the person will come into money; the thimble and button mean the person will be a spinster or bachelor.

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