It’s getting to be that time of year when one starts thinking of what Irish dish to make for St. Patrick’s Day. A couple years ago I made these Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Frosting. You have my guarantee if you bring a batch of these babies to work on St. Patrick’s Day (or any day, really), your co-workers will gobble them up in no time and beg you to bring them again. They are amazingly good, and no one would ever guess they’re vegan.
Several years ago, in the early days of my blog (before I had a decent camera), this Shepherd’s Pie with Irish Soda Bread was our hearty St. Paddy’s Day meal, and made for some delicious leftovers.
This year I got an early start with another savory concoction and gave it a little twist to make it a full meal. Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish mainly consisting of mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale (or both), along with lots of butter!
I dialed the butter back quite a bit to make this version a little less artery-clogging and used some low-fat buttermilk to give it more buttery flavor without the butter. My intention was to use both kale and cabbage, but at the grocery store I saw the most beautiful bunch of rainbow chard, which I decided to use in place of the kale. I grabbed a head of pre-wrapped organic cabbage and went home to get cooking.
Well it turned out my head of cabbage was actually a head of organic lettuce. Grrr! Opting not to go back to the store and make an exchange, I decided to make my colcannon with just the rainbow chard—no cabbage this time.
Now for the twist that makes it a full meal: I threw the Colcannon into a casserole dish and made four indentations, each just the right size to cradle an egg. About 15 minutes in the oven and dinner was ready. Firm whites and runny yolks atop this buttery potato-chard creation—such a splendid meal that, at least in our house, will not be relegated to just St. Patrick’s Day. Enjoy!
Colcannon, with a Twist
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 bunch rainbow chard or kale, hard stems removed, cut into thin ribbons
3 or 4 green onions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut potatoes into quarters and place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Sprinkle the tablespoon of salt into the water. Cover pan and bring water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook potatoes 15-20 minutes, until tender.
Drain potatoes and let them sit in the pan on the still hot, but turned-off burner, allowing them to dry a bit.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 3-quart casserole with cooking spray or lightly oil or butter it.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add chard or kale and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add green onions and cook another minute or so. Add the milks and cook until milk is hot, but not boiling.
Pour milk mixture over potatoes, and, using a potato masher, mash until potatoes and milk mixture are thoroughly combined. Add salt & pepper, to taste. Dump it all into the casserole dish and make four impressions evenly spaced. Crack an egg into each impression. Bake about 15 minutes, until whites are set, but yolks still runny. Makes 4 full meal servings.