You can celebrate the luck of the Irish on St Patrick’s Day by making Colcannon which is a traditional Irish recipe of mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale. It can be flavored with green onions, cream and butter. Colcannon translates to white-headed cabbage.
Here in the US we celebrate St Patrick’s Day with parades, eating, drinking, and with really prominent displays of green. Chicago does it in a big way by dyeing the Chicago River green. Photo credit WGN-TV.
In Grand Rapids, we don’t dye the Grand River green but there is an annual St Patrick’s Day Parade with our own version of St Patrick. Quite a handsome fellow. Photo credit Lauren Petracca.
I remember as a kid hearing a story about my great grandmother dancing an Irish jig at some kind of town celebration. I wish I could have seen that, and it makes me happy to know I may have an Irish connection. On St Patrick’s Day, I think it is a day that we all wish to be Irish.
If you want to enhance your Irish experience this St Patrick’s Day, watch the movie Brooklyn. It is a delightful movie about a young female Irish immigrant in 1950s Brooklyn. It takes place in both Ireland and Brooklyn. Or perhaps you prefer to have a glass of Guinness Extra Stout.
I make Colcannon quiet often because it is a hearty and simple comfort food. But if you plan to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a special Irish dinner, I can definitely recommend it as a side dish.
1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup warm heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped (about 3 cups)
3 tablespoons butter (with extra butter for serving)
1/4 cup water
2 green onions, thinly sliced
Cook the potatoes in boiling water in a large saucepan until tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, saute the cabbage in 3 tablespoons of butter for about 1-2 minutes. Add the water and cook until until cabbage is tender and water is cooked off, stirring occasionally. Add the green onions and cook 1 minute more. Set aside.
Drain the potatoes in a collander; return to the pan. Add butter. Mash potatoes until creamy, gradually adding milk. Add the cabbage mixture; mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot with a tablespoon of butter in the center.
1. Leftover Colcannon warms up very nicely in the microwave.
2. I used Kerrygold butter which is made in Ireland. If you can find it at your local grocers, give it a try.