I, just so you know am NOT Irish. I do have 3 half Irish cousins (big shout out to my Cousin Kathy who likes to eat about as much as I do!!) I will say that my Dad (a master story teller) once told me that St. Patrick (patron saint of the Catholic church in my home town) was actually Croatian. Well....if you saw "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" you will understand. Dad can find a way to make nearly everything attributed to the Croatians! As (Dad's) legend has it...St. Pat was born in southern Dalmaticia (cradle of civilization) to wealthy parents (clearly not realted to us!) and was taken by gypsies as a baby. My Baka (Grandmother on Dad's side) used to move our beds away form the windows for fear someone would snag us during the night....someone told her about St. Pat....poor dear!
After being taken by those nasty gypsies, he was sold in to slavery and worked as a pirate. He then jumped ship in Ireland and became a priest (I guess bus fare was not an option in that day and age).
Believe what you like but the recipe for Colcannon bears a very striking resemblance to the Swiss chard and potato dish that Croatian kids crave like a bad drug!
In an effort to go local and go Irish, I offer up this weeks recipe (taken from Cooking light a number of years ago) modified to suit our valley veggies
Colcannon Soup - Valley style
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 1/2 cups diced peeled red potatoes (about 14 ounces)
- 1 cup diced onion (about 4 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon Meyer lemon sea salt, divided (check this out from a prior blog)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons water
- 8 cups thinly sliced organic kale or Swiss chard (about 1 pound)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 4 strips of bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add potato, onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook 6 minutes. Add broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until potato is tender.
- Combine 3 tablespoons water and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large Dutch oven; bring to a simmer. Add kale and thyme. Cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Place half of potato mixture in blender*. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. (*I leave mine in the pot and use a hand blender stick - much easier!!) Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture. Add potato mixture to kale mixture; cook over medium-low heat until thoroughly heated.