Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I recently made this traditional Irish dish for a brunch with the triad of eaters fully in attendance. We had to feed and please a vegetarian, a vegan and a whole lotta omnivores there that morning. I chose this dish because of its relative steadying power. As a vegan/vegetarian entree, Colcannon feels like a solid meal and as an omnivore’s side dish it provides just the right about of taste, color and starch to an Irish meal. Which, if you're Schaefer generally means a healthy heap of pork and cabbage.

What follows is a vegan recipe, which can easily be adapted to your, or your guests tastes.

First Bowl – Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 lbs of Creamer Potatoes
  • 2 cups of Unsweetened Soy Milk
  • 7 Tbsp. Shortening
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Boil the Potatoes, skin on, until tender in the middle (about 10 minutes depending on your potatoes)
  • Cool the Potatoes and bring the Soy Milk and Shortening to a boil.
  • Peel the potatoes.
  • Return the potatoes to the their now empty, hopefully cool, pot.
  • Lightly mash, using a Potato masher, the potatoes.
  • Slowly add, about half a cup at a time, the shortening and soy milk and mash to combine.
  • Continue mashing and adding liquid until the potatoes reach a “pasty” consistency. You don’t want super smooth potatoes, nor do you want potato chunks. The ideal is going to be small, discreet chunks. Also, keep in mind that the kale we are putting in the dish will give off a certain amount of water while cooking so you don’t want these to be too wet.
  • Set aside
Second Bowl – Kale
  • 1.5 lbs of kale
  • Clean and rinse the Kale and cut into strips.
  • Boil the Kale for 3 minutes, drain thoroughly.
  • Heat shortening in a frying pan, add garlic and sautee till brown
  • Add the Kale to the garlic and toss carefully for 2-5 minutes (until the Kale starts to wilt up)
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
At this point in the recipe you can put both bowls in the fridge for up to 48 hours before the final dish is assembled - perfect for entertaining!

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  • Line an oven proof dish with parchment paper.
  • Begin assembling the Colcannon layers. Begin with a layer of kale alternating to mashed potatoes and end with mashed potato on top.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes on top begin to brown.

This recipe served eight total – with 2 people eating entrée portions and 6 eating side portions.

Note: This dish is a great replacement for traditional mashed potatoes. It can also be a base for sautéed veggies or stews – for instance, our friend Amy brought fried mushrooms for brunch that topped this dish perfectly.


JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I appreciate your blog. I really do. It speaks to my own heart - trying to eat and cook for my soul, but stay on a small budget. With food prices up 1/3 since last year, it is no wonder so many of us are getting all radical about how we purchase and prepare food. This is a great concept and I look forward to more great food from you guys!

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