This meal is a perfect example of how we all too often say we don’t like something and refuse to eat it without ever having tried it. Then one day, by whatever act of fate, we try it and love it. I didn’t grow up eating vegetables and thus never really liked them….but I never tried many. Cabbage? No way. Broccoli? Nope. Lettuce? What am I, a sheep? I could go on and on. While living in the UK I was exposed to a lot of new (to me) foods and while I did take to many, I flat out refused others just on principle. The particular example today is colcannon.
For those who don’t know what colcannon is, it’s an Irish dish. It’s mashed potatoes with onions and kale, sometimes cabbage instead of kale. The reason I always refused to it was because of the kale/cabbage and my whole “I don’t eat that stuff” thing. We still had some kale from last week’s CSA box and my husband REALLY wanted colcannon so I figured I’d indulge him. He wanted to make it but I have a feeling his wouldn’t have been anywhere near as good. I looked in my cookbooks and found a good recipe in Gary Rhodes’ New British Classics. Gary never disappoints and this time it was no exception. Of course, I didn’t follow the recipe to the T, I did make changes that I think made it SO much better. The colcannon was definitely the star of the show but the protein was fish, and it was good too!
3 cups kale, stalks removed and chopped
4 large Russet Burbank potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
3 tbsp butter
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Fill a stockpot halfway with water, add salt. Bring to a boil. Blanch the kale in the boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook until fork tender. Do not overcook the potatoes, they are starchy and will disintegrate.
In the meantime, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for about 7 minutes. They will be soft and slightly caramelized. Add the blanched kale and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and mash. Add the remaining butter and mix well to melt. Add the milk and mix. Combine the mashed potatoes and kale mixture. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serves 2 (hungry people)
2 fillets of firm, white fish like halibut, mahi, etc
flour to coat
3 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
1 tbsp cooking oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
Dry the fish fillets well. Dust with flour on one side. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush the floured side of the fish. Season with salt and pepper.
In a skillet large enough to accommodate the fish, heat the cooking oil over medium high heat. Place the fish on the skillet floured side down and pan-fry for about 5 minutes per side. Remove the fish to serving plate.
Add the remaining 2 tbsp of butter to the skillet. It will sizzle, melt and brown very quickly. Add the lemon juice and stir until all the butter is melted. Pour over the fish (through a strainer if you prefer) and serve.
This was one of the tastiest meals I’ve had in a long time. The downside to being on a weight loss program is that you can’t cook all this yummy stuff. I’d hate to think how many calories this meal was, but I guess calories are flavor’s unit of measure 😉
If you’ve never had colcannon, or even if you had, I recommend you try this recipe. It is amazing and I will never again say I don’t like colcannon! As someone once told me, “it’s not that you don’t like something, it’s just that you’ve never had it made right!” Truer words have never been spoken.
On a different note, my vegetable garden is doing great for the most part. I’m having a hard time with the herbs but everything else seems to be doing OK. The Square Foot Garden is doing is doing amazingly well. I harvested the radishes yesterday, all 25 of them. I’m so happy with the turn out so far as I wasn’t sure it was going to work. I am ready to replant that square but I don’t know whether to transplant the cabbage I have been growing in a peat pot or whether I should plant something else and plant the cabbage when I harvest the pak choi.