Weekend fare that seems fitting for a bowl of comfort and a cold beer at the pub ...
We all pledge sometimes to use up the leftover fresh vegetables that we've used for different recipes. Am I right here? Yes, you know I am. We all do well for a bit and then go on a fridge cleaning spree that shows just how much we've fallen down on said pledge. Am I right here, too ? Yup, you say.
Got any leftover wedges of cabbage from that last week's cole slaw or cabbage soup recipe? Use them to make a simple and hearty colcannon. You can do it the traditional way or you can get inventive with the rest of your fridge leftovers. In my case, there was some flat leaf parsley, some scallions that needed using, some leftover grated Cheddar and Mascarpone cheeses that were used to top bowls of chili and make risotto, and potatoes that are just starting to set eyes. Time to use it all up, I say!
Who can resist all those good additions to the traditional colcannon recipe, I ask you ? Not me!
'Kind Of' Colcannon
1 lb. peeled boiled and coarsely mashed Yukon Gold potatoes
6 slices bacon, fried, crisped, and chopped
2 tbsp. butter
12 oz. green cabbage, cut into wedges and sliced thinly (about 3 c.)
1 c. fresh flat leaf parsley, leaves picked from stems and chopped
3 scallions, beards trimmed away, whites and greens cut into thin coins
1 c. half & half
4 oz. cream cheese or Mascarpone
white pepper, nutmeg, dried chives, black pepper
1/2 c. grated cheese ( a mild Cheddar or a Colby jack or a mild Gouda)
Making the Dish:
1. Gently boil the potatoes, mash them coarsely and set them aside.
2. While the potatoes cook, fry the bacon, drain on paper towels, chop coarsely and set aside.
3. Drain off the bacon fat from the fry pan, add the butter and cabbage and fry gently until the cabbage softens a bit and glistens.
4. Add the parsley, scallions, herbs and spices, cream cheese, and half & half and stir to melt the cheese. When the cheese has melted, add the potatoes and stir gently to distribute.
5. Line the bottom of an oven-proof casserole with some of the bacon.
6. Turn half the cabbage/potato mixture into the casserole over the bacon. Sprinkle on a bit more bacon and half the grated cheese.
7. Turn in the other half of the potato/cabbage mixture. Top with the rest of the bacon, and cheese. Sprinkle on some black pepper.
8. Bake for 25 minutes or so in a 300 degree F oven, until the vegetables are hot and the cheese has melted and is bubbling a bit.
9. Serve with sausages or leftover corned beef slices or glazed ham and cold beers.