Colcannon Gratin

If you love Colcannon, the traditional Irish side dish of boiled potatoes and cabbage or kale, you may hate this recipe.  It maintains many of the same flavors, but adds a crispy top and a deliciously caramelized bottom.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Scrub 1 lb. of potatoes and add to the water.  Cook until fork-tender, then drain and rinse to cool.

Meanwhile, thinly clean and slice 2 leeks or 1 large onion.  Saute in 2 T. butter or olive oil over low hea in a large cast iron skillet or other pan for 10-15 minutes, until completely wilted.

Cut 1 head of cabbage in half across the “equator”.  Place one half face down on a cutting board and thinly slice the entire head.  Chop the slices roughly.  Add to the pan with the leeks/onions.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Rinse 1 bunch of kale and remove the tough stems.  Thinly slice the kale crosswise to make 2 C.  Add to the pan with the cabbage.  Cook for 5 minutes, or until the kale has wilted.

When the potatoes are cool enough, add 1/4 C. milk and mash them with a potato masher or hand blender.

(If you just want traditional Colcannon, at this point you can just combine everything together and serve it)

Remove half the cabbage/leek/kale mixture from the skillet.  Spread the remaining cabbage mixture evenly over the bottom, or transfer it to a baking dish.  Spread the mashed potatoes over the cabbage, then make a layer of cabbage on top of the potatoes.  Top with 6 oz. grated cheddar cheese.

Bake the colcannon in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and the casserole is bubbling.


Terra Firma Birds

Yesterday afternoon as I was about to turn into my driveway, a Great Blue Heron flew right in front of my truck, just a few feet overhead.  It was an amazing sight to behold so close up. For most of … Continue reading

Luck of the Draw

Agricultural freezes are not dramatic disasters like hurricanes, tornados or wildfires.  Even if they occur on a large scale, whether or not crop sustains or escapes damage comes down to little details.  How cold it gets in a particular area … Continue reading

What the Hail?

One fine spring day in 2001, I was working on the tractor on a gorgeous afternoon in late winter.  It had been rainy and wet for weeks, and I was taking advantage of a break in the weather.  I don’t … Continue reading