Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I know, I know... but the family names are McCann, Kavanagh, McCullough, Shannon, Murphy, O'Gara...
Clearly... I have no choice.
And in these strange times, it seems we have no choice but to spend more time safely at home with those we love! OK, I confess I always prefer that to being out and about. But what a perfect time to be together, stay safe, and and eat well... something perhaps from some of our Irish favorites below... I'm also putting together a post of simple, delicious pantry favorites to help you get through the next few weeks. Stay tuned.
This one is a re-post from a year when, in a break from our customary Paddy's Day Salmon, we had a roast chicken (thanks to a BIG sale at Fairway) utilizing the miraculously easy Mark Bittman technique:
(Serves 6-8... or just me!)
This is my version… not totally traditional...
3-4 lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled and cut in similarly sized chunks
¼ to ½ Head green cabbage, cored and sliced thin
Salt and pepper
Chives, minced or cut
1. Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold, salted water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so that water remains at a high simmer, but not a high rolling boil. Cook until potatoes are done (soft but not falling apart). Drain.
2. At the same time, steam sliced cabbage until it starts to soften, but not until it gets mushy.
3. Use a ricer or a food mill on the potatoes. Begin to add warmed cream, slowly. I realize I’ve given no amount on the cream... but it changes completely depending on the specific potatoes and your personal preference... just don’t put in so much cream that they get soupy. You can always add a bit more. And resist the temptation to whip the potatoes endlessly. Taste for, and add, salt and pepper.
4. Fold in the cabbage and add chives. Colcannon can also be made with shredded kale in place of the cabbage, and minced scallions in place of the chives. Yukon Gold potatoes can be substituted, but the Russets give a much more “potato-y” taste.
Asparagus (barely softened in simmering salted water)... and...
Caraway Soda Bread
Simple caraway soda bread with no raisins, no sugar and, shockingly... NO FAT!
At least until you spread the butter on top...
Plus a lovely One Hope 2011 Pinot Noir, a perfect fire, and the perfect dinner (and life) companion.
Life is good, even through struggle (how much more Irish can you get?!?!?!?)...
For dessert, This Old Chef suggests this incredible Chocolate Shortbread from chef Bob Chambers...
Chocolate Shortbread Hearts
An an elegant end to any meal and one of our all-time favorites, Chocolate Pudding with Cointreau...
Chocolate Pudding with Cointreau
Happy St. Patrick's Day!