Colcannon

 Last spring, I travelled to Dallas for my job – usually I’m not crazy about trips for work; it’s fine, but I often find myself in my hotel room at the end of the day, unsure what to do with myself – explore the city on my own, which is fine but not as fun as when I’ve got someone to share it with – or indulge in my desire to watch HGTV for multiple hours (Fixer Upper and Flip or Flop are favorites – though I’m less interested in Flip or Flop now that I know way too much about Christina and Tarek). The issue with the HGTV option is that I get hungry and restless by 8pm, at which point I don’t know what to do with myself (venture out for a big dinner, go to bed too late feeling gross? or eat too many pretzels for dinner, go to bed early, and still feel gross?).

 

Anyway – back to Dallas – much to my surprise, that trip turned out waaay different than most of my employer-sponsored trips. Expecting many nights in my hotel room, I had brought a bunch of work with me with the expectation of primarily pretzel-and-work filled evenings (with just a smattering of home improvement shows), when, much to my surprise, I made friends. Lovely, thoughtful, women who also take their careers very seriously AND really like whiskey too. We quickly found a pattern: focus during the daytime, eat and drink like locals in the evening (we got lucky with “being like locals” – one of my new pals was from the area). It ended up being a *fantastic* trip, and in fact (speaking of whiskey!) we are reuniting next month in Louisville KY at another meeting! Gah!

 

Anyway – I promise I have a point to this story. My lovely friend, who lived in Dallas, took us one night to Houston’s Restaurant. I’d never heard of it – didn’t realize it was a chain OR that it has a crazy following – and instead worried that there wouldn’t be anything vegetarian to eat in a steakhouse in Texas. As it turned out, the food was fantastic (a delicious veggie burger, and please know I’m a connoisseur) and among the most amazing mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. Turns out they were Irish Mashed Potatoes – I’d never heard of them before! – and they were creamy and fluffy with a great bite to them. With St. Patrick’s day upon us, I figured this was the perfect recipe to recreate during potato month here at S&S.

 

 

 

 

As I mentioned, it’s been awhile since I actually had the potatoes at Houston’s, but I remember they were incredibly creamy and had a mild onion flavor along with some toothiness from the cabbage. I’m very sure Houston’s used more cream and butter (I skipped the cream but used plenty of butter), but I have to say,  I was extremely pleased with these results.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Colcannon Potatoes

 

5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into large cubes (with skins)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned, halved lengthwise and sliced thin

2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin

1/2-3/4 lbs. green cabbage, shredded

6 ounces whole milk

 

In a medium sized pot, place the potatoes and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to enthusiastically simmer. Cook until potatoes are soft, 20-25 minutes. Drain and set aside. When the potatoes have cooled a bit, roughly mash.

 

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once it is entirely melted, pour about half the butter into a small bowl and set aside. Next, add the leeks and garlic to the saucepan, and sauté until the leeks soften and begin to brown. Add the cabbage and continue cooking, and stirring frequently, until the cabbage has also softened and browned. Remove from heat.

 

In a small saucepan (or in the microwave), gently heat the milk until warm.

 

Add the cabbage mixture to the mashed potatoes, and pour in the warmed milk (using more or less to your preference) and reserved melted butter, and stir/mash until the cabbage and potatoes are well mixed and the potatoes are the consistency you desire. Add salt and pepper, and enjoy!

 

 

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