Irish recipe

Colcannon

Colcannon

I am not sure you can find a more comforting comfort food than colcannon. This traditional Irish dish is a combination of potatoes, cabbage, onions, parsley and butter. I was inspired to make it when my friend, Jill, mentioned she was making it for St. Patrick’s Day. It certainly doesn’t have to be St. Patrick’s Day to enjoy this traditional Irish dish, though. This dish is always a crowd pleaser.

I changed it up a bit by using Brussels sprouts, in place of the cabbage. It was for a dinner with a friend of mine, and since she doesn’t eat bacon, I left it out. But a lot of people do add some bacon to colcannon.

The recipe is pretty simple. I used a combination of chicken stock and half and half to cook the potatoes, but you  could use all milk, if you prefer.

Colcannon 

4 T. butter

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 lbs. of potatoes, peeled and sliced

1 c. chicken stock

1 c. milk or half and half- I used half and half

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and quartered

1/2 c. chopped green onions

1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

extra butter for adding when serving

I large sauce pan or skillet, heat the butter and cook the onion until tender. Add the potatoes and cook a few minutes. Add the stock and milk or half and half and cook, uncovered over medium low heat, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The potatoes should be pretty tender. Add the Brussels sprouts, cover, and continue cooking until the sprouts are tender. This will take 10-15 minutes. If the mixture is soupy, remove the lid. Most of the liquid should cook off. You should mash the potatoes a bit before serving, so use a potato masher or a large fork to smash them up a bit. This will also thicken the dish up a bit more.  Add the green onions and parsley and cook a few more minutes, over low heat, stirring to keep mixture from burning.  Adjust seasonings and serve with extra butter on top. Serves 4-6.

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

It’s that time of year. But I confess to making Irish soda bread all through the year. It is easy and so good. Right from the oven with some butter and jam. Yum.

Irish Soda Bread

2 c. flour

½ t. each baking powder and baking soda

¼ t. salt

2 T. butter

¾ c. raisins

2 t. caraway seeds

1 egg. Beaten

1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dust a baking sheet with a little flour. Combine dry ingredients in bowl and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Add raisins and caraway seeds. Combine egg and milk and set 2 tablespoons of this mixture aside. Add remaining milk mixture to flour mixture and combine just until dough forms into a ball. Place on baking sheet, brush with reserved egg mixture and cut a crisscross on top of loaf. Bake about 25 minutes or until bread sounds hollow. Makes 1.   

Irish Soda Bread Scones

Irish Soda Bread Scones

Irish Soda Bread Scones

I was getting ready to make some Irish Soda Bread but then I got to thinking about scones. Couldn’t make up my mind so I combined them in this recipe. They came out really great. A little crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Wonderful all on their own but even better with butter and jam or perhaps some Devonshire clotted cream.

  Irish Soda Bread Scones

2 c. flour

3 T. sugar

2 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

½ t. salt

1/3 c. butter

½ c. raisins

1 t. caraway seeds

2/3 c. buttermilk

1 egg

Milk

Extra sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet. Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl and cut in butter to resemble coarse crumbs. Stir in raisins and caraway seeds. Beat together buttermilk and egg and add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until mixture just coming together. Turn onto floured surface and knead 5-6 strokes or until ball of dough holds together. Dust an 8-inch round cake with  flour. Press dough into cake pan. Invert pan over onto prepared baking sheet. I find if I do this quickly the dough comes out more easily. Remove cake pan. This will give you a perfect 8-inch circle of dough.  With a sharp, floured knife cut dough into 8 wedges. Brush top with milk and sprinkle with extra sugar. Bake 14-16 minutes. Makes 8. 

Fresh from the oven

Fresh from the oven