Irish recipes



Colcannon is perhaps the ultimate comfort food. This traditional Irish dish is made with potatoes, kale, green onions, parsley and butter. There are variations made with cabbage or Brussels sprouts. All of those versions are pretty good. This is a great side dish for your St. Patrick’s Day dinner. It’s pretty, too.

I have made colcannon with Brussels sprouts, chives and even used ramps one time. For the version I made last night I used kale. I wonder why I don’t colcannon more often. It is so good- and simple to make.

Here is the version I made last night.


1 1/2 lbs. potatoes

1/4 lb. kale, or a bit more

3/4 c. finely chopped green onions or chives

1/2 c. chopped parsley

4 oz. butter

salt and fresh ground pepper

Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks. Boil in salted water until very tender. Meanwhile, trim the stems out of the kale and blanch in boiling water for a few minutes. Remove kale and drain. Rinse with cold water to cool down. Squeeze out excess water and chop the kale finely. Set aside. Once the potatoes are tender, drain well and place in a mixing bowl. Add the butter and mash the potatoes until pretty smooth. A few lumps are not a problem. Stir in the kale, green onions and parsley. Mix well, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Soda Bread

Soda Bread

It’s that time of year. Irish food in on the mind. This soda bread is a classic. Simple and fast to make, it can be served with breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Soda bread is  like a big scone or biscuit. It has a crisp, outer crust, with a crumbly, soft center. The name refers to how the loaf is leavened. Baking soda and baking powder are used to make this bread rise, not yeast.

I like to serve soda bread with butter and jam. A friend tells me she likes to make toasted cheese sandwiches with hers, using a good Irish cheddar, of course.

I used golden raisins, but you can substitute currants, dark raisins, dried cherries, or just leave them out, if you prefer.

I make soda bread all through the year, not just for St. Patrick’s Day.


 Soda Bread

2 c. flour

½ t. each baking powder and baking soda

¼ t. salt

2 T. butter

¾ c. raisins, currants or golden raisins

2 t. caraway seeds

1 egg, beaten

1 c. buttermilk

melted butter, optional

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.  Place on rack to cool. You can brush the loaf with a little melted butter, if you like. Makes 1.

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