Kitchen Wit and Wisdom: It’s time to go green

Cathi Litzenberger offers some tasty traditional Irish treats just in time for St. Patrick's Day

Winter’s waning, spring is gaining and with it the warmer daydreams of gardening and outdoor enjoyment again.

March brings spring, Easter and St. Patrick’s Day along with a few other special days this year.

With this in mind, today’s recipes come from the beautiful Emerald Isle. Spuds and cabbage were a mainstay in the Irish diet for centuries and the many concoctions are called colcannon.

Today’s recipe adds bacon and is deliciously simple. Irish soda bread is a must with Irish stew or a heavy soup; and today’s recipe is a very easy, tasty bread. Best if made the day before, or several hours before serving.

Irish Colcannon

2 -1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 slices bacon

1/2 small head cabbage, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 cup milk

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup butter, melted

Place potatoes in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserving drippings, crumble and set aside.

In the reserved drippings, sauté the cabbage and onion until soft and translucent. Putting a lid on the pan helps the vegetables cook faster.

Drain the cooked potatoes, mash with milk and season with salt and pepper. Fold in the bacon, cabbage, and onions, then transfer the mixture to a large serving bowl. Make a well in the centre, and pour in the melted butter. Serve immediately.

Irish Soda Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/3 cup white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda.

Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture. Mix just until moistened. Stir in butter. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Wrap in foil for several hours, or overnight, for best flavour.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist, appearing every other Wednesday and one Sunday per month.

 

 

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