Thursday, January 13, 2011

Falling Off The Wagon......Big Time

Now I know that I said I was going to eat healthier, but old habits die hard, especially when it is dreary and cold outside.  Winter weather here in the Pacific Northwest comes in one form......rain, and more rain. 
Usually I take this in stride but occasionally I find myself needing a little pick me up, and rich delicious comforting food will do that (at least for me). 

So what to make?  For a little background information I am a big tea drinker, especially black tea with some milk and sugar.  There are not too many nights that I don't have a spot of tea in the evening, and this particular night definitely called for tea so I decided to go with something that would complement my little cup of hot wonderful.  The initial thing that came to mind was colcannon, which is a hearty, stick to your bones dish from Ireland. 

Colcannon to me is the one of the ultimates in good cheap comfort food, and it is quite simply a mix of buttery mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage.  I decided to got the cabbage route since I just so happened to find a beautiful head of cabbage at the market.   And if this dish wasn't fattening enough, add some yummy bacon just for good measure.  I justified this decision by telling myself that this is also a traditional addition to this dish, and why not go with tradition right?  I followed it up with some crusty bread and some good Irish cheddar and voila!  I found myself in fat heaven, along with my cup of hot wonderful of course.  So did it cheer me up?  Yes.  Did my butt grow an inch as a result?  Yes.  Oh well, maybe it's time to invest in a treadmill......or some willpower.


Cook Time: 20 minutes

3lbs russet potatoes peeled and quartered
1/2 lb bacon chopped
4 cups chopped cabbage
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup half and half
1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a large pot boil potatoes over medium high heat until for tender, about 15 minutes.  While the potatoes are boiling heat a large skillet over medium heat. 

Add chopped bacon and cook until the bacon starts to get crispy, about 4 minutes.  Drain the excess fat and add the cabbage to the pan.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and saute until the cabbage is tender but not too soft, about 5 minutes. 

Drain the potatoes and mash using a food mill, potato ricer, or mixer.  Add the butter, half and half, and remaining salt and pepper.  Stir in the the cabbage and bacon mixture and serve immediately.

Note:  Leeks, chives, or scallions would be a very yummy addition to this dish....maybe even some good grated Irish cheddar.


  1. Julie, the one you work withJanuary 17, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    I've been meaning to try colcannon forever! It's going on the list of future meal plans. Thank you!

  2. It is definately one of my favorites! You'll love it! Good alternative for corned beef for St. Patty's day, along with a Guiness of course!