Years ago, I shared a recipe for an Irish dish called colcannon. A sort of casserole version of bubble and squeak, colcannon usually contains boiled potato, onion, and cabbage. Mash up the potatoes, stir in the cabbage and onion, top with a bit of Irish cheddar, and bake in a casserole dish for the perfect St. Patrick’s Day comfort food.
This year I wanted to change it up a little for the holiday. I wondered what it would be like with baked potatoes instead of boiled? With sautéed onion, and kale instead of cabbage? So this St. Patrick’s Day we turned the colcannon into twice-baked colcannon potatoes.
Here’s what you need:
4 large potatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 bunch fresh kale, stems removed, leaves chopped and rinsed
1/3 cup milk
1 Tbsp butter
4 ounces shredded cheddar
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and scrub potatoes well and poke with a fork for baking. Bake the potatoes until tender. (I start them in the microwave for a few minutes, then bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.) While the potatoes are in the oven, warm the oil in a frying pan. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent. Add chopped kale to the pan with the onions and stir frequently. Kale will wilt, then will steam as the water on the leaves heats. Cook until kale leaves are tender, 5-10 minutes, adding a few tablespoons of water to the pan as needed to continue steaming. Once cooked, place onions and kale in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut in half. Scoop out potato, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch of potato in the skins.
Add potato to the kale mixture in the mixing bowl. Here’s where you may discover (as I did) that your bunch of kale was enormous and you need to remove a bit. This proportion is totally up to you! Add milk and butter and mash into the potato, then stir in the kale and onion mixture. Then stir in about half of the shredded cheddar.
Scoop the colcannon mixture back into the potato skins. Top with the remaining cheddar and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, as desired. Then bake at 375 for 15 minutes. You can finish with a few minutes of broiling to brown the cheesy tops, if you’d like.
Serve twice baked colcannon potatoes as a side with your other favorite St. Patrick’s Day foods. They’ll be yummy as a quick and portable lunch for tomorrow, too.
Do you have a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal? What’s your favorite way to celebrate today?