Posted in Sides, St. Patrick's Day

Colcannon

colcannon irish potatoes and cabbage with butterMom’s Journal, March 20th.

Snow day number 9 … and the first day of Spring.

Seems an oxymoron and yet … here we are.

Typically at this point, I’d be ready to put my kids up for adoption, but this year, and this snow day in particular, has been surprisingly delightful. Yep. I did just say that. Daring to step out of the establishment … flying in the face of expectation. Not lamenting the fact that they’re off another day.  No frustration that they’re not in school and that they’re driving me nuts. We’re not talking Brady Bunch here, so don’t get carried away.

And let’s just keep this between us, shall we. I don’t want to damage my rep with the other moms in the neighborhood.

This year we have had so many consistent snow days that we have actually figured out a “snow day routine.” It’s really been quite lovely.

I was even able to knock a bunch of things off my to-do list this morning and, as an added bonus, I declared this our “St. Patrick’s Day Do-Over.” My being sick caused it’s postponement from the actual day-of, and I still had all of the ingredients that really I didn’t feel like re-purposing.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Do-Over!

And … as an added, added bonus, I got to spend some time in the kitchen, enjoying the cooking of a meal without slaving over it or feeling rushed to get it on the table at a certain time so that someone can get to a certain place for a certain activity.

That, my friend, is the real beauty of the snow day – the removal of {most} obligations. I do secretly relish that part. Which, I guess, is not really a secret anymore because I just told you. I guess I’m inclined to spill all my dirty secrets today.

I had never heard of Colcannon until about 2 months ago, as I was searching for an actual recipe for a dish that my family makes called “yamoose” (honestly I’m not even sure if that’s how you spell it) that’s basically potatoes, cabbage, and kielbasa steamed together with yellow mustard, salt and pepper. Say what?

Your response is apparently not unfounded. There is absolutely nothing out there about yamoose, but it does have a close relative in Colcannon: mashed potatoes with cabbage or kale or some-other-green and some form of onion. I filed it into the memory as a must-try for this St. Patrick’s Day.

And, in a moment of Irish luck (and thanks to my Pocket), I actually remembered to dig it out of my memory when planning the menu for this year. Go, me.

I wasn’t sure how the band of three merry young men would react, but I figured it was worth a try.

Colcannon
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. yellow or red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium head of cabbage, finely sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 bunch spring onions, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter, for serving
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes in pot and cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Place pot over medium-high heat and bring to boil. Cook potatoes until soft and drain.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, melt 2 tablespoons butter and bacon grease in a skillet (preferably iron) over medium heat.
  4. When melted and pan is warm, drop the cabbage in there.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage has wilted and started to brown, 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add ½ teaspoon salt and stir.
  7. Turn off heat but keep cabbage in skillet to keep warm.
  8. Into the pot that you used for the potatoes, add the milk and the ¼ cup of butter. It should still be warm from the potatoes, but if not, put it on the stove over low heat to melt the butter and warm the milk slightly.
  9. Return the potatoes to the pot with the milk/butter mixture and mash, as much or as little as you prefer. You hold the fate of the lumps in your hands.
  10. Mix in cabbage and onions.
  11. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  12. To serve, make a well in the center of your pile and slap a big ole pat of butter in there.

The cabbage in this is delicious (so says the girl as she pats herself on the back). I left some out for Mr. Selective and Big Britches who don’t prefer mashed potatoes. They wouldn’t eat it because “it smelled” but The Man and I thought it was super yum as it was. I think if add some caramelized onions … presto! – a new veggie for {some of} us.

Love those little nuggets of surprise that come out of a mixed-up snow day/first day of spring.

And now the time has come … admit it … are you one of those parents who complains about snow days but who secretly loves them? I promise I won’t tell anyone … 😉

Posted in Sides, Veggies

Pittsburgh Slaw

Arguably the most iconic restaurant in Pittsburgh is Primanti Brothers. All the cool people just call it Primanti’s.

I am not cool. I do not like their sandwiches – less-than-stellar sandwich meat jazzed up with fries and their own homemade coleslaw.

Sacrilege! Blaspheme! Traitor!

If I weren’t married to a Pittsburgh native, they likely wouldn’t let me near a river, much less past the city limits. It is that ingrained in the constitution of their being.

I make no apologies.  I have tried, I really have, but I just cannot make myself like their food. For me, it’s just missing something. Like flavor.

The coleslaw, however, now that’s a different story. It is vinegary cabbage-y deliciousness.

IMG_3584.JPGA couple of years ago when the Steelers were in the Super Bowl, I found a recipe in the paper for a copycat Primanti’s slaw.  It was a good starting point to use for what has ultimately become a family staple.

Pittsburgh Slaw
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (about half of a medium-size head) green cabbage, shredded or finely chopped (about 6 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons cup sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, or more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seed (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine the cabbage, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Dump the cabbage mixture in a colander and set the colander on top of the bowl.
  3. Let stand at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours (or more); the cabbage will be wilted (about 4 cups total).
  4. Discard the draining liquid in the bowl; rinse and dry the bowl.
  5. Transfer the wilted cabbage to the bowl. Add the oil, vinegar and celery seed; toss to coat. Season with pepper to taste. Cover and let stand at room temperature until ready to serve.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers.
Notes
The vinegar that you use will have an effect on the flavor. I use Bragg's and sometimes other brands, but always unfiltered raw vinegar. The commercially available apple cider vinegar just doesn't have the same flavor profile and may not produce the same level of deliciousness.

Okay, so it’s not really a family staple, as the kids don’t eat it. But The Man and I have been known to barter over the leftovers because this is exceptionally good the next day.

 

Posted in Sides, Veggies

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

Mr. Selective came home and was in a mood.

He asked to go to The Bread Guy’s baseball practice with The Man (also the coach). He said yes.

I said no. Because I do aspire to be the most evil mother on earth.

This served to improve his mood not at all and resulted in throwing chairs and screaming. And of course I remained calm and collected and handled it in a mature, textbook-parent sort of way. Bwahahahaha!

No. No, I didn’t. And that’s where we’ll end this part of the story.

The cherry on top of this evening was that I made two of his favorite things for dinner … Burgers. And roasted cauliflower.

He ate peanut butter and jelly. (The only time he eats this happily is when there is an less desirable option for dinner.)

IMG_3183.JPG

Now, I am not a fan of mushy veggies. Or cauliflower. Or leftovers.

But I love this as a side. And as a leftover.

Sometimes you just step into a pot of lucky.

Roasted Cauliflower
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 Tbsp refined coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 415.
  2. Cut cauliflower into florets and then slice florets. I like to leave some thick slices and some thin, so you get some chunks and some of the itty bitty crispy pieces.
  3. Combine garlic and coconut oil in small bowl.
  4. Melt oil and garlic together in microwave. If you're anti-microwave, then do it however you do it.
  5. Stir.
  6. Line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment. Put chopped cauliflower on pan.
  7. Pour garlic/oil mixture over cauliflower and mix well. Use your hands for this one and get all of that garlic-y goodness in every bit of the cauliflower.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, mixing every 10 minutes or so.
  9. Add cheese and give it a stir. Bake for 10-15 minutes more, until you've reached desired level of crisp-ness (or until you can't wait any longer).
  10. Make sure that you save some for everyone else.
Notes
Depending on the size of your head, you may need more oil. The head of cauliflower - not your actual head. If you are a garlic lover, you can add more garlic for a stronger flavor. Similarly, if you like the cheese, add more cheese.

The Bread Guy will eat this, unhappily and usually against his will, but he does it. Big Britches won’t touch it.

Give it a shot. It’s a delicious way to eat cauliflower.

I’d suggest, though, that you try it on a day that the furniture isn’t attacked by your grumpy 7-year-old.