It’s January in Alaska. It was quite a lovely out today and delightfully warm: 20˚ F — a blue wax ski day.
This time of year I crave hearty food. We're now two weeks past winter solstice, which means that we're slowly gaining back daylight-- today was 4 minutes and 15 seconds longer than yesterday and tomorrow will be another 4 minutes and 27 seconds longer.
In the winter, I tend to find myself in my kitchen cooking on Sunday evenings. I listen to the radio program “This American Life” that comes on the local NPR station Sunday evenings from 5-6 pm. It’s funny because in the middle of the summer when we’ve got 20+ hours of daylight, Sunday at 5 pm still feels like the middle of the afternoon. In January, it’s already pitch black by 5 pm and it’s definitely nighttime already.
I picked up a roast at the store and decide to have a meat & potato kind of night. Instead of plain mash potatoes, I decided to make colcannon—an Irish dish of mashed potatoes decadently dressed up with cabbage and bacon. I can also be made with kale instead of cabbage, but I’ve been hunkering for cabbage lately.
~2 lbs of potatoes
6 slices of bacon
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ head of cabbage
½ stick of butter (4 Tbsp)
~ ½ c milk
salt & pepper, to taste
I find that potatoes cook faster when you slice them, rather than cube them, since it increases their surface area. I also use potatoes with thin skins that I don't bother to remove; and it contains some of the nutrition and virtually all of the fiber.
Boil the potatoes until tender.
In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium high heat until it's extra crispy.
Add in the garlic and continue until it is browned.
Shred the cabbage.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and transfer them to a large bowl. Mash them with the butter and milk.
Mix in the bacon and garlic.
In the skillet used to cook the bacon, add the cabbage and cover with a lid.
Cook down until the cabbage becomes a brighter green and is not as rigid.
Chop the scallions.
Mix in the cabbage and scallions. Salt and pepper, to taste.
Deliciously decadent colcannon. A meal in itself, really.