Colcannon and a note

colcannonDark winter mornings call for hearty fare and this recipe fits the bill. Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish made from potatoes and kale or cabbage. It is comfort food at its finest. While this dish can be served as a side dish at dinner, we like to have it for breakfast with sliced bacon and a fried egg. When you’re cooking the potatoes, be sure to place them in the pot right away so they come to a boil with the water. This ensures they cook through evenly without being crumbly on the outside and hard on the inside. This recipe is written to serve two as a hearty breakfast but feel free to increase the quantities as needed.

colcannon and potatoesThis week was the last delivery of Jubilee’s CSA for the Fall session. Thank you so much for following along as I wrote these recipes with our weekly bounty. I’ll be posting other recipes from time to time until the winter session starts up in February. If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to contact me through the link above- I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Holidays!

colcannon breakfastIngredients:

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 large kale leaves, stripped from stem and cut into smaller pieces
2 tablespoons half and half
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 slices of bacon, cooked and cut into smaller pieces
2 eggs, fried

Method:

  1. Place potatoes in a pot with water to cover by about an inch, add a good pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
  2. When potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork, toss the kale into the pot and cook for 30 seconds to a minute.
  3. Strain the potatoes and kale and return to the pot. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the mixture, adding in the half and half, butter and Dijon. When it’s reached a texture you like, dish it onto plates and top with bacon and fried egg. A grind of fresh pepper and you’re ready to eat!

colcannon and kale

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Spiced Apple-Pear Sauce

spiced sauceApple-pear sauce is a wonderful treat as we begin to segue from fall into winter. It makes a great snack by itself, though I like to stir some into my morning oatmeal or yoghurt. I’ve also used it in various baking recipes to make moist muffins and cakes. This recipe is easily adaptable to your personal tastes. I prefer my applesauce smooth, so I use an immersion blender, but if you like a chunkier version, a potato masher or fork works perfectly. I also don’t peel my fruit because I think it adds more body to a smooth sauce. Feel free to peel everything, if you like. Play around with the spices too – a pinch of clove or cardamom would be nice or some ground fennel seed and chili flakes would make this great with pork chops, if you want to try something more savory.

apple pear sauceIngredients:

3-4 apples, cored and cut into cubes
2-3 pears, cored and cut into cubes
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon allspice
juice from half a lemon
pinch of salt
Optional: Honey to taste

Method:

  1. Combine apples, pears, water, vanilla, spices, and lemon juice in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Keeping your heat low, cook covered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the fruit is soft and there isn’t much liquid in the pot, remove from the heat.
  4. Use a potato masher or fork if you like chunkier sauce or an immersion blender for a smoother sauce to break down all the fruit. Give it a taste… If you want more sweetness, add a bit of honey. Add a pinch of salt now to give the flavor a little boost. If the sauce is still a bit too liquidy for your taste, return the pot to low heat and cook off some of that liquid.

Black Eyed Pea Soup with Winter Vegetables

Black Bean SoupWhen the weather turns consistently cold, I want nothing more than soup. Every day. Maybe even for multiple meals. And this is a recipe to help satiate that desire.

Every year, my family celebrates New Year’s Day with black eyed pea soup. According to folklore, the expansion of these legumes portends an increase in wealth over the next year. Unsurprisingly, feasting on beans has become a part of the New Year ritual, ensuring good luck for those who partake in it. Now, culinary divination is all well and good, but I’m into feeling nourished and lucky all year round. So let’s embrace black eyed peas more often!

Black eyed peas benefit from soaking before being cooked, but it’s not essential. If you don’t soak them, just be aware that they will take longer to cook. Soaking beans, however, makes them easier to digest and helps to eradicate their uncomfortable side effect. When I soak my beans, I like to add an ounce or so of whey (leftover from cheese making or just poured off the top of a container of yogurt), which is also supposed to minimize leguminous flatulence. If you really don’t want to bother with dried beans, feel free to substitute two cans of black eyed peas that have been drained and rinsed.

Collards are a great addition to this soup. If added with the beans and broth, they will cook down to be quite tender. These greens are not only full of vitamins C and K, but studies at UC Berkeley have shown that they have strong antiviral and antibacterial properties. Perfect for cold and flu season!

A few final notes: don’t salt your beans until they have finished cooking. Prematurely salting legumes causes them to remain tough and begin to crumble rather than achieve tenderness. Finally, a fun veggie fact for your next game of trivia: in Scotland, rutabagas are called “neeps”!

Enjoy the soup and stay warm everybody!

Ingredients:
2 cups dried black-eyed peas
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock
1 bunch collard greens or kale, stems removed, leaves cut into ribbons
4 carrots, cut into rounds
1 rutabaga or 1/2 squash, cut into medium cubes
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon fennel
1 pinch chili flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
optional: 1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into small pieces

Method:

  1. Soak black eyed peas in enough water to cover with 3 inches or so to spare. I recommend soaking them in the morning so they’ll be ready at dinner time.
  2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it begins to turn translucent. Add the garlic, carrots, and rutabaga or squash (and ham if using) and cook until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add in the spices and stir. Cook another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Strain peas from the water and add to the pot along with the broth. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer.
  4. If you’re using collards, go ahead and add them to the pot now. If you’re using kale, don’t add it until the last minute before serving. Cook the soup for 45 minutes or until the peas are tender.
  5. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper to your tastes.