Menu Monday: COLCANNON

This week on facebook I began a note listing the books I (will) finish in 2011 as I attempt to fulfill a New Year's resolution to read more. It was unspoken...well, it was until I wrote it down. :) So far I'm on my third/fourth book this year. (While attempting to finish a book I started last June, Pilgrim's Progress, I have started a new book. I don't think I will ever finish it.)

This is one of the few years that I did not write out my resolutions, along with mini-goals that would lead to their fulfillment. Don't get me wrong...I can't think of a single resolution I have stuck to, although there are some that became rather *frequent* habits. Then you take something like my daily photo album that began not as a New Year's resolution--though I often plan to journal more every January--and I am still going strong.

This time around, I just mulled them over. But it doesn't do much good to state your resolutions, even to yourself. So I have been looking for ways to fulfill them and be proactive. I decided I would start a weekly feature on this blog regarding another unspoken resolution: to try a new recipe (once a week or so).

Besides, it would give me something to write about on here. ;)

I love to try new recipes, but it's very easy to get into a rut. That being said, since we've moved, I have probably tried more than one recipe a week...probably because I haven't cooked in my kitchen for more than six months. I doubt this will continue once I become gainfully employed, so I want it to become habitual now while I have the time to get started and find recipes I want to make. I like to be as adventuresome as I can in the kitchen, taking into consideration our time and resources and event, so I also like to adapt old recipes to new situations. I want to share my experiments...uh, recipes...with you, including some favorites every now and then. I suppose that will be my back-up plan if I fail. *haha* Everyone LOVES food, so I can't think of a thing more fun to blog about. (Hey, I told you upfront a lot of this blog would be about food.)

I'm not going to go back over the things I have cooked since the year began, so my first recipe will be from this past weekend.

I wrote about COLCANNON the first time in my daily photo album back in October:

"Originally I had planned to make colcannon, which, if you do not know, is an Irish dish of mashed potatoes and cabbage. How Irish can you get?

Well, you can throw in some corned beef, but that would not be true to form. Bubble and Squeak is a similar British dish in which leftover vegetables from Sunday's roast dinner is fried and served with cold meat. (And Rusty could not understand why I was dying to have roast and Yorkshire pudding on Sunday! It's tradition! At least I finally found some--on Monday, might I point out--and it was a HUGE dish. No wonder they eat the leftovers the next day. This same dish is called Rumbledethumps in Scotland. (I also dream of making lumpy bumpy cake. We have such boring food names here. *tehe*)

I also read that it was a Halloween tradition in Ireland to hide coins in colcannon, like the British do with Christmas plum pudding."

I used to like cabbage when I was younger, then I hated it, and now I am rediscovering it. This is something I have wanted to try since the summer. I have found it to be very tasty in this recipe, which is great for spicing up instant mashed potatoes. (OR you can make your own, which are even better.) This dish is easy to make, and neither the smell nor the flavor of the cabbage is overwhelming. Also, cabbage and potatoes are cheap, and this works well as leftovers. (We know; we had them again today.) Of course, if you don't like onion or garlic in your mashed potatoes, you probably won't like cabbage. But I say the more, the merrier. :)

3 c. green cabbage, finely shredded
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 c. water
4 cups mashed potatoes (instant or homemade*)

-Place cabbage, onion, and water in a saucepan or Dutch oven and quickly bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender, about 8 minutes.
-Add mashed potatoes and stir well to heat through.
[4-6 servings]

*Recipe for homemade mashed potatoes: 6 cooked potatoes, 1/4 c. milk, 1/4 c. butter, salt & pepper to taste

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