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A St. Paddy’s Day-Inspired Potato Dish: Birchbox Test Kitchen

You miiiight have noticed by now that Birchbox staffers have an ever-so-slight obsession with food, from colorful (and totally yummy) vegetables to delicious smoothies. Which is why we’ve enlisted our in-house recipe guru Nicole to divulge her kitchen secrets each week, sharing seasonal ingredients, must-have tools, and new cooking methods. 

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In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day this weekend, we’re cooking up the Irish classic colcannon. A delicious, creamy combination of potatoes and cabbage— Ireland’s most ubiquitous and sturdy crops—colcannon comes from a word that translates literally to “white-headed cabbage.” The first known written reference to the recipe was in a Dublin traveler’s diary in 1735, and considering how delicious it is, we can understand why it’s still so popular a couple centuries later. (It has to be pretty stellar if it has a song devoted to it, right?) 

There are many variations to colcannon, and I encourage you to get creative! For me, it’s best when you combine both cabbage and kale, and I like scallions, but you can use any kind of onion-y ingredient. Take a peek at my recipe below.

A couple of notes: I like things to be chock-full of veggies, so my ideal ratio is one cup kale or cabbage to one cup of potatoes. Also, I use one potato per guest. 

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Nicole’s Colcannon for Two 

2 large potatoes (I use the all-purpose Yukon gold)
1-3 tbsp pure Irish butter, unsalted (I use Kerrygold). Use more butter if desired, and save some for serving!
1 cup finely chopped cabbage
1 cup (packed) finely chopped kale
3 scallions, chopped
2/3 cup milk 

Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with salted cold water by an inch or so. I like to leave the skins on. Bring to a boil, and boil the potatoes until tender (15-20 minutes).

When done, drain the potatoes and set aside. In the same pot, melt the butter and add all the vegetables except scallions. Salt and pepper to taste. Sauté the vegetables until they get wilted (about five minutes). Add scallions and cook for another minute. Add in milk and heat through, but don’t let the milk boil.

Put the potatoes back in and mash with a masher or a fork, mixing everything together. Turn off the heat and mix well. Add more butter or milk as needed. Add a final bit of salt and pepper if desired, and serve with a nice pat of butter in the middle.

—Nicole

Getting hungry for another kale recipe? Check out Bene’s Baked Rigatoni with cauliflower and kale.

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