I believe we all have some Irish in us and it is just a matter of tapping into our elusive ancestors. St. Patrick's Day is a reminder of this, for whether we are religious or not, most of us will wear green, drink beer, or eat Irish food in celebration of the holiday. "Party" is the term I believe most accurately describes how we Americans like to remember this day, whether with food or spirits.
There are numerous Irish dishes, such as Corned Cabbage, which we love at our house, made with cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions and smothered with horseradish sauce, or the famous Sheppard's Pie, easily made vegetarian or vegan and spinning off various adaptations itself.
This Patty's Day, I chose to make Colcannon. Regardless of what you have heard that this dish is all about the potato or cabbage, it isn't. It is all about the butter. Authentically, around three pounds of potatoes and a head of cabbage would call for two sticks, or one cup, of butter. It's as if Paula Dean had a direct channel to the Irish.
Traditional Colcannon contains potatoes, cabbage or kale, ham, green onions and butter. I decided to stick with tradition as much as possible, therefore, be warned, this is not a low-calorie recipe and if you choose to minimize the vegan butter, you do so at your discretion. This dish is amazing with all the called for butter, and while half would still be pretty good, indulging once a year is not going to hurt. Too badly.
I decided not to ignore the ham. I have read that it adds a lot of subtle flavor. I made Corned Sausage to replace it. I used Tofurkey Kielbasa as the sausage and cooked it in a corned sauce for a few minutes. Did the trick! You know something is done pretty well when your teenagers return for seconds of a dish full of kale.
Or maybe, just maybe, it was the butter.
cabbage, kale: $5
green onions: $1
spices, butter, milk: $2
Total to make 6 servings