This is a basic Irish dish which is well seasoned and surprisingly satisfying. Potatoes are sometimes combined with cabbage, sometimes with kale. We like both. For a complete meal. serve Colcannon with a side dish of rutabagas and carrots (steps 3 and 4), as well as Apple Chutney (recipe follows).
1. Peel and quarter 8 medium potatoes. Boil in water to cover until tender, but not falling apart. Drain in a colander. Return to pot and shake over low fire until mealy. Mash potatoes with a fork, potato masher, or in a mixer. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 cup soy milk, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
2. Finely shred 2 cups cabbage and 2 cups kale, well washed. Cover with water in a pot and bring to a boil, covered. Remove lid and boil uncovered 10 minutes. Drain well in a colander. Turn into frying pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Fry for about 5 minutes until slightly browned. Add to mashed potatoes. Colcannon is now ready to be served as is, or can be reheated in a 350-degree oven.
3. Dice 1 bunch of carrots (about 2 cups) and an equal amount of peeled rutabagas. Add just enough water to steam vegetables. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook until barely done. Uncover pot and raise heat, stirring, until vegetables are glazed and slightly brown.
4. Serve Colcannon with carrots and rutabagas topped with Shiitake-Beer Gravy, recipe follows, and diced scallions. Serve Apple Chutney on the side. Makes 5 to 6 servings.
1. Mince 1 small onion, 3 large mushrooms and 1 large garlic clove. In a saucepan, heat 1/4 cup grapeseed oil. Saute vegetables until lightly browned.
2. Add 1/3 cup whole wheat flour and 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (not brewer's yeast). Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
3. Add 12 oz. beer, any inexpensive kind, or for especially full-bodied flavor, try Guinness Stout. Whisk gravy well, adding 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crumbled, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon agave nectar, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 bay leaves, 3 tablespoons tamari, 2 tablespoons red or brown miso, and 2 teaspoons tomato paste.
4. Cover and simmer approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If gravy becomes too thick, use water to reach desired consistency. Makes 1 quart.
1. Peel, core and slice 4 cups apples. We prefer Staymen Winesap, but any crisp cooking apple will do. Coarsely chop 1 cup onions.
2. Tie 1 teaspoon pickling spice in a piece of cheesecloth. Grind 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds with a mortar and pestle or a small coffee grinder,
3. In a stainless steel pot combine the apples, onions, pickling spices, and mustard seed with 3/4 cup seedless raisins, 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, and 3/4 cup cider vinegar. Add a rounded 1/4 teaspoon dry ginger and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
4. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours or until most of the liquid has cooked away. Be sure to stir frequently during this time to avoid burning.
5. Remove the cheesecloth with pickling spices. Cool, chill. Serve with Colcannon. Makes about 2 cups.