Colcannon is a very old and traditional Irish dish. It's basically mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale, and leeks, with milk (cream) and butter. A humble dish, but a very delicious, and comforting one that can go with just about anything! It's traditional to serve Colcannon for St. Patrick's Feast Day, or for Halloween!
Boxtys are Irish for "poor house bread", and is a traditional Irish potato pancake. There are many styles of Boxtys; some are more like latkes, and others are thinner, larger, and can be stuffed like a crepe. This recipe is closer to a crepe, but more fragile- not quite as thin, and not as pliable as a crepe. Since many boxty recipes call for both mashed and grated raw potato, I decided to combine these two classic Irish potato dishes into one, and they may be some work to make, but totally worth the effort!! These are so amazingly good- the buttermilk gives them that tartness, and works well with the sauteed kale and leeks for flavor! They are fabulous for filling or topping with meat, cheese, and/or herbs and veggies. (Oh, and don't forget a sauce or gravy- that takes it up another notch as well!)
The first one or two boxtys are like your "practice" ones, to see how big or small you want to make them, and to play with the temp. of your pan for cooking. You can make them any size you like! **I do caution against really large ones, as they are very difficult to flip, and tear easily. If this is your first time making boxtys, I would recommend making them on the smaller size, and serving them topped with chicken, beef, or seafood, and a sauce of your choice, or simply serving as a side dish. Topping them with bacon and melted cheese would also be excellent! For mine, I was able to roll them, and I filled them with Guinness beef, melted cheddar, topped with fried onions, and served with a creamy Dijon sauce. Watch out corned beef and cabbage- this traditional Irish dish won't stink up your kitchen! (In fact, mine smelled pretty darn good!)
Yield: About 16-20 standard size pancakes
Prep time: 30min.
1 bunch (8oz.) Kale (rinsed, dried, and chopped)
1/4 leek (diced or chopped)
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
4 T. butter
Salt & pepper
2 medium potatoes (cooked and mashed)
2 medium potatoes (peeled, raw, and grated)
1/2 cup+ flour
1/2 cup of the sauteed kale & leek mixture (chopped real fine)
2 t. baking powder
2 eggs (beaten)
1-1 1/2 cups of Buttermilk
***Additional ingredients for topping or filling: corned beef, chicken, steak, cheese, sliced cabbage, veggies, chopped chives, parsley, sauce/ gravy, etc.
1) Begin by heating the butter in a saute pan. Once melted, add the leeks. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, and add the fresh kale. Add some salt, pepper, and parsley, and just saute- stirring occasionally for about 10-15min., or until the kale is still a vibrant green and cooked, but not too wilted or soggy. Remove from heat, and allow to cool.
2) While kale is sauteing, cook the 2 potatoes (peeled and chopped), in a pot of salted water, and boil until potatoes are tender. Drain off the water, and mash either by hand, food mill, in a food processor, or with a hand mixer. Place in a medium size mixing bowl, and allow to cool.
3) Once the potatoes and kale are cooled to room temp., take 1/2 cup of the cooked kale mixture, and add it to the mashed potatoes in the mixing bowl. (You will have extra kale mixture- just place in a storage container for another meal, or serve the remainder with the boxtys on the side!)
Peel and rinse the 2 potatoes, and using a box grater or food processor, grate or shred the potatoes and add to the kale and mashed potatoes. Add the flour and baking powder, and mix together well. (Adjust the flour if necessary- add more if need be, as mixture should be very thick.) Add some salt and pepper, and then begin adding the eggs- and combine well. Lastly, begin pouring about 1/2 cup of buttermilk in at a time- mixing well. The batter should be of the consistency of a cream soup! Not quite as thin as a crepe batter, but you don't want it too thick either. When the batter is ready, heat some butter, (about 1 T.), on a griddle or griddle type pan on medium/ high heat. When the butter is melted, pour 1-2 pancakes to start with. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, flip, and cook the other side for another 3-5 minutes, (or until golden brown, and cooked through.) Remove the finished pancakes, and place either on a foil lined sheet tray, or stack on a plate with plastic wrap or foil between the layers- so they don't stick. **Repeat the process of cooking the pancakes 1-3 at a time until all of the batter is gone! ***Add more butter to the pan between batches- if necessary.
4) Serve the boxtys hot! Simply serve them "as is" with some fresh chives, sour cream, etc., or fill like you would a crepe or a "wrap" style sandwich by placing your meat, veggies, and/ or cheese towards one side, roll carefully, and then transfer to the plate for serving.
Or, instead of rolling, make it easy and just "top" the boxtys with meat, cheese, and/or veggies of your choice, and serve that way! Either way you serve these, they are seriously delicious and filling!