Classy Colcannon

colcannon_zoomThis is surely peasant food, but it’s a dish that I just adore, and surely don’t make it often enough.

There is just enough of a twist on the classic dish to liven it up and make it an excellent choice not only for that St. Patrick’s Day meal, but for many others.

Think, grilled sausage for starters. I think it also goes well with a pork roast.

It takes little more time than making regular old mashed potatoes so do surprise your family from time to time with this delightful Irish dish.


  • 4 – 6 slices of bacon, thick cut.
  • 4-6 red potatoes, peeled or not as you prefer
  • 1/2 medium cabbage, sliced in nice shreds
  • 1 /2 of a medium onion, also sliced thinly
  • salt and pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp of butter
  • 1/2 c cream


  1. Chunk up the bacon and fry until crisp. Drain and set aside.
  2. Chunk up the potatoes and boil in salted water until just done, drain.
  3. Slice the cabbage into shreds and place in a steamer pan, steaming until done but still having a bite
  4. Saute the onion in some butter, for 15-20 minutes or so, just until starting to caramelize. Set aside.
  5. Add butter and cream to the hot potatoes and mash.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Fold in the cabbage and the onions until mixed.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the bacon.

Serves: 6-8

NOTES: Beware, you family may demand you make this on a regular basis. It’s really that good. Kale can also be added for an extra punch of flavor. I’d say about 2 c loosely packed should do it. Swiss Chard would also be an option.

Elevating the Lowly ColeSlaw



Let’s face it. Coleslaw is about as exciting as iceberg lettuce.

No wonder.

In restaurants, it’s relegated to a tiny bowl or worse yet a paper cup. It is swimming in a white water, and you have to drain each forkful before moving it to your mouth.

At home, it’s not any better. You reach for a bag of “pre-shredded” mix, and grab a bottle of something called “slaw dressing” and pour it on. It’s a crime that the dang stuff don’t mix itself for ya.

But coleslaw is a glorious side, and can be a perfect beginning to succulent fried fish, or a great Coney dog. And don’t get me started if we talk about some hot and spicy ribs.

So, listen up, vary it up, and rediscover cabbage!


  • 3 c shredded cabbage (do it yourself for heaven’s sake. It’s so much prettier!)
  • 1/2 c assorted additions such as red cabbage, radish sticks, chopped scallions, broccoli “slaw'”, celery and/or carrots
  • 1/3 c mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp vinegar. Choose from white, cider, wine, rice wine, lemon or lime juice.
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne, or 1 tbsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp or more of toasted celery seed, parsley or cilantro, lemon scented herbs, mint, or anything that strikes your fancy (for the fresh herbs I’d say 2 tbsp.)


  1. Combine your veggies in a serving bowl.
  2. Place mayo, vinegar of choice, sugar, pepper, and salt in a small bowl and whisk.
  3. Add whatever spices or herbs you have chosen to the dressing.
  4. Pour over the veggies and mix. Eat immediately.
  5. This dressing is thick but it will bleed out over time, so refrigerated leftovers will still get some liquid in the bottom. So try to plan just the right amount to be eaten in one sitting.
  6. Note that you can change up the ingredients in both dressing and the veggies to compliment your main dish.

Serves: 3-4