March 13, 2016
O.k…So you know that Colcannon I told you about yesterday? It is pretty ahhhh..mazing all on its own right? Well guess what? I don’t know if you will actually have any leftovers when you make up a big old batch of Colcannon…but if you do…you can make Colcannon Cheddar Skillet Cakes the next morning!
Squeeeeee! I love leftover recipes! And boy oh boy is this a fantastic one! You take that mouthwateringly delicious Colcannon and stir in some lovely Irish Cheddar, an egg and a bit of flour. Then you simply drop it onto a hot skillet and fry it up. Good Lord above!!! These little Colcannon Skillet Cakes are crisp and crunchy on the outside and filled with all the warm, gooey, cheesey Colcannon goodness on the inside.
You might just have to double your Colcannon recipe just to make sure that you do have leftovers so that you can make these Skillet Cakes. And they’re not only great for breakfast. We’ve had them as a side dish for dinner as well. So delicious! I wouldn’t have thought you could improve on Colcannon, but here we have. Comfort food nirvana has been achieved!
Colcannon Cheddar Skillet Cakes
- 1 cup leftover Colcannon
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/3 cup Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar, grated
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- oil to grease skillet
- sour cream & chives for serving
Place leftover Colcannon in medium mixing bowl.
Make a well in the center of the Colcannon and add beaten egg. Mix until combined.
Sprinkle grated cheese and flour over Colcannon/egg mixture and stir until thoroughly incorporated
Heat a thin layer of oil (I used bacon grease, though any vegetable oil or even butter will work just fine) over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Drop large cookie scoops full of Colcannon mixture into the pan. You can actually make any size Colcannon cakes that your heart desires. However, I have found that smaller cakes give you more of the crisp factor than larger cakes. But proceed as you wish.
Allow cakes to cook undisturbed until the underside is golden brown. Flip the cakes and continue to cook until the second side is browned.
Remove cakes to a paper towel lined dish covered with foil until ready to serve. Serve warm with sour cream and chives if you desire.
Colcannon Cheddar Skillet Cakes brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)
Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Colcannon Cheddar Skillet Cakes:
Norpro 2 Tablespoon Cookie Scoop
Le Creuset Iron Handle 10 1/4 ” Skillet
Le Creuset Silicone Cool Tool Handle Sleeve
March 12, 2016
Ahhhh….Colcannon! Irish Comfort food at its finest! I can’t believe in all my years of St. Patrick’s Day blogging I haven’t shared this recipe. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with this dish, it is buttery mashed potatoes whipped up with cabbage, leeks and bacon. OMG right?!!! With that list of outstanding ingredients, you just know it is going to be to die for.
Colcannon or Cál Ceannann in Irish simply means white-headed cabbage. There are many regional variations on this dish, sometimes ham is used rather than bacon, sometimes you’ll find spring onions included rather than leeks. Indeed, I was rather horrified to discover that some peculiar folks will use kale rather than cabbage. This is disturbing to me for a couple of reasons. First off, the dish’s actual name is the word for cabbage, so….
And then of course, I hate kale. Yup…hate it. I know it is good for me. However, I find it bitter and evil. In fact the mere thought of kale inspires this same look I have when I find caraway seeds in my soda bread.
I’m flexible on swapping around some of the other ingredients in my Colcannon, though I do believe that leeks, cabbage and bacon are supreme. But, please… don’t get that nasty old kale anywhere near my Colcannon! Anyhoo…In Ireland, Colcannon is traditionally served on Halloween. It is a bit like Barmbrack that I just recently told you about, in that it was used in Halloween divination rituals. Several charms or trinkets, such as a ring, thimble or coins would be stirred into the Colcannon before it was served. The item you ended up with on your plate would tell your fortune. (i.e.. if you got a ring, you would be married before the year was through.) In the 1800’s, Irish immigrants brought this recipe with them to the United States and Colcannon came to be associated more with St. Patrick’s Day, rather than Halloween. I can definitely say, for me, Colcannon is great any time of the year. Sheer Comfort Food perfection!
Colcannon (Cál Ceannann)
recipe slightly adapted from: Williams Sonoma
- 2 1/2 lb. potatoes, peeled and quartered
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup milk (or cream if you are feeling particularly decadent)
- 4 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 large leeks, white and light green portions,
halved lengthwise, rinsed well and thinly sliced
- 1/2 small head cabbage, about 1 lb., cored
and coarsely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Put the potatoes in a large pot, add water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches and generously salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain well in a colander.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and milk and heat until the butter melts and the mixture is hot, 8 to 10 minutes.
Set a potato ricer over the bowl of a stand mixer and press the potatoes through in batches. Mix in the milk mixture in two additions. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and set over a large saucepan of barely simmering water to keep warm.
Heat a heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
Pour off all but 3 Tablespoons of the fat from the pot. Return the pot to medium heat, add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and toss until tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with freshly ground nutmeg and the bacon, and season with salt and pepper. Stir the potatoes into the cabbage mixture and serve warm.
Colcannon brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)
Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients for Colcannon:
Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
March 5, 2016
Wow! Look what I’ve got here for you today…Irish Cheddar & Thyme Potato Soufflés! Sounds quite posh huh? I must admit, that is certainly the vibe I got when I heard someone talk about a soufflé. I thought soufflés were a bit too fancy for me and I was, in all honesty, much too nervous to attempt to make one. I mean I had spent my whole childhood watching cartoons which often showed some poor soul slaving over a soufflé all day just to have it collapse after some surprising loud noise occurred. Nah…not for me. Those soufflé things just sounded too persnickety and with my quick temper, there was always the chance I would do some serious damage to the source of the aforementioned loud noise which would quite possibly land me in the jail house. And then there was the fact that I had only ever thought of sweet soufflés, I never even considered that there could be a savory soufflé.
Well I am very pleased to say that all those Saturday morning cartoons mislead me a bit on the soufflé front, as well as many others I’m sure. I can probably need not worry about coyotes toting huge Acme anvils or sticks of TNT either. 🙂
Ha! Remember these guys?
These Irish Cheddar & Thyme Potato Soufflés were not difficult to make at all. And they taste ahhh-mazing! So light, so fluffy. And completely adorable in their little individual serving dishes. Kind of fancy, yet they also have a bit of a rustic vibe. The husband went mad for them and wondered where they had been all his life. So if you are looking for a unique potato dish for those St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, why not try these soufflés? Take it from me, no need to be scared….soufflés can be your new BFF!
Irish Cheddar & Thyme Potato Soufflés
recipe slightly adapted from: One Sweet Mess
- 1 1/4 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cubed.
- 2 Tablespoons butter, plus more for brushing
- 1 heaping cup grated Kerry Gold Reserve Cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup half and half
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme, leaves only
- 3 large eggs, separated and at room temperature
- scant 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375° F. Generously brush the inside of 2 (5-inch) soufflé dishes, as well as 4 Le Creuset cocottes with butter.
Cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Add the potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring the potatoes to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes.
Drain the potatoes very well. Either place the potatoes in a food mill or run them though a potato ricer. The moral of the story is that you want these mashed potatoes to be very finely processed. You can even do this with a good old potato masher. But if you do, make sure you really mash them well!
Stir in the butter, grated cheese, half and half, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the egg yolks.
Add the egg whites to a large bowl. Whisk until the whites become foamy. Add a pinch of cream of tartar to the bowl. Continue to whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Add a heaping scoop of egg whites to the potato mixture; gently fold to combine. Fold in the remaining egg whites until no streaks of white remain.
Fill each of the prepared soufflé dishes 3/4 of the way full with the potato mixture. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the soufflé is puffed and a rich golden brown color.
Irish Cheddar & Thyme Potato Souflees brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)
Links to Useful Kitchen Tools & Ingredients Irish Cheddar & Thyme Souflees:
Le Creuset Set of 4 Mini Cocottes
August 19, 2015
Hooray! It’s zucchini time! Yup…that most delicious of summer squashes is here in abundance now. We love, love, love it around here. One zucchini feast after another. So hold onto your hats…I’m going to be sharing quite a few of the recipes we’ve been enjoying. I’m starting today off with a fantastic one for Zucchini Fritters with Feta & Dill.
Now I just knew this one was going to be a winner. I already told you how we feel about zucchini and I’m pretty certain I can also say I’ve never really met a fritter that I didn’t like. But I will admit, sometimes fritters can be a bit on the heavy side. Maybe not something you want to indulge in when your fairly wilted from all the hot and steamy summery temps. Well, that is why I’m so excited to share this with you. These Zucchini Fritters will not “weigh you down”. Far from it. They are wonderfully light a fresh. They will have you at the first bite – which is truly amazing. They have a crispy crunchy exterior which covers a delightfully creamy salty center. The scallion, dill, feta & zucchini combo is just the perfect summery taste sensation.
They are great as appetizers, or as a side dish to some grilled meat or even as a light Meatless Monday meal. We enjoyed ours with a dollop of Tzatziki sauce, but they are also delicious all on their own. They come together pretty quickly (just make sure to get rid of as much of the liquid the zucchini releases as you can, otherwise you won’t get as much of that crispy factor as you want.) and are good hot off the griddle or even at room temperature. Believe me folks, you don’t want to miss out on this dish, so get out there, grab some of those zucchinis and make up a batch of these today!
Zucchini Fritters with Feta & Dill
recipe from: Once Upon a Chef
- 1 pound zucchini (about 2 medium), trimmed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 scallions, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup corn starch or all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Tzatziki Sauce, for serving
Shred the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor fitted with the shredding disk. Transfer the zucchini to a fine mesh strainer and set over a bowl. Toss the zucchini with the salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. Wring all of the excess liquid out of the zucchini with your hands, or in a clean dish towel or even paper towels. Just make sure you get as much of that water out as possible, then set aside.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the dried zucchini, scallions, dill, feta, garlic and black pepper. Sprinkle the corn starch and baking powder over mixture and stir until uniformly incorporated.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drop 2-tablespoon sized portions into the pan, then use the back of a spoon to gently press the batter into 2-inch-wide fritters. Pan-fry until golden brown on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the fritters to a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe the skillet clean with paper towels. Return the skillet to medium heat, add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm or room temperature with lemon wedges and tzatziki sauce if desired.
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 cup English cucumber, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons dill, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- black pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve.
Zucchini Fritters with Feta & Dill brought to you by: Runcible Temps (www.leaandjay.com)
January 23, 2015
So hold on a second here! We’ve still got a couple of days til we get to Burns Night. For all of you folks who missed my last posting (it’s still up so you could just take a peek now…) Sunday January 25th is the birthday of Robert Burns, the National Poet of Scotland. On that night folks throughout the world will remember him and celebrate with a Burns Night Supper. I just gave you a great Scottish dessert recipe (Dundee Cake with Hot Whisky Marmalade…take a look…you know you want to…) and I just couldn’t resist throwing another recipe into the mix this year – Steak Auld Reekie over Crispy Tatties & Neeps. I’m just imagining the big question mark a lot of you must have hovering over your faces right now. Anything “old reekie” doesn’t sound very appetizing huh? And what the heck is “tatties & neeps” right?!! So let me explain. Reek is the Scots word for smoke, not for something horribly stinky as you might have imagined. Auld Reekie was the nickname given to Edinburgh back in the day when it was full of smoke from all of the open coal fires burning in the city. Steak Auld Reekie is not then some putrified filet, but it is rather a classic Victorian dish of fried steaks with a cream and smoked cheese sauce. Get it….smoked cheese gives the dish that lovely smoky taste which is reminiscent of smoky old Edinburgh from back in the day. And of course it has a bit of Scotch whisky thrown in for good measure.
Now Tatties & Neeps are simply Potatoes and Turnips (also known as Swede or Rutabaga). Haggis with Tatties & Neeps are the quintessential dishes served at a traditional Burns Night Supper. The Tatties & Neeps in that case are prepared similar to chunky, roughly mashed potatoes. Since I was not going to be serving Haggis (I actually like it…) but Steak Auld Reekie I decided to do a variation on the traditional Tatties & Neeps. I grated the potatoes and swede, formed them into a panko crusted pancake and fried them to a crispy golden brown. Now I made the pancakes fairly large, 5″ – 6″, so that I could serve the steaks and sauce on top of them. However, you could make smaller sized patties if you wanted to serve them as a side dish, perhaps with a little dollop of sour cream and Coleman’s mustard.
I will warn you, the whole process of making the Crispy Tatties & Neeps was messy. It is really challenging to work with those raw pancakes and I also found it difficult to just leave them be once I had gotten them into the frying pan. I wanted to keep poking at them and checking the bottom. Don’t do it! They need 5 minutes undisturbed! Fooling with them simply makes them fall to pieces and you’ll end up with a pan of hash browns, which I guess isn’t really a bad thing at all, but likely not what you’re going for here. Of course it’s always nice to have an escape route should kitchen disaster strike…”Yeah…we’re having Steak Auld Reekie and Tatties & Neeps Hash!” So this Sunday don’t forget Scotland’s favourite son. I’ll leave you with a little snippet of a toast written to Rabbie Burns by Stewart Archibald of Ballater, Scotland:
His name still ranks amongst the best fae the bonnie Scottish shores, His words they still work wonders and open mony doors, So as we gather here the nicht lets toast the Ayrshire man, Fa maks us friens thru troubled times in far flung foreign lands. Pit doon yir fags, get on yir feet and raise yir gless up high, Let’s toast and hope his name lives on, till a’ the seas rin dry.
Steak Auld Reekie with Crispy Tatties & Neeps
Steak Auld Reekie from: Rampant Scotland: Traditional Scottish Recipes
Fried Tattie & Neeps inspired by: Epicurious
Steak Auld Reekie
- Four 8 oz (250 g) fillets of Aberdeen Angus Steak
- 4 Tablespoons Scotch Whisky
- 13 fluid ounces (350g) heavy cream
- 4 oz. (125 grams) grated smoked cheese
- 1 oz. (25 g) butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
Grill or pan fry the steaks to your preference and keep warm. Pour whisky into a pan (the same one if you are pan frying a sauce pan if you are grilling) and flambé. Add cream and grated cheese and bring to the simmering point. Gently simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce has been reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper and mix in the butter. When ready to serve, place steaks on top of Crispy Tatties & Neeps panackes and pour sauce over the steaks.
Crispy Tatties & Neeps
- 1 large russet potato, washed and peeled
- 1 yellow turnip or rutabaga
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup Panko
- olive oil for frying
- sour cream and spicy mustard
Grate potato and turnip. This can be done by hand or with a food processor. (Lazy me choses the processor every time). In medium bowl combine grated potato and turnip with onions, chives and egg. Mix together.
Heat oil in a skillet. Form tennis ball sized portions of the potato/turnip mixture, using an ice cream scoop and then compact it a bit more with you hands. Transfer potato turnip ball to one hand and with the other grab some of the panko. Place the potato/turnip ball on top of the held panko. With your recently freed hand grab more panko and press down over the top of the potato/turnip ball. Gently place it in frying pan. Push down on ball with a spatula to flatten into a 5″ – 6″ pancake. Now here is what might be the hard part for some of you folks. Don’t touch it for about 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes has passed and it is golden brown on bottom, turn pancake over and cook for about 5 minutes. Transfer to ovenproof platter and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining portions.
Steak Auld Reekie with Crispy Tatties & Neeps brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)
October 27, 2013
I seem to be getting a bit behind with my blogging again. Though I must say this past week has been a doozy! You know that old saying, “when it rains, it pours”? Well I’m getting ready to break out one of those little Zodiac inflatable boats you always see those Greenpeace folks buzzing about in. Yikes! But looking to the positive side of things for a minute, I am happy to say that it has been a bit cooler around here. I’m actually wearing light gloves and a hat on the morning and evening dog walks, which raises both my and the pup’s spirits. Fall is here and I believe next week the clocks “fall back” which I absolutely love. Nearly as much as I despise it when the clocks leap forward. I do wish we would just pick a time and go with it. But I digress…on to the recipe at hand! Today’s dish is another zucchini recipe which comes from my Mom. This one is just perfect for that transition time between summer and fall. You know what I’m talking about…there are still some zucchini hanging around from the warmer weather, but it’s just started to get a bit chilly where a warm, cheesy casserole would be very welcome. And really folks, how could you go wrong with this one…you’ve got the good-for-you-veggies in the zucchini, but yes you might have noticed there is also a bit of cheese and bacon thrown in for good measure. Hopefully these ingredients don’t cancel out the benefit of the zucchini. :p
I don’t know what to say, cheese and bacon are nothing short of magic in my opinion. The recipe comes together very quickly and is quite tasty. Great as a side dish or I suppose it wouldn’t be too dreadful if you left the bacon out (OMG…am I really saying this?!!) and served it on a Meatless Monday. I’ll leave that up to you, but mark my words..you’re going to love this one!
Cheesy Zucchini Bacon Casserole
recipe from: My Mom
- 5 cups zucchini (about 5 -6 small to medium zucchini)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 egg whites-stiffly beaten
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 10 -12 slices of cooked Bacon, crumbled (approx. 10-12 tablespoons of real bacon bits)
- 1 cup Panko, tossed with 2 tablespoons melted butter.
Preheat oven to 350° F and butter a 13×9″ baking dish.
Cook zucchini in small amount of boiling, salted water -about 5 min.
Mix together sour cream, egg yolks and flour and then fold in the egg whites.
Layer ingredients in the prepared 13×9″ casserole dish, starting with the zucchini, followed by the sour cream egg mixture, the bacon and then the cheese.
Top with butter tossed Panko.
Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and it is bubbling.
May 17, 2013
As I was saying in my last post, cookout season has arrived. And thus far the humidity around here hasn’t reached its usual god-awful Virginia levels, so it is actually pleasant to be outside. But I know that heat and humidity is lurking just right around the corner. Soon I won’t want to be outside and definitely won’t want to be hovering over a hot stove. So I thought I’d share a really easy, summer time salad recipe today. You don’t need to go anywhere near a stove or oven to whip this dish together. Served cold and always refreshing, Broccoli Salad is in heavy rotation in this household all summer!
My Mom originally gave me this recipe. But it wasn’t something we had for dinner when I was a kid. I don’t think she came across this one herself until I was off to college. When I was growing up the only raw vegetable dish I remember seeing was coleslaw. I guess I occasionally saw someone who was dieting eating raw carrots and celery sticks, but generally when vegetables were served for dinner, they were boiled until they were mushy. Now I know there are plenty of folks who love mushy vegetables and more power to them. I prefer a little texture to my vegetables. Perhaps it is a generational thing as most of the friends I have around my age prefer steamed veggies but say they remember mostly having mushy veggies served to them as kids. I have a great story about my Granddad and this Broccoli Salad along those lines. Many years ago I made a big bowl of this salad and took it to some gathering at my Mom’s house. My Granddad was chatting with my brother and said ‘ I don’t know who made this Broccoli dish, but I think they didn’t cook it quite long enough.” My brother just smiled and said, “Yes, it is a bit crunchy alright.”
This salad is very easy to prepare. There is a bit of chopping involved, but since I got a food processor that really has not been an issue. I will say though that you have to be careful not to process the broccoli too much. You don’t want a broccoli paste, so just give it a few quick pulses. Now I know I said that you don’t have to turn on your stove to make this, but you may be thinking “hey…there’s bacon in here.” That’s true. I usually buy a bag of those real bacon bits and throw those in. Of course, you are welcome to fry up some bacon if you like. I just wanted you to know that there is a bit of a time-saving cheaters option that can be done here. And even though this salad doesn’t take long to prepare, folks will go wild for it! That broccoli is so fresh and crispy and the dressing is a lovely sweet and tangy combination. And, come on… it has bacon and cheese in it! You know it will be nothing short of addictive. A great salad to take to parties, pot lucks, picnics or for just a regular week night dinner. Give it a try!
recipe from: My Mom
yield: 6-8 servings
- 3-4 crowns broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 10-12 slices bacon, crumbled (about 3/4 cup of crumbled bacon)
For the dressing:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Chop Broccoli (either in food processor, or old-fashioned way). Place in large bowl. Add cheese, onion and crumbled bacon. Set aside.
In small bowl whisk together mayo, sugar and vinegar until smooth.
Pour dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir until thoroughly coated. Refrigerate until ready to serve.