Traditional Irish Colcannon

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that combines potatoes, cabbage or kale, onion, basic cream/milk and butter. It is also a dish that at one point in time I might have turned my nose up to. Cabbage or kale? Really? Why would you ruin perfectly good mashed potatoes with cabbage? Oh my how I was wrong and I am so glad that I’ve come around to the wonderful world of cabbage. Truth be told, I’ve been on a bit of cabbage kick lately. I’ve finally realized just how flavorful and delicious it can be. (It’s that same cabbage kick that led me to using it for this colcannon, but it’s also delicious (and packed with nutrients) when you use kale instead.)

The flavor and deliciousness of cabbage really shines through in this colcannon recipe. What I like about this particular recipe is that the cabbage is sautéed with butter and onions instead of boiled like in many other recipes. That really enhances the richness of the entire dish, making this the perfect St. Patrick’s day meal side dish. I served mine alongside Beer Braised Beef with Onions (recipe to come!). The old saying about a perfect Irish meal being a six-pack and a potato was given new meaning with that combo!

Which reminds me, are you excited about St. Patrick’s day yet? Just 4 more days away! Do you have any St. Patrick’s day traditions?

 

 

Fish and Chips

There are few foods that bring me right back to St. Patrick’s day and Irish pubs quite like Fish and Chips. The crispy and golden fried fish dipped in delicious tartar sauce. The fries soaked with malt vinegar. Mmm…. A little piece of Irish heaven.

I couldn’t let this year pass with satisfying my craving for this delicious meal. Of course the only way to make it even better is to make it homemade!

I have to admit that deep frying foods at home has always made me really nervous. The huge pot of basically boiling oil was super intimidating to me. But it was time to conquer my fear. Once I got all of my ingredients prepped, I was surprised at how simple it was. To make sure I was able to fully devote my attention to frying the fish, I decided to oven bake the fries. It was nice because I was able to have both things going at once and didn’t have to worry about keeping the fries warm, though I’m sure deep fried fries would be amazing. If you would like to fry your fries, check out Laura’s blog, Tide and Thyme, for those instructions.

Got Fish?
Foil Packet Soy-Lime Salmon with Green Beans
Foil Baked Fish with Black Beans and Corn
Homemade Fish Sticks
Pepper Jack and Cilantro Stuffed Swordfish

Cheddar and Jalapeno Drop Biscuits


This is another photo taken while we were living in China. But, don’t let that fool you into thinking these biscuits aren’t important. For one reason or another the photos were buried in my computer but I never stopped making this recipe. We have these several times a month, in fact we just had them last night! These are my absolute, last minute, what to have with dinner, go-tos.

Of course, I don’t always make the jalapeno variation of this recipe. The versatility of this recipe is one of the things I love. Sometimes I use white cheddar, sometimes I use chives instead of jalapenos, sometimes I skip the chives and jalapenos, I’ve even swapped a quarter cup of flour for corn meal and made a sort of corn biscuit. No matter how I prepare them, these biscuits always turn out flavorful, light, fluffy, and delicious. Oh, and they’re easy!


 

Green Bean Casserole From Scratch

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just over a week away! We were originally expecting to still be in China for the holiday, so it’s been a pleasant surprise getting to plan a full on American feast. There are some foods that were just hard to find in Suzhou, like turkeys. One grocery store did have 1 frozen turkey. But they literally had that same turkey the entire time we lived there, so I had my doubts about the quality. Here I have my choice of ingredients, a nice big kitchen to prepare it in, and a group of friends to share it with.

My menu is shaping up to look pretty similar to last years, with just a few adjustments and additions. One thing that was requested this year was green bean casserole. Of course I could just go with the traditional casserole made with cans, but that wouldn’t be quite as fun! So I searched for a from scratch recipe that would be the best balance between the traditional taste and better for you non-processed ingredients. I think I found a real winner! One that gives the canned casserole a run for its money!

One last thing – For the trial run I bought a bag of crispy fried onions for the topping but on the actual day of I plan to make them myself.