Tonight I cooked St. Patrick's Day dinner, a day early. (We ate it tonight and will eat it again tomorrow, no one will complain since we all like it!)
I made baked ham and colcannon, very traditional for an Irish dinner. (We like corned beef and cabbage, but we don't eat it on St. Patrick's Day-- it's more American than anything else, and we prefer to eat real Irish food.) Colcannon is one of my favorite foods in the world! Following are the recipes I used. I actually doubled them tonight (2 hams, double recipe of colcannon) because I was making enough to feed not only us, but 15 or so people at Jeff's work-- our St. Patrick's Day celebration at home will be a little less than it sometimes is, so he might as well share it with his co-workers!
Super-Simple Baked Ham
1 5 lb. canned ham (we prefer Dubuque brand)
Prepared spicy mustard
1/4 lb. brown sugar, in a bowl
Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
Drain ham and place in a pan (glass is good for this, it's easier to get clean.)
Stud top with cloves.
Squirt mustard on top of ham; rub all over top and sides. Rinse and dry hands, then take the brown sugar and pat it all over, until the ham is covered.
Bake, uncovered, for about 1 hour 40 minutes (20 minutes per lb.; if you have a 6-lb. ham you should cook for about 2 hours.)
Check internal temperature, remove from oven, and let rest before slicing. Serve hot or cold. About 10 servings.
About 7 lbs. starchy potatoes, such as Russets, peeled, rinsed, and diced
1 head kale (about 1 or 2 bunches, depending on size, if your store sells it pre-cleaned)
2 large leeks
1 1/2 cups milk (I use 1% or 2%; can use nonfat or whole as desired, or even 1/2 and 1/2)
1/2 lb. butter
Place potatoes in a pot of water, salt the water, cover, and bring to a boil. Boil until tender. Drain and return to pot.
Meanwhile, rinse kale well, dice (you want pretty small pieces), and steam. Steaming methods: place in microwave safe dish with a small amount of water and a splash of oil, cover, and heat until lightly wilted and beginning to soften, draining any excess water when done, OR heat just enough oil to cover bottom of pan in a pan large enough to hold all the kale, saute until slightly wilted, add just a splash of water, cover, and turn off heat, allowing kale to steam until just softening.
Trim tops and roots off leeks. Slice leeks in half and rinse well (because they grow in layers, they often have dirt or grit trapped in between.) Slice halved leeks thinly.
Place in a saucepan with milk. Heat on low, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes, or until hot. Cover and let them rest until ready to use.
When potatoes are done and drained, mash with leeks and milk. Add kale and 3/8 lb. butter (1 1/2 standard sticks); fold in thoroughly, until kale is incorporated and butter is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, mound in bowl or large dish, depress top slightly, and top with remaining 1/2 stick butter, sliced. allow butter to melt down the pile of colcannon and enjoy! 10-12 servings.
And now I am going to rest because my arm and back are a bit sore from mashing those 14 lbs. of potatoes! :) Enjoy your St. Patrick's Day, everyone! And don't forget to wear green.