By Wilma “Louvre” Miranda, Contributing Writer
I never really celebrated St. Patrick’s Day before other than wearing a bit of green. However, it just so happens to be one of my manager’s favorite holidays, so she quickly organized a mini potluck among the few departments in our section of the building. Having looked at different Irish fare to cook for St. Patrick’s Day, I came upon a recipe for Sweet Potato & Kale Colcannon. I particularly liked both star ingredients, and even though it’s a bit of a twist on the traditional Irish dish, it worked out great since kale was on sale at my local grocery. One thing I did want to stick to was using Kerrygold Irish butter (I prefer unsalted).
I actually did a test version at home the weekend before the potluck using regular sweet potatoes (the photo looks like regular potatoes, but they really are sweet potatoes, not yams which are more orange). The slight sweetness from the sweet potatoes was a nice contrast to the salty bacon pieces. For the actual potluck, I used regular yukon gold potatoes in place of the sweet potatoes, left the bacon on the side and cooked the kale with coconut oil instead of the bacon grease. I have some vegetarian co-workers so I wanted to make sure they would be able to eat it as well. I didn’t use 8 ounces of kale, but the one bunch I used along with the amount of potatoes was more than enough for several servings as a side dish.
Next St. Patrick’s Day, I think I’ll try making corned beef!
- 4 slices bacon
- 2 large sweet potatoes or 11⁄2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 8 ounces fresh kale, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter or 2 tablespoons vegan butter substitute
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Cook bacon in a large skillet over low heat until crispy. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of bacon grease from the skillet.
- Place sweet potatoes in a large pot of water with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until potatoes are very tender for about 15 minutes.
- While potatoes are cooking, add garlic and kale to remaining bacon grease in skillet. Saute on medium-low heat, working in batches if needed, until kale is crispy yet tender and reduced to about half of its volume. This step will take 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat.
- Drain the sweet potatoes and return to them to their pan. Add butter or vegan butter and mash the sweet potatoes with a potato masher or fork. Crumble the bacon and stir it into the potatoes. Stir in the sauteed kale and season with kosher salt and pepper, and serve.