Monday, March 10, 2014

Fresh Cabbage for St. Patrick's Day

With St. Patrick's Day coming soon, it seems only fitting that we should feature fresh cabbage at our Findlay Market stand. Like many Americans, I have a little Irish blood in me. My grandmother's maiden name was O'Shea, and I vaguely remember her cooking corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day. I also recall hearing that my ancestors had emigrated from Ireland when the potato famine hit in the mid-1800's. About a million people died in Ireland because of the famine, but thousands of others left the country in order to survive. When they immigrated to America, they brought with them recipes for such traditional foods as Irish stew, Shepherd's Pie, Mulligatawny soup, and Colcannon. 
Colcannon is a mixture of cabbage or kale, potatoes, leeks and butter. In a common colcannon recipe, you boil 1 lb. cabbage until tender; then remove and chop or blend well. Set it aside and keep it warm while you boil 1 lb. potatoes. Remove potatoes from heat and drain. Chop two leeks (green parts as well as white), and simmer them in just enough milk to cover, until they are soft. Season and mash the potatoes. Stir in cooked leeks and milk. Blend in the cabbage and heat thoroughly. Make a well in the center and pour in 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix well and serve. 
Cabbage is high in Vitamin C, rich in fiber, low in calories and has no cholesterol. Its antioxidant properties make it a vegetable you should try to include in your diet. If you shop at Daisy Mae's Market this week (3/11-3/16), we'll make it easy for you. You'll receive a free cabbage with your $15 purchase. You might call that a great deal, but we call it the Luck of the Irish! 
(Original post March, 2012) 

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