Colcannon Cakes for Halloween
Colcannon is an Irish mashed potato dish traditionally served on Halloween, going back to the Celtic Samhain holiday. Samhain (pronounced sow-ween) was the precursor to modern Halloween and marked the end of the harvest season, bringing such traditions as bonfires and the original Jack-o’-lantern (made from turnips).
Colcannon is a dish that celebrates an autumn harvest combining several cooler weather, late season vegetables. It is typically served as a mashed potato side dish. However, making leftover colcannon into cakes means it can be used as a base for loads of lovely handheld toppings. We’ve used our cakes for breakfast, topped with an fried egg for a Halloween version of Eggs Benedict.
3 pounds potatoes*
4 tablespoons butter (Irish of course)
1/2 cup chopped green onion (use both white and green portions, about 3-4 onions)
3-4 large kale leaves, ribs removed and chopped
2 cups chopped green cabbage
Sprinkle of salt (1/2 teaspoon)
1 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt, 1/2 cup milk)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup flour
1/2 cup shredded Irish cheddar (Irish cheddar is a bit younger and nuttier than sharp American or English cheddar, but any varieties work well)
2 tablespoons light oil
*You can peel potatoes, but if using thin skinned variety, it’s not needed, and the skins contain potassium and Vitamin C
Quarter potatoes and boil in salted water until tender. (10-12 minutes)
Meanwhile, in skillet, heat butter over medium heat, kale and cabbage and a sprinkle of salt. Cook until soft, adding the green onion in the last minute or so. (The goal is to soften and cook out excess water from kale and cabbage.)
Drain potatoes and let cool for a few of minutes.
Lightly mash potatoes together with buttermilk.
Add sautéed vegetables, excess melted butter, parsley and cheese, and mix together.
Add egg and flour and mix.
Form mixture into cakes about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.
In a clean non-stick skillet, add oil, add cakes in batches so you can flip without crowding the pan. Cook over medium until browned, then flip (3-4 minutes per side).
Some ideas for topping
Cooked or smoked salmon, Greek yogurt, thinly sliced cucumbers and capers
Poached egg and hollandaise
Smoked paprika aioli
Sour cream, dill and cucumber