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Champ or colcannon for St. Patrick’s Day – what’s the diff?



The story goes that in the 5th century AD, St. Patrick went to Ireland, killed all the snakes and converted the people. What were they eating? For starters, leeks, cress, and cabbage, all of which are….you guessed it…green! Think abut it, though. The food pyramid stresses green leafy veggies and good root vegetables like potatoes, so the Irish were way ahead of their time!

Champ is a bit different from colcannon in that champ usually contains green onions or leeks and colcannon (which means white headed cabbage) usually contains some kale or other veggie of that family along with the green onions. Here’s my recipe for champ. Now the picture is a bit untraditional in that the green onions are sprinkled on top and not stirred into the potatoes.

This has a puddle of butter in the middle. Eat from outside to inside, dipping each bite into butter.

2 pounds Yukon gold or baking  potatoes, peeled, chunked up and cooked

1/2 cup whipping cream or half & half

1/2 stick butter

1 leek, sliced thin or 4 green onions, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

While potatoes are cooking, bring cream and butter to simmer and stir in leeks. Remove from heat, cover and let steep while potatoes cook. Mash potatoes, add enough cream mixture to make potatoes creamy. Make well in center, put dab of butter there to melt and make puddle.


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