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Friday, March 22, 2013

Spinach Colcannon Bake

This is our family version of colcannon - (most versions are made with boiled potatoes and cabbage) - and slightly fancied up for reheating - and they do reheat well. This version can be made the day before and baked when you want it. Your great great grandmother simply baked the potatoes, then added butter, milk, cooked spinach, salt and pepper, and served them for lunch to Grandma.

The ingredient amounts are just an approximation - potatoes don't come in standard sizes.

Why your great great grandmother switched from boiled potatoes and cabbage to baked potatoes and spinach is lost in the mists of time - but I am glad she did ....

Recipe makes about 8 servings 
  • 5 large baking potatoes
  • 6 - 8 tablespoons butter
  • .5 cup of sour cream or buttermilk or milk
  • 1 bag baby spinach  (about 15 oz)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
    2 egg yolks
    salt and pepper 

    Bake the potatoes at about 350F  until soft (don't forget to prick them before baking so they don't explode).

    Wash the spinach and throw in a pot while still wet, cook until wilted. Drain and press out excess water. When cool enough, chop it all up a bit.

    Mash the potatoes while warm, add the butter and milk or whatever, salt and pepper to taste. mash in the spinach. Then add the egg yolks and mash some more ...

    Dump it all in a casserole and sprinkle cheese on top.

    Bake for about 30 minutes at 350F, or until hot. 

    I am sure you could add other things, like bacon bits, chopped corned beef or ham - and I've made it with broccoli instead of spinach ... so you can be a bit creative.

Coconut Bread

This was nicely coconutty (is that a word?) ... I snatched it from Smitten Kitchen, and will definitely make it again - oh, as usual I didn't add any vanilla - and added just one tsp of cinnamon.

2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups (295 ml) milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (315 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt (didn't add this because I used salted butter)
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
5 ounces (140 grams) sweetened flaked coconut (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted or melted and browned, if desired
Vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray for baking pan

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.

Add sugar and coconut, and stir to mix.

Make a well in the center, and pour in egg mixture, then stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.

Add butter, and stir until just smooth — be careful not to overmix.

Butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick spray.

Spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, anywhere from 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan five minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.