Colcannon with a Sunny-Side Up Egg

So, at the time I didn’t know I was eating a traditional Irish dish. But really, when I think about it, colcannon is sort of like the filling in pierogis. When I was younger, my mom would sometimes make this for dinner on Fridays because it was meatless and would top it with a fried egg. My even more favorite version of this was made on non-Fridays, with chunks of fried slab bacon. (I know, I know…so wrong yet, so right.) As I’ve grown up to make my own variation, I top mine with a sunny-side up egg and the yolk just runs into the natural butteriness of the potatoes (although butter does help the level of butteriness of this dish) and the sweetness of the cabbage. Such great comfort food. This is great for breakfast or dinner. If you like, top the colcannon with crushed potato chips for a little bit of crunch. Enjoy! Happy weekend and St. Patrick’s Day!

  • 1/2 a head of green cabbage, sliced and roughly chopped (about 1&1/4 pounds)
  • 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, (about 1&1/2 pounds) peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced (a heaping cup)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup half and half, divided
  • sea salt (obsessed with pink Himalayan sea salt right now.)
  • 4 eggs *optional
  • a handful of kettle cooked potato chips, crushed *optional

In a large Dutch oven, combine the onions and 4 tablespoons of the butter, allow to sweat, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. (If you like your onions a little more caramelized, allow to brown a little more.) Next, add in your cabbage and sea salt. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. If it begins to brown, add a little bit of water, about a tablespoon at a time, as needed just to stop the cooking process a bit. The water will evaporate. In the meantime, cook your potatoes until fork tender. Once done, add to your potatoes the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/4 cup of half and half (milk or heavy cream is fine to substitute) and the sea salt. Mash until nice and smooth, although chunks are just fine, if you are in a chunky-mashed-potato-kind-of-mood. Once the cabbage is tender, add in the mashed potatoes and the remaining 1/4 cup of  half and half. Combine well and adjust the seasoning, if needed. If topping with the egg, make the eggs one at a time and keep the colcannon piping hot. Once ready, spread it on a plate and top with the egg and pass around the crushed potato chips. Serves 4.

Earl Grey Tea Scented Cranberry Beans & Cabbage

Winter is not letting up and a pot of steaming hot beans is wonderful for dinner. It’s on the table in about an hour but tastes like it was simmering on the stove all day. When thinking of beans, I’m sure that tea isn’t something that comes into mind, but they are unexpectedly delicious when lightly flavored with the depth of Earl Grey tea. And it makes the house smell terrific! The parsnips in this recipe also give the beans a slight sweetness making it a mildly sweet and savory dish. This is really nice served over jasmine rice. Enjoy!

  • 4 cups chopped savoy cabbage
  • 1 cup fresh cranberry beans, (about 1/2 a pound in the pods)
  • 2 parsnips, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup of Earl Grey tea with the tea bag reserved
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 star anise
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

In a heavy bottomed pot, combine the onion, garlic and the olive oil, saute on low heat until the onion and garlic are soft, about 10 minutes. Next add in the cabbage, beans and parsnip and cover with the liquids. Toss in the tea bag, (if it’s a paper bag transfer the tea into a spice bag and tie with kitchen twine) and the star of anise. Season with sea salt and ground pepper. Cover and bring up to a boil on high heat, once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer covered for about 50 minutes. Test the softness of the beans after 30 minutes and adjust cooking time as needed. Discard the tea bag and the star of anise and serve. Makes about 3 servings. Double the recipe as needed.

Fish Tacos with Tri-Color Slaw

One of my favorite memories of going to San Francisco, was going to the beach. It was the middle of December, Christmas decorations were out already and was I excited! I couldn’t wait to take a nice long walk on the sandy beach of the west coast. I took the bus to get there, got dropped off and wandered around and ran into the cutest little Mexican restaurant. I saw the beach in the distance and stopped in to get a bite to eat before embracing the sand and sun. It was small, authentic and the fish tacos were delicious. And whenever I go have Mexican, that’s my favorite dish to get, with lots of cilantro. I haven’t had them in a long time and was craving a soft taco filled with nuggets of tender fish topped with a spicy cabbage slaw, so I made some at home! Hope you enjoy!

  • 1 pound cod, cut into 1/2 inch stripes
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vegeta or any all purpose seasoning *optional
  • 1 cup lemon lime flavored seltzer
  • canola oil
  • 8 soft corn tortillas
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded seedless cucumber, skin left on
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon black and tan gomasio, (black & tan sesame seeds with sea salt)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • lime wedges
  • chopped cilantro

Make your slaw by combining the red cabbage, cucumber, carrot, sesame seeds, sour cream, mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce and lime juice. Taste and season accordingly. And you can set it aside. Combine your flour, cornstarch and seasonings. Pour in, a little at a time, the seltzer and stir with a fork. Combine the batter with your cod pieces and let it sit while you heat up the canola oil. Heat your oil in a non-stick pan and place in a few cod pieces at a time, let any excess batter drip back into your bowl. Fry your cod for 2 minutes. They are so delicate, and once they are down in the pan, don’t touch them, once ready, flip them carefully and fry for an additional 2 minutes. Give them room to breathe in the pan. Try not to pierce them because the moisture from the fish will make the oil splatter. I am always tempted to wear eye goggles when frying, lol. Please do this with extra care. Drain on a few layers of paper bags. Warm your tortillas and fill them with the fish and the slaw. Serve with lots of lime wedges, cilantro and hot sauce on the side. This makes 4 servings.

Seared Scallops over Napa Cabbage & Quinoa Salad

Craving something healthy yet tasty, this salad ended up on the dinner table. There are so many flavors going on in this salad, but they all go together nicely. There is a basil pesto vinaigrette, the sweetness of carrots and snow peas intermingling with the napa cabbage and quinoa. Mmm…here’s what you need for this healthy, yet filling salad.

  • 1 head napa cabbage, medium size, chopped
  • a bunch of spinach, roughly chopped, about a packed cup
  • 1 sweet carrot, grated
  • a few snow peas, chopped for the garnish
  • 1 bunch of basil, about a packed cup
  • 1/2 cup raw walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup walnut oil, (olive oil is more than ok)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • about a cup & 1/2 of cooked black or red quinoa 
  • about 12 scallops, 3-4 per person

Begin by making your basil pesto. In a blender, combine the basil, walnut pieces & oil. This makes about a cup, (reserve 1/2 a cup for another use, it’s great mixed with mayo & used on sandwiches) Into your 1/2 cup of remaining pesto whisk in the lemon juice, vinegar and honey and season with salt & pepper. Add your pesto vinaigrette to your cabbage, spinach & carrots and mix well. Now you can make your scallops. Searing scallops always intimidated me for some reason, lol I’ve come to find that it is not complicated as I once thought. In a non-stick pan heat up a tablespoon each of butter & canola oil. Once the pan is hot & sizzling, add your dry lightly salted scallops and I know it’s tempting because they look so juicy, but don’t touch them until you see them brown on the edges, about 2 minutes, you want them nice & crusty. Flip them and cook about another 2 minutes, and they are ready. And you are ready to assemble your salad, layering the napa cabbage mixture on your pretty plate, followed by the quinoa and then the scallops. Garnish with the chopped snow peas & enjoy! This salad makes about 3 servings.