Irish Colcannon is one of those dishes that remind me of my childhood. My dad was always the one who cooked breakfast, and while he didn’t make this dish in this particular way, it always reminds me of him. He was one of those guys up at 5:30am, whistling while he cooked. Quite frankly, his morning jolliness sometimes got on our nerves. Now I look back at those times as such a gift to our family.
Colcannon is not typically a breakfast dish, although it is made with potatoes, eggs and cheese. It was usually served on days the Irish ate no meat for religious reasons, particularly on the day before All Saint’s Day (Halloween). It’s hot and comforting right out of the oven and easy to make. There are many variations of it. This is my version.
1 lb potatoes
1 package of frozen spinach
1/2 stick of butter
3/4 cup of milk (or cream, if you are indulging)
1 tsp of salt
1 cup of shredded cheddar
4 large or extra-large eggs
Heat oven to 400 degrees F
Peel, large dice and boil the potatoes with the salt. When they are tender, drain and put back in the pot over low heat. Mash with a potato masher, adding the butter and milk. Thaw the frozen spinach on a plate in the microwave. Squeeze all the liquid out using paper towels or a clean linen towel. Add to the potatoes and combine. Spread the potatoes in a 9″ x 13″ glass dish. Make a small indent for each of the four eggs and crack an egg into each indentation. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the eggs look set, but the yolks are still soft. Add the cheese over the top and bake until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.