The first recipe is a variation on Mark Bittman's Green Mashed Potatoes. I don’t know why he didn’t make the connection between this dish and Colcannon, but it seems obvious to me. He uses greens instead of cabbage, and bakes it with a crumb crust, instead of serving straight from the saucepan. It's got to be a second cousin, at least, to the old Irish favorite.
4 big russet potatoes
4 garlic cloves
1 bunch broccoli rabe
4 to 5 tbls. of the best extra virgin olive oil
Peel and cut potatoes into large chunks. Add to a large sauce pan with unpeeled garlic cloves. Cover with cold water and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, lower heat and simmer until barely done about 15 to 18 minutes. Scoop out into colander. Cover with clean dishtowel to finish the cooking – Ina’s great tip.
Remove garlic cloves and put through garlic press into large bowl. Add potatoes and mash with potato masher, adding 2 tablespoons olive oil and ½ teaspoon Kosher salt.
Bring potato water back to the boil. Add bunch of broccoli rabe and cook for 5 to 6 1/2 minutes. (If you have resisters to bitter greens, cook them for the full 6½ minutes. I did.) Drain well. Chop and squeeze out moisture before adding to potatoes. Mash potatoes and rabe together roughly. Stir in more salt to taste and another tablespoon of olive oil, if you think it needs it.
In the next recipe, I combined two chicken recipes to a pretty good effect, I think. One is Melissa Clark's from last week’s NY Times (sitting right next to Bittman’s potato recipe), where she roasts a chicken on top of bread, the other is a yummy marinated chicken, written about rapturously by Nicole over at From The Inside. (Her engaging blog has A LOT going on…so be patient when it takes awhile to load.)
Marinated Roast Chicken (serves 4)
inspired by Nicole (à la Gordon Hamersley) and Melissa Clark
3 garlic cloves, halved and green stem removed
2 tbls. Dijon
grated zest of one lemon
½ tsp. dried rosemary
1 tbl. olive oil
½ tsp. Kosher salt
2 tbls. lemon juice (reserve spent lemons)
1 4 to 5 pound chicken
6 slices of stale (or not) good bread
(I used ciabatta and it was 3 hours, not 3 days, old.)
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Place all the ingredients for the marinade in the food processor. Try to get it as fine as you can. Rub it all over the chicken.
Place used lemon peels inside chicken. Refrigerate for a couple hours or leave at room temperature for 30 minutes (no more) before roasting.
Place slices of bread in bottom of roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Lay chicken over.
Roast at 375°F for 1¼ hours or until chicken is done. Remove chicken onto board and place upside down. Cover loosely with foil for 5 minutes before carving. (10 is better). Remove bread onto serving platter, cutting in half, if desired.
Strain juices into small saucepan and add 1 cup stock. Reduce until slightly thickened. Carve chicken, place on platter and serve sauce separately.
Note: Melissa Clark’s recipe (from a friend of hers) has the oven temperature at 425°F. I found the bread gets too brown, too fast, so I’ve lowered the temperature to 375°F.
Here’s a quick dessert, particularly if you have some frozen egg whites to use up and some fruit that needs attention.
6 apples, peeled, cored and sliced
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbls. water
juice from ½ lemon
optional: 1 – 2 tbls. Irish whiskey
3 egg whites
6 tbls. sugar
Note: Add other fruit if you have it handy. I used only 5 apples and added ½ cup frozen peaches and a handful of fresh raspberries.
Place apples in heavy bottomed medium saucepan. Stir in brown sugar, water and lemon juice. Cook on medium heat. When steam builds up, turn down, cover and cook on low until apples have broken up and are completely soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. It should look like chunky applesauce. Stir in Irish whiskey, if using and spoon into pie plate.
Beat in sugar gradually. Beat until firm. Spoon meringue onto top of fruit, covering every bit, right up to the edge of the dish.