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:: Traditional Irish Food: Colcannon and the inside scoop on last nights food demo!

I am coming to you live from my hotel room in the sunny south of Ireland in Ballingcollig, Cork. I was doing a cookery demonstration for the Hope Foundation last night and it went extremely well! It was my first time doing a demo in front of a live adult audience, so I couldn't rely on my usual school demo tricks like asking them what they bring for their lunches, and of course every kid sticks up their hand. No this is a little different, but in a good way, I get to give more tips about the stuff I am cooking and I can choose dishes which are a little more interesting than stuff only kids will eat.

Last night I was demoing some of my favourite dishes from the book, I did 7 dishes altogether, which were my aromatic duck salad (with duck supplied by the lovely folks from Silverhill), hasselback potatoes, tomato chicken thigh supper, garlic mushroom and goats cheese pasta, mushy roast garlic and cherry tomato pasta, and my favourite dessert, Kerstin's bursting berries with white chocolate!

We did a bit of a signing after the demo, so a huge thank you to everyone who came up and bought a book, and big shout the folks at the Hope Foundation who pulled off the whole night with huge success! Mark was our cameraman for the night and popped me the tape of the whole thing, so when I get time I will stick it up here, so you can take a peak!

Today's recipe is going all Irish, as for the next few days, the country will be taken over by a rush of green and lots of celebrations. A few of the towns we drove through today already have their bunting up in the town square! This recipe is from my Cork News column which is out today, and for any foreign readers out there, this dish is quite a traditional Irish dish, so I hope you like it!

Traditional Irish Food: Colcannon
Colcannon is as traditional, as traditional Irish food gets, and for the week that's in it, when the whole world will be going green in our honour, what better thing to do, than serve up some of the finest! I told my grandad I was making this the other day and no sooner was it out of my mouth than he had burst into song. The dish of course, is the inspiration behind the traditional Irish song by the same name, "Oh weren't them the happy days when troubles we knew not and our mother made colcannon in the little skillet pot". This recipe is the one I grew up with, but if you want to experiment, you could also stir in a little bit of wholegrain mustard to add an extra bite to it!

Serves 4 portions
1kg potatoes, peeled and diced
250g savoy cabbage, finely sliced
1 bunch of spring onions, finely sliced
2 tablespoons of butter
75ml of milk
A good pinch of sea salt and black pepper

Add the peeled and diced potato to a pot of cold water, cover, place over a high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potato is tender when pierced with a fork.
Place a metal steamer into another pot, add a little water and bring to the boil. Place the cabbage into the steamer and steam cook until it is tender.
When the potatoes are cooked, remove from the heat, drain into a colander, then add back into the pot with the butter and milk. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy. You may want to add a little bit more or less milk and butter, it is up to you!
Add in the spring onion, steamed cabbage, sea salt and black pepper and stir through with a spoon until evenly combined.
Serve the colcannon straight away with a little extra butter and sea salt if you want.
Enjoy and a slightly premature, Happy St. Patricks Day!

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:: Traditional Irish Food: Colcannon and the inside scoop on last nights food demo! + traditional irish food