Colorado chef offers makeovers for cabbage on St. Patrick's Day

Teresa Farney, The Gazette on

Published in Entertaining

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — What St. Patrick's Day meal would be complete without cabbage? We're talking about solid green cabbage, part of the cruciferous family that also includes Savoy (curly leafed), red, Napa, bok choy and brussels sprouts. Green cabbage might have the stigma of being the ugly duckling of the vegetable world, but in the right hands, it shines.

Cortney Smith, a chef instructor and co-owner of Gather Food Studio & Spice Shop, is skilled at bringing out the best in the veggie.

"I'm a big cabbage fan and grew up eating it in a number of ways," she said. "Cabbage rolls, of course. Also, I love a good hearty cabbage soup. Creative slaws are a fun way to add color and texture to your tacos, egg rolls and Asian salads. ... For St. Paddy's, my favorite way to use cabbage is actually in colcannon potatoes. So yummy."

Colcannon is an Irish, jazzed-up mashed potato dish traditionally served on St. Patrick's Day in Ireland. As the masters of potato dishes, the Irish have perfected this creamy mixture of potatoes and cabbage. Smith adds tart apple to the mix and garnishes the dish with crispy bacon and diced green onions.

Smith has other creative, speedy ways to include cabbage into her holiday dinner.

"No surprise here, but my favorite way to cook cabbage is in the Instant Pot," she said. Her Instant Pot classes are among the bestselling on the class schedule. "You can place cabbage into the pressure cooker on a rack suspended above water and cook for 15 minutes on high pressure with a natural release. This way, the cabbage isn't waterlogged. It's nice and soft."


If you'd like to add more flavor to the veggie, add some Irish bacon for seasoning.

"Irish bacon is much like Canadian bacon," Smith said. "It is lean and sliced thick. But most thick-sliced, lean bacon and ham work when cut in small segments and then partially cooked before adding to the cabbage. The bacon adds more than a wee bit of complementary flavor to cabbage."

You can find Irish bacon at The British Pantry and Tea Room, 2403 W. Colorado Ave. Owner Maria Uribe keeps an assortment of British pantry supplies in stock, as well as Irish and Scottish goods.

Margaret Reynolds, who lives in Colorado Springs, isn't a chef but she has ties to Ireland.


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