St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner.
You may be thinking of making corned beef and cabbage. But have you considered your potato side dish? Well, look no more because I have a “champ” for you to make. Yes, that’s right there’s a potato dish called “champ”. It is also called “poundies” (I wonder why?) and brúitín in Irish.
Some of my earliest memories are of my mother making champ for my brother and I. We still lived in the Bronx at that time. We’d sit at the kitchen table and my mother would place this huge bowl of mashed potatoes in front of us. In the middle of the potato mound, she’d make a big well and fill it with butter. Yum! I loved getting the part of the mashed dish with all the melting butter swirling through it!
Champ is easy to make. The recipe calls for scallions, potatoes, butter, milk or cream, salt and pepper. My mom never used the scallions; she just added a generous knob of butter. When I don’t have scallions on hand, I use finely diced white onions (there’s always one in my refrigerator). You will find lots of recipes on the internet for champ. If the recipe doesn’t mention adding the onion or scallion to the milk or cream (which you will want to warm), then I recommend doing so. The flavors will enhance the milk/cream. And, of course, when I can, I use Kerrygold unsalted butter (lots of it).
So, give champ a try. I think you’ll love it.