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Champ is Northern Irish comfort food

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Potatoes are one of the best values in the produce department; being both nutrient-dense and economical, they are amazingly versatile and lend themselves to a wide variety of savory and sweet dishes. Champ is a simple and economical Irish dish made from potatoes, green onions, milk and butter. A dish originating in Northern Ireland, Champ is not unlike the colcannon of Southern Ireland, which uses cabbage in place of the scallions.

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The origins of the name ‘Champ’ are unclear, although its alternative name, ‘Poundie’ is fairly self-explanatory, as the cooked potatoes were traditionally pounded and mashed with a sort of long-handled wooden pestle. Traditionally, Champ is served with a spoonful of melted butter in the center of each individual serving.

PNC 2nd Street Market veggie vendors have a regular supply of potatoes for your enjoyment; pick up a few and try the following recipe for some traditional Irish comfort food. You can get sea salt at Bulk Food and Spices, also at the 2nd Street Market.

Irish Champ

  • 2# potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup butter

Put the potatoes in a large pot filled with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about twenty minutes. Drain the potatoes well.

Heat the milk and green onions together in a saucepan until they are warm. Mash the potatoes and salt together until fairly smooth, and then add the milk and green onions. Stir until evenly mixed. Serve hot in bowls, with melted butter to top the individual servings.

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