These festive hors d’oeuvres are an Italian-Irish take on classic cured meat and cabbage. We just sub in Coppa for the traditional corned beef. It’s deliciously cute and satisfyingly messy. Keep plenty of napkins nearby while you gobble these up.
Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold lightly salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower heat slightly to maintain a light boil. Cook until easily pierced with a knife and cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes depending on the size of the potato. Drain and let cool slightly.
In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic, chili flakes, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Cook until leeks begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of butter, Coppa, cabbage, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and cook until the cabbage is soft, stirring the mixture every minute or so, about 12 minutes. Set aside.
Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller or small spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving about a 1/4-inch border. Set potato shells on a serving platter, and add potato flesh to a bowl. Mash with a fork, leaving some small lumps. Add cabbage mixture, lemon zest and juice, parsley, and extra virgin olive oil. Mix well, and divide among potato cups, piling high.
Garnish each potato bite with a few slices of scallion.
These are good served at room temperature, but they can be warmed through in a 300-degree oven without the scallion, then garnish just before serving. This recipe can easily be doubled to feed a larger crowd. If your potato bites are wobbling, trim a tiny slice off the bottom of the potato shell before filling and they’ll stand up straight on the platter.
For the Potatoes