Posts Tagged ‘potatos’
I am not necessarily a “sweets” person. While I will eat a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup faster than the average bear, I don’t crave things like chocolate, I prefer unsweetened tea, and am addicted to pretzels. I am a salt addict, rather than a sugar-holic, so my “sundaes” are usually white, creamy and covered in brown sauce. Yes, I am talking about mashed potatoes. And not the boxed powdered processed flake kind either. I am talking about the smooth creamy lumpy goodness known as home-made mashed potatoes.
One of my favorite purchases from stores like Publix or Walmart is a giant 5 or 10 pound bag of Russet or Gold Potatoes. It’s usually around 5 or six dollars for a pretty good size bag, but the possibilities that are presented by a giant bag of potatoes are endless, and I usually end up making about six or seven different meals out of the bag, plenty of food for a week. Not bad for $5, right?
This incredibly inexpensive grocery item can be made to suit anyone’s tastes, can be as simple as just potatoes and water, (my infant son’s version) or can be as loaded as bacon-sour cream-chive-cheese-chili-loaded potatoes. You can make them into potato skins, you can bake them in the oven, you can scoop the middle out, add ingredients and then pipe the mixture back into the skins and re-bake them, (twice baked potatoes). Leave the skins on for more nutrition and texture, or peel them right after boiling to make the job easier and appease picky eaters. Potatoes were such a staple of the Irish population that a blight that killed their potato crops resulted in the Great Potato Famine in the early 1900‘s, which is a leading reason why the US is filled with so many peoples of Irish heritage, like me!
This recipe is an adaptation of my Mom’s Thanksgiving Mashed Potato recipe, the only difference is I make mine with milk, when she used to make hers with cream. Subbing the milk makes them a little bit lighter, and removes a lot of fat and calories, but if you want to try it as my Mom’s recipe, please do.
You Will Need:
5 large potatoes
6 cups of water
1 cup 1% or 2% milk, heated
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon non-dairy creamer
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste
Scrub your potatoes, remove any eyes, softened parts, bruised areas, and peel them if you want to. Potatoes are not washed very well coming out of the ground, so it might be a good idea to invest in a small fingernail nail brush to scrub over the skin if you don’t peel them. Like I’ve said, a lot of the nutrition in a potato comes from the skin, so keep ‘em on!
Continue as follows…
Fill a large pot with 6 cups of water, heat it to boiling. Cut the potatoes into chunks. The smaller the chunks the faster they cook, but the bigger the chunks the more flavorful the potatoes, and remember that no matter what size you cut them make sure the pieces are all the same size, so they cook evenly. I usually slice mine into 1” thick rounds, then cut the rounds in half, so that they cook relatively quickly, but aren’t too soft.
Drop the potatoes into the boiling water, and then let them boil approximately 8 to 12 minutes. or until soft, but still structurally firm. You don’t want mush, but you don’t want uncooked chunks either. If you let the potatoes sit in cold water and then heat they usually aren’t as fluffy. The starches inside the potato turn kind of gummy as they are slowly heated, so dropping the potatoes into boiling water results in a lighter fluffier mashed potato consistency.
While the potatoes are boiling assemble the rest of the ingredients, and warm the milk in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. Mix all the dry ingredients, except for the cheese, salt and pepper, until they are combined, then add them to the warm milk, stirring until the creamer dissolves. If you don’t heat the milk you are going to have lumps of creamer in your mashed potatoes.
Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain them thoroughly. Put them back in the pot, and set the heat to low, then pour the cream and herb mixture over the top of the potatoes and use a potato masher or a large ladle to mash the potatoes and mix the ingredients in. In the example I added a tablespoon of Shedd’s Spread Country Crock Butter.
Texture is up to you. Personally I am a HUGE fan of chunks. But families with little children may prefer smooth potatoes, so smash as long as you like. Serve the potatoes hot with a dollop of sour cream or butter. Sprinkle the salt and pepper and Parmesan over the top. Delicious.