Saturday, March 16, 2013

Company Mashed Potatoes

This is a lovely recipe that my sister Susan used to make and shared with me. I will mention that I’ve tweaked it to my own taste. The first time I had these potatoes, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. ;) They are so very easy to make, and only add mere minutes to the prep and cooking time. They truly are a special recipe to make for when you have company over. Let’s get cooking!

Cut the potatoes into medium sized chunks. I stopped peeling potatoes over a decade ago. At first it was because I couldn’t peel them, due to a rare allergy, but a couple of years after that, I was thinking one day and realized that restaurants offer mashed potatoes with the skins and it’s considered “gourmet.” Thus, I stopped having someone peel them for me long ago.

Rinse well. And I do mean well. The key to making great mashed potatoes is to make sure you rinse all the starch off the potatoes prior to cooking. You can put them in a colander and spray with water for several minutes, turning them over and spraying to ensure complete rinsing. Or, like I do, place them in the pot you’re using to boil them in and add water, swish around, hold potatoes back while you dump the water out, and repeat several times.

If you have rinsed the potatoes well enough, the water in the pot should be clear of any starch; crystal clear. Boil the potatoes until a knife inserted into one of the largest chunks goes through easily. This can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes.

While the potatoes are boiling, you can shred the cheese. I love how the apple hardwood smoked cheddar cheese lends a hearty smoky flavor to this dish, but if you don’t have that, use extra sharp cheddar cheese. Mince the onion finely.

When done, drain the potatoes in a colander immediately. Never let the potatoes sit in the water when they’re done; this is another factor that can make for gluey mashed potatoes in the end.

While the potatoes are draining, add the butter to the pan. Place the potatoes back into the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste (½ tsp of each) and the evaporated milk. With a mixer, beat the potatoes until smooth.

Turn the heat on under the potatoes to medium. Add the smoked cheddar cheese and minced onion. The reason the onion needed to be minced finely is because you’re only going to cook it for 5-7 minutes or so, stirring every few seconds, until it’s somewhat tender and the cheese is melted. See? There’s a reason for why we do things the way we do in cooking and baking. ;)

When done, turn off the heat and serve.  I made this recipe with Rosemary Chicken and carrots. Company Mashed Potatoes is such an easy recipe, but so delicious it will wow your friends and family. Enjoy! ~TMMF

                                                        Company Mashed Potatoes
                                                              (serves 6-8)

                                                        5 large potatoes
                                                        ½ c. butter
                                                        ½ c. evaporated milk
                                                        ¼ to 1/3 c. minced onion
                                                        1 c. grated apple hardwood smoked cheddar cheese
                                                              (or extra sharp cheddar cheese)

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