Monday, October 3, 2011

Quick Smashed Potatoes

Roasted potatoes are all well and good, but some foods require mashed potatoes.  Somedays we just don't have the need or patience for the perfect creaminess of traditional mashed potatoes, so smashed potatoes - are a quick satisfying version.

The very best news is that smashed potatoes, like all other vegetable recipes are incredibly versatile as long as you do the 1 important thing.  In this recipe it is cutting the potatoes into roughly even size chunks, and cooking them long enough, but not too long.  After that, you pretty much can't go wrong as long as you taste as you go.

Quick Smashed Potatoes

Sharp knife
Cutting board
Large pot (8qt./8L range)
Potato masher/2 large forks
Large stirring spoon

1 large/2 small potatoes per person ("floury"* if you have a choice, but what you have is fine)
milk (any sort - dairy, rice, soy or broth)
plain yogurt/sour cream/ any other cultured dairy creamy thing
Salt & Pepper to taste - or other spices

Give your potatoes a good scrub and rinse. (Or peel them if you feel like it).
Cut them into any roughly similar small  pieces (no bigger than 2" cubes).

Put them in your large pot, cover with water by about 3 inches, cover and place over high heat.

When they start to boil, add 2 tsp of salt (more if you have potatoes for more than 3 - 4 people), let them boil for about 15 minutes. Take out one chunk, and put it on a plate.  Attempt to squish it with the back of a fork.  If it is still crunchy, try again in 5 minutes.  If it squishes, but still seems firm, taste it, and see if it is too crunchy - give it 2 -3 minutes more.  Try again.
When it mashes nicely, turn off the heat, pour your potatoes into the colander, drain quickly, and put back in the pot.
Smash your potatoes briefly with your masher/2 large forks.
Start by adding 1/4 C milk and 1/4 C yogurt (or a short 1/2 C of just liquid), a tsp of salt and a good sprinkling of pepper.
Stir in these ingredients.  Taste for seasoning and texture.
Slowly add in liquids/creaminess/spices and taste as you go to get a flavor you love.

Serve nice and hot!

Note:  Cheddar cheese & chipotle sauce/salsa makes a nice combo,
as do parmesan cheese with fresh basil & oregano.
Try tossing a few peeled whole garlic cloves in to boil with the potatoes, and stir parsley in to the potatoes before serving.
Dill and havarti cheese makes it an excellent pairing with smoked meats.

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