28 September 2010

Great mashed potatoes

This was going to be an entry about bangers and mash. But then I thought that bangers and mash, that staple of British pub and comfort food, is plain, simple and easy (part of the reason it is a comfort food) and nothing special to talk about.

But not these. These are great mashed potatoes/mash that have flavor! Life! Pizazz!

Mashed potatoes and wonderful and warm my soul almost more than any other food, which I inherited honestly from my mother and other Midwestern relatives. We do come from the red meat and potatoes part of the US, so a love of a good potato dish is in the blood. When Thanksgiving came each year, we would make something like 20 pounds of mashed potatoes. Yes, it was for over 20 people, but that is still a pound of potatoes per person. And there were never any leftovers.

With all the love for potatoes I have, I am a little ashamed to say that I ate mostly the dehydrated potato flakes for much of my life due to convenience. Now that I eat the real thing, I could never go back. So now I look for ways to make my mash exciting to keep my tastebuds interested, which includes throwing various spices and vegetables with the potatoes.

In these great mashed potatoes, I went for the classic British flavors version, but you can easily add bacon and chives, sweet potato and cinnamon, bits of apple and fennel, rosemary- anything you want really that will compliment your dish.

I boiled some potatoes with the skins on, but you could easily peel them if you prefer. Apparently, lots of vitamins and good things live in the skins, so I am trying to eat them more often.

Then sautee some leeks and thinly-sliced cabbage for 5-10 minutes to cook briefly over a high heat.

After mashing the potatoes when done, add a splash of milk and lots of butter. If it is unsalted, make sure you add some salt too. If you find that the potatoes are too sticky, add a splash more milk and some butter to loosen them.

Grate some cheddar into the potatoes, then add the sauteed veggies to the mix.

If you have some, I would also add some sour cream to really make these lush.

You can serve these great mashed potatoes as a side to almost any main dish, or top with bangers.

Mmmm, I'm hungry already. And my soul is feeling warm and fuzzy from all this comfort food in the fall.

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