Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Garlic & Leek Mashed Potatoes

Did you guys see my new kitchen reveal post yesterday? Well now that that's all good and done, I'm back to posting more recipes. Somehow, I managed to sort of keep up with recipes here and there (prepared a bunch of posts in advance too; prior to our kitchen being kicked down). But I'm sure you noticed that I was sharing more recipes in the past few weeks, ever since our kitchen has been functional.

Now that Halloween is over, we can start thinking about Thanksgiving. For me, November 1 is when I start planning my Thanksgiving menu. So, I thought I would share a few appropriately themed recipes in the coming weeks.

First up is garlic and leek mashed potatoes. What's delicious and "special" about these potatoes is the addition of leeks. The fibrous dark green parts of leeks aren't the most desirable bits but they still have a lot of flavor and it's wasteful to throw them away. I used the whites to make a soup and then had a bunch of tops leftover and thought they would add a lot of yum to a batch of mashed potatoes.
The leeks are just used in the cream and they add a lot of delicious flavor. Leeks look like giant scallions. They're in the onion and garlic family so they have a similar flavor but they are much more subtle.

Ingredients [serves 4 to 6]
1½ lbs yukon gold potatoes (3 to 4 medium sized potatoes)
1 cup heavy cream
6" piece of leek greens
3 or 4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons sour cream
salt & pepper

Start by peeling the potatoes and cutting them into similar-sized chunks. Making sure the pieces are all a similar size is important because you want them to cook evenly. Put the potatoes into cold water and bring to a boil. Cook until they're tender; check for doneness by using a sharp knife and sticking one of the pieces through the center. If the knife goes in and comes out easily, they're ready. Don't overcook the potatoes because they will end up waterlogged and you'll have watery and soggy mashed potatoes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pot. The heat from the pot will help steam the excess moisture off of the potatoes.
While the potatoes are cooking, add the cream, garlic, leeks, and black pepper to a sauce pan. Heat over a low heat, just until scalding and watch carefully so that it doesn't boil over. Warming the cream over a low heat will slowly coax all of the yummy flavors out of the garlic and leeks. By the way, if you're watching your waistline or you don't have any cream in the fridge, just substitute some milk and add in a little butter. You need that fat to give the potatoes more body and creaminess.
Pour the cream over the potatoes - pick out the bits of leek but include the garlic, if you like - and start mashing. Mash to your preferred consistency. Personally, I like my mashed potatoes relatively smooth with just a few lumps so I don't overdo it. If you prefer a smoother mash, you can always whip them with an electric beater. Add in the sour cream and some salt and pepper to taste. If you're feeling particularly naughty, you can also throw in some butter, but I find that the fat in the cream and the richness of the sour cream is enough for me.
And then serve. These potatoes are lovely and creamy and rich but have a little something extra because of the leeks.
Do you like these little containers? I got them on sale for $0.75 each at Christmas Tree Shops. They're perfect for serving individual portions of mashed potatoes. I served these alongside some fried chicken, salad, and mac and cheese. I'll be sharing the mac and cheese recipe later this week so stay tuned!
Here's the recipe page:

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