Monday, September 9, 2013
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Potatoes and onions are a naturally perfect combination; they just fit together in so many dishes. Scalloped potatoes without onions would just be sliced potatoes in a white sauce. American Fries or Hash Browns without onions is, well... un-American! But rarely if ever do you come across the sweet, crunchy, spiciness of onions in mashed potatoes. Until now that is.
My dad loved onions. Served up any way, he loved onions. One of his favorite ways to eat onions was to spoon them, raw and diced, over his mashed potatoes. Especially when said potatoes were one of the side dishes for mom’s breaded pork chops. (That meal is one of those regular dinners I can see clearly in my memory – it was and still is one of my favorite comfort foods.)
You must have guessed by now that we’re going to be putting onions into our Loaded Mashed Potatoes – you would be correct. But wait, there’s more!
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
Yield: 4 Servings Preparation Time: 10 Minutes Cooking Time: 8 to 12 Minutes
• 2 Pounds Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
• ⅓ Cup Half & Half, heated in the microwave but not to boiling
• 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
• ¼ Cup Sour Cream, at room temperature
• Kosher Salt
• Ground White Pepper
• ½ Cup White Onion, diced
• ¼ Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese
Step 1. Put cut up Potatoes in a pot of generously salted cold water set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
Step 2. Cook the Potatoes until fork tender. Drain completely and return the Potatoes to the hot pot set over low heat and shake the pot to evaporate the moisture from the surface of the Potatoes. Remove from heat.
Step 3. Melt the Unsalted Butter in the hot Half & Half and add to the Potatoes in the pot. Mash the Potatoes to desired consistency and then stir in the Sour Cream. Season to taste with Kosher Salt and White Pepper. Cover and keep warm.
Step 4. Just before serving add the diced Onion and Blue Cheese crumbles to the potatoes and stir to combine.
Serve as a side with any hearty main course but these are especially good with Garlicky Pork Schnitzel - ‘cause there’s gravy!
Tips and Trending
~ Just what is “fork tender”?? It is simply the best way to determine when the potatoes are perfectly cooked. This is one of those cooking tips that you just have to experiment with to get right. Once the potato cubes have been boiling for about five minutes – scoop one out of the pot with a slotted spoon and take a good look at it. You’ll see a slight change near the edges, but the center will still look like it did when you cut them up. Now take a carving fork, or a sharp knife, and pierce the potato cube. You’ll feel quite a bit of resistance and the potato cube will be gripping the fork tightly. Put that cube back in the boiling water. After another few minutes perform that same test (the visual inspection and piercing with the fork) to see the progress. What you’re looking for is a potato that looks the same from edge to center, but more importantly the fork should go in and come back out with almost no resistance and the potato cube should not break apart. If the cube does break – the potatoes are past fork-tender.
~ Bacon anyone? The world, it appears, has finally admitted to its love affair with bacon. If you love bacon too, go ahead and fry up a couple of strips, crumble and mix them in with the sour cream and blue cheese.
~ Keep mashed potatoes hot until ready to serve by placing the covered cooking pot in a 200ºF oven. If your pot’s handles are not oven safe, transfer the mashed potatoes into a covered oven-proof serving dish to hold.