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Kay's House of Treats: Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

It's amazing how the simple potato is so versatile; just with a few techniques and ingredients its transformed from a not so pretty looking vegetable to something utterly delicious and satisfying; from the basic french fries sprinkled with a bit of salt, to the healthier wedges sprinkled with sea salt & herbs, to the packaged potato chips and to mashed potatoes made with cream & butter. Mashed potatoes have always been my go to dish whenever I have decided on the main entree to cook but can't figure out the accompanying side dish. My basic strategy is to just boil potatoes, add either of butter, cream or milk depending on whats available and then add salt and pepper. This time I decided to plan in advance making sure I had all the flavors I wanted before I started cooking. Loved the garlic flavor in the potatoes and probably next time I will bake these with grated cheese & butter on top. Served it with the Chicken & Rice - Halal Food Cart Style for dinner and then had leftovers with tea the next day :). 


Ingredients
4-5 medium sized potatoes
1 teaspoon garlic chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup chicken stock (can be substituted for milk if not available but just for additional flavor)
3 tbsp cream (more can be added)
1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
black pepper - 1 tsp (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp parsley leaves
Note: Butter & Cream can always be increased and the more it is added, the more flavor and creamier it will be; I try to keep a balance between Butter, Cream & Milk to ensure that I have the creaminess along with the flavor; in case cream is increased, then milk should be reduced accordingly.

Instructions
1. Peel and halve the potatoes; try to make sure the halved potatoes are similar in size cutting them accordingly so that they boil at the same time. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, add a dash of salt, and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to maintain a rolling boil.

2. Cook until potatoes are soft; I check using a knife inserted in the middle of the potato. Once a knife can easily be inserted, I let it boil for 2-3 more minutes and then I turn off the heat.  Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place them back into the large saucepan over low heat and mash with a potato masher or fork.

3. Heat the butter in a small saucepan. When the butter is melted, add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes till the garlic is light brown. Add milk, chicken stock, cream and 1 tsp salt until simmering. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Add half of the garlic-milk mixture into the mashed potatoes and stir together to combine. Then add the rest of the mixture a little at a time, till its the right consistency that you want. Season the potatoes with oregano along with salt & pepper to taste. I personally prefer mine slightly a bit more soft so I add a bit of milk right at the end. Also, in case you let it rest, and it thickens just add 2-3 tbsp of milk and warm it up so it becomes soft again.

5. Let the potatoes stand for 5 minutes so that mixture thickens, then serve. Garnish with parsley leaves.

Potential Variation:
In order to make mashed potatoes even more delicious, you can pour this mixture into an oven proof glass dish; dot the top of the dish with about 1-2 tbsp of butter (sliced) and grate some cheese on top. Put it in the oven (under the grill would be a good option too) till the butter and cheese melt and it becomes a delicious topping on top.

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