Friday, February 17, 2006
Kitchen Sink Mashed Potatoes
This week’s Virtual Recipe Club (VRC), brought to you by Biscuit Girl at You Gonna Eat All That?, is themed “potatoes” (in honor of St. Patrick’s Day?). I have an infallible mashed-potato thing I make, but in the post-Atkins age we live in, mashed potatoes, a once-frequented side-dish, are now a rare indulgence.
That said, don’t expect me to try and healthify this recipe. I mean, no matter how much butter and salt you leave out of mashed potatoes, they’re still simple carbs and they’re still bad for you; and if it's not made of potatoes, well, then, it's not mashed potatoes, is it? So I say, if you’re going to go for it, go for it.
The only other thing I’m going to say about this recipe is that it was the only Thanksgiving item there weren’t leftovers of this year. Yes, I know, I’m awesome.
KITCHEN SINK MASHED POTATOES
2/3 lb. bacon (I always use organic, or at least nitrate-free, bacon)
3 leeks, washed well and drained, and finely chopped (white and pale green part of leek only)
3 pounds russet (baking) potatoes (about 6 large)
1/2 cup milk
½ stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
¾ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
¾ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Fry bacon until crispy. Crumble and set aside. Reserve drippings.
Peel potatoes, leaving little scraps of peel on for flavor and texture. Cut into small, equal-sized pieces and bring to a boil in enough water to cover them by one inch. Simmer 10-15 minutes or until tender.
While potatoes are simmering, sauté leeks in bacon drippings over medium-low heat, about five minutes or until soft. Pour off excess grease.
Drain potatoes and return to pot. Cook them over moderate heat while shaking the pot for 30 seconds to let any excess liquid evaporate. Add butter and mash. Add milk and cheese; combine evenly.
Fold in crumbled bacon and leeks. Add more milk if necessary; salt and pepper to taste.
Indulge while hot.
(Cook’s note: Be sure not to salt before adding in the cheese, which can make the potatoes almost salty enough by itself.)