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.



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.)


Mom said...

You're right about the Thanksgiving dishes, but you'll have to admit we have some other great cooks in the family. You should tell everyone about ‘the summer vacation cook off’! I think your (much older) siblings goaded you into your high standards of cooking… you being the baby and all. Yeah, you’re pretty awesome; it’s no wonder I can't loose a few pounds.

Anyway, I will vouch for the potatoes; any variation on this recipe would be wonderful.

Mom said...

Personal note: I liked the "about me" box with picture, at the top of your blog a lot better than at the bottom. Made me feel like you were talking to me each time. You are getting further and further away from anyone seeing you at the bottom of the page. Just a suggestion.

Kate said...

Personal reply - that's a setting on your browser, not an adjestment I made to the blog. Try closing your favorites window!

Jennifer said...

Mmmm... I'm off the carbs (yet again) to supplement a renewed commitment to the gym, but these sound DIVINE. I'll try to imagine how wonderful they taste. ;-)

Joe said...

How can these not be good with thoughs ingredients! Great entry!

Kevin said...


I can see why you have leftover problems (meaning none leftover).

Have you tried using Yukon Gold potatoes? They're my favorite for mashed.

Kate said...

You know, everybody in my family likes Yukons, but I find them a little grainy when mashed; weird texture. I'm a russet girl through and through (oh, and I really like the purple ones!).