Monday, December 20, 2010
2 Recipe #223: Mashed Red-Skinned Potatoes with Roasted Garlic & Fresh Herbs
Mashed Red-Skinned Potatoes with Roasted Garlic & Fresh Herbs
3 large, fresh garlic cloves, unpeeled
6-8 c. (or more) salted water (for boiling potatoes)
2 medium-sized unpeeled, red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed & washed (makes about 1 1/2 - 2 c. mashed)
1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. water
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely minced
1/2 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, finely minced
1/2 Tbsp. fresh marjoram leaves, finely minced
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. poppy seeds1/8 - 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper, or to taste
1/4 tsp. kosher salt, or to taste
2 Tbsp. lite nondairy creamer
1 Tbsp. fresh chives, chopped crosswise into 1/4" thick tubes (garnish)
Directions: Preheat convection toaster oven, setting it to the "broil setting." Roast unpeeled garlic on an aluminium foil-covered toaster tray (for easy cleanup!) for about 15-20 minutes, or until browned & very soft inside.
While garlic is roasting, bring a pot of salted water to rolling boil & boil potatoes for about 20 minutes, or until tender. When potatoes are done, you should be able to easily pierce them with a knife. Drain, quarter unpeeled potatoes into small wedges, place into a bowl, & set aside.
In the same pot, sauté all herbs & spices -- except for chives, salt, & pepper -- in olive oil for about 10 seconds on medium-low heat, stirring continually. (The goal is to cook the spices only long enough for them to release their essence & lose their bitterness. Don't overcook as herbs should still retain their vibrant green color.) Then turn down heat to low, add 1/4 c. water & continue to cook for about 3-5 more minutes, or until liquid has almost fully evaporated, stirring often. Remove from heat & return potatoes to pot. Using a potato masher, mash each potato wedge once until squashed flat. After mashing, there should still be small unbroken chunks of potato; this is the desired texture you want to produce. IMPORTANT: Do not overmash potatoes as this turns the potato starch into a glue-like pile of mush, which won't taste too good. ;)
When ready, remove garlic from oven & let cool for a few minutes. Then, peel & add to the mashed potato mixture. Mash garlic into potatoes with potato masher, only mashing each clove just enough so that it's completely flattened. Then add butter & mash once more, very gently. Season with salt & pepper, add creamer & chives, & mix together until just combined. Adjust seasonings & serve immediately.
Yield: 3-4 servings.
Chef's Notes: So why use a convection toaster oven instead of a regular, full-sized oven? Answer: Since the only thing that has to be roasted is a few (i.e., 3!) cloves of garlic, it'd seem a bit silly & wasteful to preheat such a large oven to cook such a small amount of food. :) By using a toaster oven instead of a regular, full-sized oven in this particular instance, not only is it more energy-efficient, but the roasting process itself will go a lot faster this way as well. :)