Wednesday, 16 November 2016

So good it makes you cry: secrets of perfect mashed potatos (gluten-free, kosher)

Secrets to my perfect mashed potatos? Browned butter and caramelized onions. The result will have you in tears.

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Out of all the comfort foods I can't think of anything more comforting than mashed potatos. But sure enough, there are mashes and there are mashes. A couple of tricks will make even those just-add-water-instant-mash-powders edible, but let's face it: the best one is always made from scratch.

You'll find my love letter to my Dad's mash on the blog over here. It has made an impression on all the diners I've brought home over the years, though sometimes with some reservations: "Just look at that colour! Exactly how much butter's in that?!". Just enough, I say.

My Nan's mash on the other had was nothing short of a culture shock. It's texture couldn't have been further away from the kind of dreamy, silky cloud you just want to dive and frolick in. See, she put onion in hers. And trust me, not the kind that'd been finely minced to oblivion. I doubt it was even sautéed first. Sure, onion does lend the mash some flavour. And funky texture, too - if testing your gag reflex is what you're after.

Over the years my mash has evolved into this. It pays homage to both of my Dad's and Nan's mashes, but with my own twists. There's butter alright, nutmine is browned. There are quite a bit onions too...only caramelized and puréed. And the result... oh, yes. Usually it disappears from the table just like that.No mains needed. 

Secrets to perfect mashed potatos are simple. Right potato variety (the floury one), steaming potatos dry after boiling them and using potato ricer - a contraption that looks like a huge garlic press. Oh, and browned butter, hot milk and caramelized onion. 

Not everyone's the kind of pathetic cry baby such as I am (even 6 Nations rugby tournament's ads reduce me to tears...) but this is a mash that will have you in tears twice: first when you're slicing the onions and then when you tuck in the mash.

The perfect mashed potatos with browned butter and caramelized onions:

1 kg (floury) potatos
3 smallish onions, peeled and finely sliced
1,5 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp mustard
2 tl salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
150 g butter
1,5-2 dl milk (full fat), heated

Peel the potatos and, dpending on the size, cut into 4-6 pieces. Steam or boil in salted water until done. In the meanwhile caramelize the onion in a pan over medium heat in a couple of tbsp of butter. 

Once the potatos are done, drain them and steam dry. Purée onion in a blender with thyme and mustard until smooth. Add a couple of tbsp milk to ease the process if needed.

Brown butter in a pan (or a coated pot) over medium high heat until it stops to bubble and the aroma becomes nutty and toasty.

Crush the potatos through a ricer. Combine with rest of the ingredients and beat until smooth. Check the taste and add more salt and/or pepper if needed. 

Oh, and what to have with this? Well, how about

Or, my latest confort food love: Lindström's meatballs! 

PS. What are your comfort food favourites? And where do you stand on mash: with or without onions?





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