Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Instant Mashed Potatoes (and rutabaga)

This evening while driving home with the crisp fall breeze that is rarely a candidate of LA weather, I started to crave chicken thighs. There were two recipes I had in mind--Braised Chicken and Prunes (recipe under Chicken tag) or Baked Chicken with Rosemary. I went to the store still not knowing which it would be.

The grocery store was packed. I chose my chicken thighs and tried to recall if the braised recipe had anything else in it that I didn't have. I have recently been working on keeping a stocked pantry. I was pretty sure the recipe called for wine (if you don't drink wine, those little picnic bottles are perfect for cooking..they come in the size most recipes call for so you're not left with an open bottle), dried plums, and chicken...but I was sure something else was hiding from me. I also recalled that the braised chicken was best over mashed potatoes. I browsed the pre-made section and saw that in order for me to get potatoes pre-made I'd have to buy enough for four. Dinner was possibly just for me. Finally I recalled that I had a potato, milk and butter at I reasoned I could just make them myself.

Mashed potatoes are easy! I don't know what all the fuss is about! I will share with you the recipe I made up so that you too can make just a little instead of family-size. I added rutabaga to my potatoes for the satisfying bitterness that I love, but you could omit that

1 - 2 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into small even chunks
1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into small even chunks (optional)
1 1/2 T butter +
2/3 C milk or cream, any variety
Lots of salt

1. Boil water in a pot big enough to fit all the potatoes
2. Add potato chunks to pot and boil until fork-tender (about 20 minutes)
3. Drain potatoes and return to pan
4. Add butter and milk and mash with a potato masher or hand mixer until the texture you prefer. Salt to taste (I used a lot of salt but it all came from the salt shaker so, no measurement) and serve warm.

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