Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 24th - Garlic and Olive Oil Smashed Yukon Gold Potatoes

I am on page 883 of my 1007 page book...woo hoo!  I will finish this sucker up today.  For the past six weeks (god it feels like forever), I have been reading this book "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell".  I have renewed this book twice now because it has been taking me so long.  I'm not able to renew it anymore and I've got 2 days left to finish it up.  Don't get me wrong, it's a really good book, I just haven't had time to read it.  You're probably asking yourself, why not just get the book on CD like you've have?  Well, I decided I needed to do this to show myself that I'm not lazy.   It was a challenge to myself (just like this blog).

So later on today, I will be doing a little happy dance as I complete this book.  And honestly, the printing is WAY TOO SMALL for a paperback novel so I'll be glad it's done.  (God, I feel like an old man).  Before you start ribbing me on joining AARP, I've shown this book to a handful of different people and they agree with me.  Plus, there are these really annoying footnotes which are printed even smaller! 

Goodbye Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, you've been in my life a little too long.  (P.S. I highly recommend reading this book...only, get it on CD). 

Yukon Gold potatoes: $2.49
Olive oil: had
Garlic cloves: had
Thyme: $1.89

Total: $4.38

Steaming potatoes to make mashed potatoes is something I learned last Thanksgiving from Brian.  He found this recipe on America's Test Kitchen about the best mashed potatoes ever.  They recommend steaming the potatoes rather than boiling them to retain the fluffiness of the potatoes.  I was skeptical, but became instantly hooked. 

This recipe follows the same logic.  They tell you to leave the skins on the potatoes (which I don't mind), but make sure you scrub them really well under water, cut them in wedges and steam them.  The timing is a little off (it took me a little longer to get them done than 15 minutes).   They mash up beautifully and the olive oil just takes to them wonderfully (also, it gives them a nice golden color).  I scaled back the recipe and only put in 3 small cloves of garlic.  (I've been reeking of garlic recently...don't ask).  Viola!  Some of the best mashed potatoes I've had since Thanksgiving.


FAST: You don't need to peel the potatoes, so that saves you some time.  The potatotes took longer than 15 minutes for me to steam.  It was more like 20 to 25 minutes (I blame it on my stove).  The garlic needs to saute on real low for 6 minutes, otherwise you'll end up burning it (and there is no way to cover up the taste of burnt garlic).  All together, this took about 35 minutes from start to finish.  Not too bad.

EASY:  Again, you're not peeling potatoes, so this recipe is pretty basic.  Steam the potatotes, saute up some garlic and then mash with a sprinkling of thyme. 

FRESH:  The thyme really adds to this recipe.  I also like the fact that you can actually taste the potatoes.  They aren't hidden by globs of butter or sour cream. 

OVERALL:  I will always make my mashed pototoes this way.  Substituting the olive oil for the butter just brings the potatoes to life.  I don't like my garlic mashed too garlicky, so I will probably just put 1 clove in next time.  Also, I plan on growing thyme this summer, so that will be on hand and have much more pep than store bought thyme.

We've got an odd recipe for tomorrow.  It doesn't really fit in with what we've been making since Jan. 1st (I think its not up to snuff for Bon Appetit)...but it's part of the project and it needs to be made.   See ya tomorrow!

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