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Friday, June 21, 2013

Smashed Potatoes

I love the combination of cream cheese and chives in these potatoes. And there's something satisfying about the variety of textures, not fully mashed potatoes mixed with buttery softness. You will note that I have labeled this as a non-vegetable side; technically potatoes are vegetables but in meals I view them as starches.

I topped this batch with scallions, instead of chives.


Smashed Potatoes

Source: Cook's Illustrated
Serves 4-6

2 lbs red potatoes about 2 inches in diameter (if bigger, increase cooking time by about 10 minutes)
salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
4 T unsalted butter, melted and warm
1/2 c cream cheese (4 oz), softened
3 T chopped fresh chives or chopped scallions, optional

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with 1 inch cold water; add 1 teas salt and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently until paring knife can be inserted into potatoes with no resistance, 35 to 45 minutes. Reserve 1/2 c cooking water, then drain potatoes. Return potatoes to pot, discard bay, and allow potatoes to stand in pot, uncovered, until surfaces are dry, about 5 minutes.

While potatoes dry, whisk melted butter and softened cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth and fully incorporated. Add 1/4 c of reserved cooking water, 1/2 teas pepper, chives, and 1/2 teas salt. Using rubber spatula or back of wooden spoon, smash potatoes just enough to break skins. Fold in butter/cream cheese mixture until most of the liquid has been absorbed and chunks of potatoes remain. Add more cooking water 1 T at a time as needed, until potatoes are slightly looser than desired, as they will thicken slightly as they sit. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

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