JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

10 ways with mashed potatoes

On a grey rainy day last week, I test drove a new-to-me car. I picked it up on another rainy day. The next morning, there was an inch of snow on it. None of this would matter, except that it's a convertible. Mad. I still haven't driven it with the roof down. And now we're into winter comfort food: lunch at the weekend was game stew and mash, just what was needed now the weather's closing in till spring.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall found 11 things to add to mash this weekend ... on top of the 100g of butter and 200ml of hot milk he adds per kilo of potatoes (or 100ml each of cream and milk).

Here, mashing is both favourite and least favourite way to cook potatoes. Some people like them better than any; others say it's a waste of a good potato. Sometimes I find myself making two types of potatoes. Who says I'm not an indulgent wife and mother?

Here are 5 ways I make mash:

  1. When I'm mashing potatoes, I routinely add milk, nearly always skimmed
  2. Sometimes, I add a good dollop of grainy mustard; good with ham
  3. A spoonful of grated horseradish (from a jar, as I don't grow it) is delicious with roast beef
  4. Olive oil added to mash instead of milk is particularly good with fish, or if you're going to use the potato as a pie topping
  5. Or you can use a little cheese (and something from the onion family finely chopped) to perk up a pie of leftovers
HFW does all that and more:
  1. Add some unpeeled cloves of garlic to the pot with the potatoes, then squeeze the puree out and beat into the mash
  2. Add a few slices of caramelized shallot and some Bramley puree for a mash to go with roast pork
  3. Infuse the milk with a bay leaf and grated lemon zest (to accompany fish)
  4. Add Jerusalem artichokes and nutmeg (roast lamb)
  5. Grated cheese and roasted chopped poblano chillies, to go with steak. Steak??? Is he mad? If steak, then chips, no question.
What do YOU do with mash? I'd love to know, it's my favourite


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Everyone of those is wonderful and so simple!!! I love to make mine with buttermilk and sage.

Anonymous said...

I love this lists, and any of your lists, Joanna. What about some harissa or thai chilli sauce? That's what I am into these days, but I absolutely prefer milk, butter, nutmeg, or some cinnamon or cardamom to sweeten things.

TopVeg said...

They all sound delicious. Now we have an Irish 'connection', we have discovered champ. A marvellous potato mash with chopped spring onions!

Olive Oyl said...

Olive oil and crushed rosemary.

Elspeth said...

Thanks for the link - I shall enjoy looking at your Blog - and handing on some mashed potato suggestions to my husband, who makes the mash around here...
Shameful lack of posts on my Blog - seem to have run out of steam (now there's a bad pun to start a post off...)
All good wishes,
x Elspeth (from Off the Rails...)

Angie Younce said...

I'm with MyKitchenInHalfCups. I love to put in a little buttermilk.

Have a funny mashed potato story, actually. Several years ago, a good friend was over for Thanksgiving. She insisted on making the mashed potatoes, which was fine.

Well, when the mashed potatoes got to the table and we started eating them, we all noticed something not quite right about them. Finally, my middle daughter (who has Asperger's Syndrome and, therefore, isn't known for her tact) said, "These potatoes totally suck!"

Here's what had happened. I keep cinnamon and sugar in a shaker for the kids when they make toast. My friend used that shaker instead of the salt shaker on her potatoes.

Sorry to disagree with labelga, but the cinnamon was a bad thing in our case ;)

Ellie said...

Well as you know mash potatoes are my favourite...I always make them with either cream and lots of pepper (good with peas) or with mustard, good with sausages!

E xxx

VP said...

I love skimmed milk and leeks and lashings of black pepper with mine. Just what I'm planning for the fish pie I'm making using up the freezer leftovers...

Mmmmmmm I can't wait :D

Joanna said...

Thanks everyone for some really great suggestions - lots of new ideas

Tanna - love the sound of buttermilk, I imagine it's rather like using creme fraiche, which I sometimes add

Labelga - mmm to harissa, although I'd have to eat it on my own

Hi TopVeg - champ, isn't that one of those things the Irish are very strict about? Whereas I have a tendency to think of it as first cousin to bubble and squeak

Olive oyl ... well, it's not surprising ;) and it sounds delicious

Elspeth - lucky you, a husband who cooks ;) Mine does a mean cooked breakfast at the weekend

Angie - LOVE that story, so easy to do. I once put salt instead of sugar on grapefruit which I took to my parents for breakfast in bed. Never been allowed to forget that mistake ;)

E: welll, yes, I always think of you when I'm mashing a potato, especially when there aren't any peas ;)

VP that sounds like a very good topping for a fish pie

Antonia said...

What great suggestions - I adore mash in any form!

A few suggestions of my own to add..

Add roasted garlic and, even better, roasted smoked garlic. Lovely with lamb.

Leeks, mustard and cheese - almost a meal in itself.

Other root vegetables - I love to combine potatoes with celeriac, parsnips, carrots or suede.

Pesto - great with grilled salmon or trout fillets.

Anonymous said...

Another one I've been thinking about: add a bit (perhaps only a few tablespoons) of mashed parsnip, for (natural) sweetness. After your son eats it, you may divulge that he just ate a funny vegetable...

Eco Gites of Lenault said...

Creme fraiche - yum!

Rosie x