Monday, October 19, 2009

roasted garlic mashed potatoes with leeks

As promised, here is the recipe for the mashed potatoes that accompanied the macadamia crusted halibut featured in my last post. The original recipe is from The New California Cook. I adjusted it by reducing the potatoes (original recipe calls for 3 pounds - a bit too much for 2 people!) and adjusting the amounts of some of the other ingredients slightly.

I've never really known what to do with leeks. They show up in the weekly CSA box occasionally and almost always end up being turned into stock (the typical destination for veggies in my house once they've passed their freshness prime). This recipe has given me a new appreciation for them - I cooked them for the long end of the range called for, which meant they had begun to caramelize. The flavor is somehow delicate, sweet, and rich at the same time. I'm going to have to start experimenting more with leeks!

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Leeks
Serves 3-4

olive oil
5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium leek (white and light green parts only), cleaned and finely chopped
6 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3 inch chunks
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. half and half
salt & freshly ground white pepper

Put peeled garlic cloves on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Close foil around garlic to create a sealed package. Place on a cookie sheet and roast in a 425 degree oven for 30 minutes. Set aside.

Melt butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Set aside.

Immerse potatoes in cold water for 5 minutes to remove excess starch. Drain potatoes and put in a large pot. Cover with water, then bring to boiling and allow potatoes to continue to cook for 15 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes and return to pot. Over high heat, dry the potatoes, tossing them occasionally for 1 to 2 minutes, or until all the moisture has evaporated.

Put the potato cubes and garlic through a ricer or mash with a potato masher (I used a masher, as I like my mashed potatoes to have some texture). Add butter and olive oil. Slowly pour in the half and half, stirring until potatoes are creamy but not soupy (I added a little less than called for). Add the leeks and salt and pepper to taste.


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