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flavored mashed potatoes

naomi Nov 24, 2004 10:25 PM

I'd like to jazz up the mashed potatoes this year a bit....maybe garlic, or onion....nothing too fancy - my family likes super-simple food - as in, if it was up to them, I wouldnt even use salt and pepper...But it's up to me, so I want flavor. What's your favorite mashed potato variations?

If using garlic - whats the best time to add it? If I want onion, what the best way to do them - caramelized? fried? I'm not big on rosemary. What else can I use?

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  1. c
    Chino Wayne RE: naomi Nov 24, 2004 10:44 PM

    Sour cream and grated Romano cheese are my mashed potato secret.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chino Wayne
      Chuck RE: Chino Wayne Nov 24, 2004 11:28 PM

      Right on the $ - Sour cream, butter, some parm cheese...I also add some horseradish and fresh parsly for color. How bad can that all be?

      Other possibilities include evaporated milk and roasted garlic as previously mentioned. I've also used goat cheese, Boursin cheese and a bit of sage. Never Rosemary...too strong. Great on roasted potatoes though.

      One recipe you might like is to take well baked Idaho potatoes and slice them up break them up in odd sized pieces, leaving the skins on, and then add salt, lots of melted butter, cracked pepper, a bit of crushed red pepper and either fresh or dried sage...not too much sage. Toss the whole thing up good.

      The hard exterior skin on the well done baked potatoes combined with the soft and butter laden flesh of the potato flesh makes for a great texture combo. I have gotten lots of complements on this one. Made it up myself.

    2. m
      Mari RE: naomi Nov 24, 2004 10:51 PM

      I like to add buttermilk for a little tang and chives.

      1. y
        yimster RE: naomi Nov 25, 2004 12:14 AM

        We like to bake large potatoes first, then cut them in half. Then scoop out the potatoes and mash them adding cream/half and half, real bacon bites, chopped green onion, mixed cheese and top with kosher salt. Then we replace the mashed the potatoes in the half shell and rebake under a boiler for ten minutes or so then serve. If you like a like more favor you can top the potatoe with a little cheese and more green onion.

        Not exactly simple mahsed pototoes but is a nice way to kick up a meal.

        In fact we just finish doing fifteen potatoes (30 pieces) for tomorrow night dinner. This can be done ahead of time.

        1. g
          gina RE: naomi Nov 25, 2004 12:36 AM

          A little horseradish is heavenly in mashed potatoes.

          On Al Roker's Thanksgiving special last night, a woman mixed turnips with her mashed potatoes, which I thought might be interesting.

          My sister uses green chile sour cream dip in her potatoes, and they are to die for. But unless you live in New Mexico, it may be hard to find that particular dip. It's also pretty hot, so your family may not be too crazy about it, anyway. You could use a small can of chopped green chile (I've seen Ortega brand outside of the southwest, it's VERY mild) and plain sour cream instead.

          5 Replies
          1. re: gina
            Val RE: gina Nov 25, 2004 06:28 AM

            I agree with the horseradish...you just add some prepared horseradish (maybe a tablespoon or so) into your regular mashed potatoes...really delish!

            1. re: gina
              Chuck RE: gina Nov 25, 2004 12:47 PM

              Hi Gina:

              My wife and I are going to New Mexico and Arizona this coming Spring. I got together some hopefully great restaurants in all the cities we'll be visiting.

              One thing I did not want to ask the SW Hounds is for an explanation of green chili sauce. Didn't want to sound too dumb.

              There's a famous place we'll be going to for their green chili cheeseburgers in Sante Fe and I was just wondering, if you could explain, sort of, what exactly does green chilis taste like? How does that taste with a burger? It looked fantastic on roadfood.com

              We normally do not like Mexican food, but then, I never really had Mexican food...Just the Americanized stuff. The only thing I had that I absolutely loved that was real Mexican was the green tomatillo (?) salsa. That was great.

              1. re: Chuck
                patrick RE: Chuck Nov 25, 2004 06:18 PM


                I am envious...you are going to the home of the country's best green chile.

                Especially in New Mexico, you will see "green chile" and "green chiles" available everywhere, as their own dishes, or on top of anything and everything. Even a lot of fast-food joints offer "green chile" as a topping for, say, a cheeseburger.

                There are two basic meanings/forms to "green chile."

                One meaning is simply a strip of roasted green chile pepper, probably Anaheim or maybe something a little hotter. This is what you can order on your burger or whatever, and it also shows up all over the place -- in omelets, enchiladas, fancy breakfast preparations, soups, etc.

                The other, more delicious meaning of "green chile" is the classic pork/tomatillo/chile stew. This too is ubiquitous, and you can get your burrito smothered in it, or your omelet made with it, to name only two ways it may land on your plate. Of course you can simply order a "bowl of green" to be enjoyed with tortillas and beans and rice, and (it's been a while since I've been in the southwest) I am sure it has been morphed into all sorts of new and fusion-style dishes.

                Two things to keep in mind: one, make sure you know which form of green chile you're getting--so you don't get a burger smothered in stew when you're expecting just a slice of roasted pepper on top (although either would be good!). Two, be aware that green chile (stew) can range from chicken-soup-mild to insanely hot and spicy. Usually the restaurant will advertise their intent clearly, but you can always ask.

                Beyond these two culinary foundations, the words "green" and "chile" show up next to each other for all sorts of reasons. You'll run into green salsas both hot and mild, and other types of sauce made with green chiles or tomatillos or both.


                1. re: Chuck
                  gina RE: Chuck Nov 26, 2004 05:58 PM

                  Don't worry about asking SW hounds about green chile--New Mexicans love talking about it! They will be able to give you the latest update on who has the hottest/best stuff.

                  Also note, Mexican and New Mexican cuisines are considered to be different. A big difference is the type of chile used, since there are certain types native to Mexico and others to New Mexico.

                2. re: gina
                  Emme RE: gina Nov 25, 2004 05:47 PM

                  A dash of horseradish coupled with Gouda cheese is heavenly-er... actually the secret to the Cheesecake Factory's potatoes along with cream and butter.

                3. c
                  Carb Lover RE: naomi Nov 25, 2004 01:27 AM

                  When I make garlic mashed potatoes, I usually boil garlic cloves along w/ the potatoes and then mash it with the potatoes once they are peeled. I usually add about a cup of milk or buttermilk to the cooking water. I'm a garlic lover, so I'll add about one clove/potato. For your family, you might add less. I find that roasted garlic is too caramelized in flavor and will easily overpower a Russet.

                  Other additions: butter; smooth dairy item (cream cheese, sour cream, OR mascarpone cheese; liquid (milk, cream, and/or broth); and either snipped chives or scallions. Of course, lots of salt and some pepper.

                  Tips: don't overwork the potatoes when you add the ingredients, otherwise you'll end up w/ a gluey mash; heat up the dairy and liquid ingredients first so they meld w/ the potatoes more easily.

                  1. r
                    RichK RE: naomi Nov 25, 2004 08:11 AM

                    Roast a head of garlic in the oven then add to the potatoes as you are mashing them. Add milk/half & half and butter!!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: RichK
                      Amy RE: RichK Nov 25, 2004 08:18 AM

                      This is what I have been doing lately. Simmer a carrot, a bay leaf, a piece of onion and a clove of garlic with the milk-butter mixture. Let it steep while the potatos are boiling. Then remove everything from the milk and proceed to mash as usual. The flavor is very good, and no one realizes that the potatos are just enhanced somewhat. This might me the way to go with people who think salt and pepper are spicy!

                      1. re: RichK
                        Chuck RE: RichK Nov 25, 2004 12:49 PM

                        Rich is right on the $$$! Go girl! Don't dispair..you can doctor those spuds up...go to go ...Turkey almost ready. 20lbs!

                      2. f
                        Funwithfood RE: naomi Nov 25, 2004 09:13 AM

                        We like steeped minced fresh herbs in half and half (sage, rosemary, thyme) then add that to the mashed potatoes--fresh, fragrant & delicious. (of course lots of butter too!)

                        1. a
                          Amy RE: naomi Nov 25, 2004 12:20 PM

                          I am totally depressed. I just found out that other that the food the family is bringing, my sister ordered Thanksgiving dinner from her Club including the mashed potatos and gravy.

                          1. c
                            Cynthia RE: naomi Nov 25, 2004 01:49 PM

                            yay! lemon mashed potatoes: a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and the grated zest of the lemon.

                            1. n
                              Naomi RE: naomi Nov 25, 2004 08:59 PM

                              thanks all...I decided to start small - I made some roasted garlic, and then simmered it in the milk, adding the milk and garlic together. The family loved them! I'll hang on to some of the other sugestions for next year, when I'll kick it up another notch! (ugh, did i really just say that?!)

                              1. s
                                Sharuf RE: naomi Nov 26, 2004 10:53 AM

                                Parsnips and potatoes love being together.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Sharuf
                                  Ruth Lafler RE: Sharuf Nov 26, 2004 01:02 PM

                                  My mom used to mash potatoes and carrots together. Not only do the carrots add a lot of natural sweetness to the potatoes, but if you don't mash them completely together it's very pretty with swirls of white and orange.

                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                    underworld gourmet RE: Ruth Lafler Nov 26, 2004 02:25 PM

                                    Larousse Gastronomique lists "potatoes Montrouge" for the mashed potatotes & carrots dish. I puree the carrots thoroughly and mix them in with the potatoes; also add finely chopped, slightly carameilzed onions as well--the whole is quite delicious, I call it potatoes Karyn after MSO.

                                2. j
                                  jeff broder RE: naomi Dec 5, 2004 05:34 PM

                                  Try putting in some Brugger's Jalapeno cream cheese. Depending on the quantity, it won't get too hot, but it will help the texture and it does give the diah some flavor. I suppose you could use other flavored cream cheeses as well, but the jalapeno really does the job

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