This is going to be a fun week! I’ve decided to do a “winner winner chicken dinner” week based on the “Welcome Home” dinner I made for my sweetie when he got back from his business trip! What better southern-style, homemade from scratch dinner is there? Not many, that’s for sure! Full of heartwarming, stick to your ribs, wholesome goodness all made from scratch!
So, I’m starting off the week with homemade mashed potatoes! Who doesn’t love mashed potatoes? We LOVE homemade mashed potatoes, but sadly I rarely made them, except on special occasions and holidays, because I hated mashing them. I’m in no way lazy, but when there’s a whole dinner to be made, mashing potatoes until my little arms were about to fall off and never getting them creamy was just not my idea of fun! I’d mash and mash and mash and finally just give up and serve them, uhm, well, a little lumpy. (And sometimes, I admit it, they’d be “chunky lumpy”.) And even “chunky lumpy” would take forever! But now I have the most handy, easy to use tool, a potato ricer, that literally takes less than 5 minutes and they come out perfect every single time! I will never buy processed instant potatoes again. Ever. These are so much healthier and just as easy! And our bodies need carbs. So don’t diss the carbs! Carbohydrates are what our bodies turn into glucose which is the fuel that gives us energy and keeps us going! So don’t go without them! They are very important! We need at least 2 full servings a day, and you can get the “good carbs” from vegetables and such like potatoes, peas, beans, corn, whole grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, oatmeal and rice. Now that doesn’t sound like it’s bad for you, does it!? Our bodies are very complex, and require a complex diet to keep everything going the way it’s supposed to. I think you can really enjoy just about anything you want so long as it’s in moderation. Small portions on small plates on a regular basis, indulge once in awhile, and you’ll never feel like you’re “missing out” and won’t crave what you don’t really want or need! Works for us! You might be thinking, but you put half & half in them?! With only 2 tsp. per serving, it doesn’t amount to much. And of course you can sub milk instead, but I happened to have some left over from the Smoked Oyster Stew I made last week that I needed to finish off. And if you’re making this as a special meal, now’s the time to go ahead and indulge! Because these potatoes are the ones you’ve been dreaming of since you were a kid when everything was made homemade from scratch with love and care! To boot, these potatoes hold well in the fridge for up to a week, too. So you can make them several days in advance if you’d like, then reheat in the microwave, or bake them, covered, in the oven until heated through when serving. And if making a large batch for a crowd, you can add them hot, to a crock pot (sprayed), and hold them on low for 2-3 hours. Any longer than that though, and the edges will start to brown. I kinda like the crunchy edges myself, though. 😉
So don’t be afraid of the mashed potato! They’re easy, healthy, and oh so creamy-dreamy wonderful! Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next dish because next up on the menu is my country-style green beans with bacon, brown sugar, butter, garlic, caramelized onions and a little sweet balsamic vinegar! 😉 Heaven….pure heaven.
- 4 medium-sized russet potatoes, peeled and cut into thirds
- 1 stick butter, cut up
- ⅓ cup milk or cream
- 1 tsp. regular table salt
- ¼ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- Optional Garnish:
- 2 Tbl. butter cut up into small pieces
- dash each coarse ground pepper and smoked sweet paprika
- Peel and cut up potatoes and place into a pot of cool water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn down to a nice steady boil, and cook 20-25 minutes until tender. Insert a knife through a potato chunk. If there's any resistance it's not done. If goes through easily, like butter, they're done.
- Empty potatoes into a colander, remove 1-2 chunks at a time with a fork to pick them up, add to your ricer and press them through into a large bowl. When all the chunks have been riced, add your butter, milk, salt and pepper. Stir just until creamy. Place into a serving bowl or a sprayed casserole dish with lid if holding until later.
- Garnish with small pats of butter, paprika and pepper if desired.
- **For flavored potatoes: Add 4 oz. Philly Chive and Onion Cream Cheese and 1 tsp. finely minced garlic.