Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Lightened Up Mashed Potatoes

What is better alongside your protein of choice than soft, velvety mashed potatoes?

Nothing you say? Nothing is correct. Mashed potatoes are an epitome of comfort food no matter where you come from. Everyone has that one family mashed potato recipe that is indulgent, delicious, and ta-die-for.

Usually it is loads of butter, cream cheese, milk, sour cream, and other delicious yet not-so-figure-friendly add-ins that make mashed potatoes irresistible. And I don't think we need to cut these out entirely. But today, I am bringing you mashed potatoes with a few tweaks that will make that second helping feel totally acceptable.

This recipe for Lightened Up Mashed Potatoes took a few trials and errors before I found something I was totally happy with. I have tried the whole "mashed cauliflower with greek yogurt" thing only to be left with something that really just tasted like barf to me (sorry to be graphic). So using this trend as inspiration, I met my super healthy friends halfway.

The key to making these lightened up mashed potatoes feel like their naughty mashed potato brothers is to not cut the potatoes and fat elements out entirely. I start with two medium potatoes, then make up the rest of the potatoes using an entire head of fresh cauliflower. I substitute low-fat cream cheese for the full fat variety and loosen everything up with 2% (or even skim) milk. I cannot completely eliminate the richness that butter provides, but I drastically reduce the amount that goes in while also using unsalted butter so that I can control the salt content.

Also, let's talk technique. Because cauliflower can be a little more grainy than a starchy potato, I found the best consistency resulted from using my immersion blender to puree everything together (rather than using a potato masher). I also cook the potatoes and cauliflower, then allow them to cool slightly so some of the steam and moisture can escape. While these steps may seem frivolous, I think you will agree after you make your first batch of these potatoes that they are well worth it for the perfect, creamy mashed potato.

Give this base recipe a try, then jazz it up however you please! I am thinking maybe a roasted garlic and chive variety would be a total hit.

General disclaimer -- it is SO HARD to photograph mashed potatoes in an appealing way. But seriously THESE ARE DELICIOUS! Sorry for yelling...

Here's what you need for Lightened Up Mashed Potatoes* (Print Recipe!)

2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 head fresh cauliflower, stems removed and cut into 1-inch florettes
4 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese
2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 to 6 tablespoons low-fat or skim milk, depending on how "loose" you want the potatoes
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Here's what you do

Place the cubed potatoes and cauliflower in a large pot. Fill the pot with water so that it is just barely covering all the vegetables. Season lightly with salt. Bring to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a collander, then use a fork to just barely start to mash the potato and cauliflower. Allow to sit for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Return the potatoes and cauliflower to the pot and turn the burner onto very low heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until it is smooth and no lumps remain. Note: if you do this without letting the potatoes steam out for a bit, your mixture will be VERY gummy.

Add the cream cheese, butter, and milk to the potatoes and stir gently using a wooden spoon until everything has melted and blended together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

*Gas Stove Girl Original Recipe

No comments:

Post a Comment