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My mother is a terrible cook, she knows it, we all know it. My Aunt Kerry, on the other hand, spent years cooking professionally, running her own catering business and honing her skills in the kitchen. For months at a time, Kerry would come and live at our house and we would eat like kings and queens. She was the first person to teach me about cooking, to show me how to choose a perfect avocado, how to make a beurre blanc, how to tend each ingredient with care and attention. This is her mashed potato recipe. It is simple but it is also superior to any mashed potatoes I've met in my life. The trick is a making a flavorful fried shallot oil and mashing that in with three varieties of potatoes, plenty of butter and cream cheese. I mean, come on!?
The quantities of butter, cream cheese and oil are a guide. You can fatten these potatoes up as much you like or keep them a little lighter. The choice is yours!
1/3 lb Yukon gold potatoes
1/3 lb waxy red potatoes
1/3 lb russet potatoes
3 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons
8 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup neutral oil, canola, sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, avocado
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/4 cup freshly chopped chives
Peeling the potatoes is a personal choice. If you are leaving the peels on, make sure to clean them very well.
Quarter the potatoes and place them in a steamer basket, add the crushed garlic in there as well. Steam the potatoes until they are tender and easily punctured with a fork, about 20 minutes.
While your potatoes are cooking, warm the oil over medium high heat until it spits back when flicked with a drop of water. Place your sliced shallots into the oil, stirring regularly until they start to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Use a mesh strainer to remove the shallots and set them on a paper towel lined plate.
Once your potatoes are cooked, add the butter, cream cheese, shallot oil and salt and pepper to your taste, the steamed cloves of garlic will mash easily into the mix and add a lovely flavor. Mash with a potato masher until they are relatively smooth with a few chunks here and there for texture. Top the potatoes with crispy shallots, fresh chives and cracked pepper. Enjoy!
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