I have never really appreciated potatoes until a few years ago. When I was growing up, I thought that a potato was a potato. It's that thing from the ground that you add in stews or cook in oil to make french fries. I didn't know that there was a whole world of potatoes waiting to be explored, starting from the various colors, shapes, sizes, and taste. I felt like Will Smith's character J (no pun intended) in MIB when he kicked that door at the last scene of the movie (which turned out to be a locker door leading to a bigger universe).
Over time, I have learned that like humans, some potatoes are good for some dishes, and not so in others. Say for example, red potatoes are high in moisture and low in starch, therefore they are great for stews and casseroles. Russet (or brown potatoes) on the other hand, are high in starch and dry, but turn light and fluffy when cooked - great for baking!
The dish we originally wanted to make was twice-baked potatoes, but since that was too time-consuming (and our tummies were already grumbling then), we decided to just make mashy taters and top it with the loaded potato accoutrement! Delicious and easy - and we didn't have to do all the fussy baked potato stuff!
What you need:
- 3 medium-sized Russet potatoes
- 6 strips of cooked bacon, cut into bits
- 3 stalks of green onion
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 3 tablespoons milk
- sour cream
What to do:
Wash and peel the potatoes, then cut them in wedges. Put a pot of about 4 cups of water in high heat and add a pinch of salt, the wedged potatoes and garlic cloves. When the water is briskly boiling, turn the heat down to low and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the spuds are tender. You can test the tenderness by poking it with a fork. Drain on a colander and return to pot.
Using a mixer, whip the potatoes in medium speed for a minute. Add the butter and milk, then whip again for another minute. Gently fold in the bacon, green onion and shredded cheese, but save about 1/4 of these for toppings.
Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, and top with the topppings that you set aside. Enjoy!
Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:
1. Yukon Gold is the best variety of potatoes to use for mashing, but you can use other types.
2. Adjust according to your preference - add more bacon, cheese, etc.
3. Some people don't peel potatoes for mashing - just make sure you wash them well!
4. Turn it Mexican - have it with a bit of salsa!