Caramelized Leek Mashed Potatoes
Recipe: Caramelized Leek Mashed Potatoes
To serve 6
4 leeks cleaned and sliced into quarter-inch slices
1 Tbl. butter
1 Tbl. olive oil
For the potatoes:
Make your favorite mashed potatoes, or follow these directions:
4 russet potatoes peeled and cut into one-inch slices
One-third cup of milk or cream (even sour cream or buttermilk will do too)
Salt to taste
Melt butter and heat olive oil in a fry pan at the same time. Combining the butter and the olive oil keeps the butter flavor in and the "smoking or burning of butter" out. Put in the leeks. Cook leeks on medium until the leeks are just beginning to brown on the edges. Turning the heat up to high and back down to medium during the process (every few minutes) will bring out the natural sweetness in the leeks. Periodically stir them to keep them from sticking. Set aside. (These can be done up to a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.)
Cook the potatoes at a simmer until they are soft but not mushy. (Approx. 15 min.) Drain.
Time to combine:
Mash the potatoes with the liquid and the salt (a ricer, your mixer, a masher, whatever you prefer). Halfway through the process, toss in the leeks. (Be sure they?'e been reheated if you chilled them.) No need for butter. There is enough oil and butter still clinging to the leeks. Mash to your liking. I like to leave them a bit lumpy. Russets make the best "lumpy" mashed potatoes. Sometimes we like them smooth and golden; in that case use Yukon Gold potatoes instead of russets. For a different look and taste, you can even do this recipe with red potatoes and just mash them with a fork and stir in the leeks.
If you need to reheat the potatoes before serving that's fine. Just do it on low heat and expect some of the potato mixture to "stick" to the bottom of the pan as it heats. This is the starch sticking, but some experts say it actually makes the potatoes taste better to get more of the moisture out. To have less sticking, just make sure you stir them often and don't leave them on the heat more than 5 minutes or so.
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