Tuesday, January 05, 2016

it's after 1AM...

I took a nap from 9PM Monday evening until about an hour ago. Once I woke up, restless, I decided to embark upon my great culinary experiment: making mashed potatoes out of the remaining potatoes from my latest batch of choucroute alsacienne. You'll recall that making choucroute involves boiling potatoes with various meats, spices, and a whole lotta beer. Because I had so many leftover potatoes from my most recent batch, I thought, Why waste?—and decided to mash them up with heavy cream and butter. Instead of regular bacon this time around, I threw in a handful of the pre-crumbled bacon that you can find at Costco.

Some preliminary mashing has already been done. I'm currently heating the potatoes up in preparation for mashing them again. I expect the flavors to be either exquisitely interesting—given all that the potatoes had gone through before the mashing—or frighteningly awful, given that I'm not sure how well heavy cream and beer will pair up. I suspect that bacon will be the bridge, the gustatory saving grace that allows all the flavors to blend and harmonize. We'll see.

I also need to get a new, stronger potato masher. The one I have is a tiny, wussy little thing that's barely worthy of scraping out a dog's anus.

More news as it happens.

UPDATE: Here's the result, visually speaking:

I wouldn't blame you if you looked at the above and thought, Oatmeal.

These potatoes might more likely be classified as smashed, not mashed. Smashed potatoes, a variant of mashed potatoes, are normally made by keeping the skins of the potatoes on, boiling the tubers, then mashing them only enough to make them chunky. Quite a few people pan-fry their taters for that extra bit of crispiness and flavor, but I took mine back in the mashed direction by adding cream and butter. I did, however, halve and then boil the potatoes in the choucroute with their skins on, so there's a bit of smash there.

In terms of taste, well... the results weren't disastrous, but they were also a wee bit strange. As I suspected might be true, beery potatoes don't mix that well with cream and butter. It's not a disgusting combination or anything, but the flavors don't marry as harmoniously as I'd have liked them to. Something feels missing, and I think that that something is green onions.

Since I now have a bag of Korean-style panko in my pantry, I could thicken the potatoes up, add green onions as an extra aromatic, and make dainty little panko-fried croquettes out of the mush. And speaking of mush—I could also add some bits of oyster mushroom to the mix, for texture. And right about now, I'm wishing I had some Gruyère.


1 comment:

Bratfink said...

The idea of beer in mashed (or even smashed) potatoes doesn't do a thing for me. But they don't look as bad as I thought they would. I'd try them.