Sunday, July 19, 2009

We Interrupt This Program For A Homecooked Meal

Even though the weather is beautiful out today, we all were craving some good old homecooked food after spending a week eating at breakfast buffets, fast food places and restaurants.  
It was a toss up between roast beef and roasted turkey breast, and the cow won...or rather, lost, depending on how you look at it, because there were no turkey breasts at the grocery store today.

Darn!  In honor of our recent visit to the Christmas Story House, I SO wanted to say "You stay away from that turkey! It's got an hour to cook...YOU"LL GET WORMS!"

I always do, you know!

Anyway, the roast was roasting, and I have green beans for steaming and hubby wanted mashed potatoes.  And I find mashed potatoes to be utterly boring.  So, I looked around to see what I could do to perk them up a bit and found...

Rosemary, growing like CRAZY on my deck.

Two new fresh bulbs of garlic.

And a fairly large hunk of manchego cheese left over from my daughter's birthday party that I really wanted to find a good use for.  I love the stuff, the family? Not so much!

So I knew that's how I wanted to season my mashed potatoes, and THIS is what I came up with:

2 lbs. potatoes, scrubbed (or peeled - I didn't)
3 cloves garlic
1 large sprig fresh rosemary (a generous 1 tbsp leaves)
4 tbsp. butter (I used Smart Balance Light)
2 to 3 tbsp milk
3/4 cup shredded manchego cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Here are the main ingredients - butter and milk were an afterthought.
Now, are you ready for my stroke of genius?  Well, I'm sure SOMEONE has done this before....

Cut up the potatoes into large 2 to 3" chunks and place into a steamer basket in a large saucepan.  Add the garlic and rosemary sprig, and about 1" water to the bottom of the pan.
Steamer basket!!! Brilliant, eh? I figured I'd infuse the potatoes with rosemary and garlic, and meanwhile create something along the lines of roasted garlic to blend into the potatoes.

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, the reduce heat and continue cooking, covered, for another 12 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.

Transfer potatoes and garlic cloves to a bowl - I thought about throwing the rosemary in there but frankly, it looked disgusting!  I'd suggest garnishing with some fresh rosemary if you like...

Add about 4 tbsp butter (I used this stuff...)
...and a splash of milk.

Mash slightly then add the cheese, salt and pepper.
Mash until desired consistency...
...I even opted to whip a little with my electric mixer.
And this is what you get....

Steaming the fragrant rosemary and garlic was pure genius!  Boiling them would have diluted their flavor, but I can assure you these potatoes were perfectly and subtley rosemary-ed and garlicky.  The Manchego was perfect for this, but I can also see gruyere or cheddar working perfectly!

And as for "A Christmas Story" quotes?

Fear not....I got to use one:


Yup.  Just like the pancakes in this photo, Martha got the roast beef.

Oh well.  At least I still have my potatoes!!!


Chicago Mom said...

What an awesome idea to steam the potatoes with the herbs! You are very clever. Did the family like the potatoes with the cheese?

ChristineM said...

Thanks Chicago Mom! Yes, even my picky husband, who likes things "plain", enjoyed them! The flavors were subtle enough for him, but noticeable enough for me!

Lissaloo said...

lol! That counter is just the right size for dog, or maybe the dog is just the right size for the counter =) The potatoes sound marvelous! And now I have a new cheese to try too! =)

5thsister said...

Oh my goodness! I am sooooo hungry now! And the garlic/rosemary idea? Pure genius!

Mama Goose said...

Wow. I don't know what manchego tastes like (but there's really not a cheese I've met that I didn't like). These look awfully yummy! I have never steamed potatoes either. I'll have to try it!

megan said...

Oh my Martha! I think my boxer Blair taught her that... =)
Megan aks bertscannery