Thursday, October 26, 2006

Different take on mashed potatoes...

We love potatoes and I'm always looking for new ways to serve them. Tonight's side is a groovy take on regular mashed potatoes. Duchess potatoes are rich individual-sized portions that are baked after being mashed. Butter and sour cream are mixed into the soft potatoes to ensure they stay creamy. Once combined, egg yolks are mixed in to help the potatoes hold their shape for the trip in the oven. After chopped fresh chives are added to brighten the flavors, (Jeff made a comment while I was mixing them that it smelled like a just opened bag of sour cream and onion potato chips...) the mixture is placed in a pastry bag and ready to be piped out. Jeff and I prefer leaving the potato skins on, so I used a plain tip to pipe the portions out. If you prefer peeled potatoes, be sure to use a star tip to get a more impressive design. The potatoes are then placed in the oven until they slightly puff up and achieve a golden shell. While they are a little crisp on the outside, the insides stay warm and creamy - a pleasing texture difference. Such a fun way to serve individual portions of mashed taters! If you are so inclined, you can make these ahead of time up to the point of piping them out. Just cover them and set in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.

While tonight's dinner, Southwestern Chicken Chili, was not an outstanding chili recipe, it was certainly comforting and fairly quick to prepare. What made this chili a bit different from ones we have made before is the addition of a strong brewed coffee. I could not taste the actual coffee flavor, but we both felt it added a needed depth of flavor to the chili since it cooks fairly fast. This dish is fairly mild in the spice category, so I would probably add additional heat in some form if I were to make this again. To give the chili a little more body, masa harina dissolved in water, is added in midway through cooking. The ratio of meat, beans and chunky bits of tomato was pretty good as you seemed to get a bite of each in every spoonful.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to make your All American Chili tonight since the weather just turned cold. I'm going to experiment on my friends! I'll let you know how it turns out.