Tuesday, October 8, 2013

MASHERS - Smashed Garlic Mashed Potatoes - Church PotLuck Side Dish

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OK, We are getting down to the meat and potatoes of the BIG BBQ Whoop de Doo we hosted for visiting fellow Blogger, Larry of the Big Dude's Eclectic Ramblings Blog.... Well, actually we already finished the meat, so we are down to the potatoes.

Funny thing about potatoes.  Line up 1 half dozen people and you will get a half dozen ways they should be made.  Some like lumps, some smooth, some want pure white, some like the extra texture of a few peels.  Then there are extras like bacon, garlic and whatever you can think of.

These are my favorite GOTO Potatoes.  They have enough bacon for a bit in every bite.  Plenty of garlic, gently sauteed to take out the raw bite.  I like mine lumpy.  I use red and russet potatoes to get my lumos.  Red potatoes get smooth while it takes extra effort to get russet potatoes smooth. So, a nice mixture of smooth and lumos.

I also have a secret ingredient... APPLES!  Apples sauteed in bacon grease to soften them up.  They get mashed along with the potatoes and the natural sweetness of the apples will add a wonderful extra layer of flavor that your guests will wonder about (AND LOVE!).

So, after years of working on the recipe, here's my favorite Mashers.  Lumpy, texture from some peels, Bacon and secret ingredient (apples), garlic.  These can travel well, just cover, wrap in a blanket and they will arrive warm.  Pop the bowl in a warming oven and they stay warm until ready to serve.  They are great to serve at any big family gathering, a Holiday meal, a neighborhood PotLuck or just because!

All in all, there is plenty in this recipe to please almost everyone... Except the folks that are looking for their Grandmother's potatoes at Thanksgiving.  These are NOT your Grandmother's potatoes!

OK... Here's what I did...

MASHERS - Smashed Garlic Mashed Potatoes


2 pounds Russet Potatoes (rinsed, peeled and cubed 1/2 inch size)
2 pounds Red potatoes (rinsed and cubed 1/2 inch size, do not peel)
1/2 Pound Bacon, Chopped
2 Medium Granny Smith Apples, Cored, peeled and diced
6 cloves Garlic (peeled and smashed)
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
3/4 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 Cup Butter

Fresh Dill and Chives for Garnish

Cooking Instructions
  1. Place all spud hunks in a 4 quart saucepan and add just enough cold water to cover.  Add 1 tsp salt to the pot, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium heat, cook the bacon.
  3. After 2 minutes, Add the Apples and saute until the bacon becomes crispy and the apples are soft, about another 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add the Garlic to the apples and Bacon.  Continue to saute for just another 30 seconds until the garlic is incorporated.  Remove from the heat and drain the grease,
  5. Meanwhile, combine the buttermilk, cream and garlic to a 2 quart saucepan and bring to simmer over low heat.  Watch to make sure the mixture does not boil over.  Stir occasionally.
  6. When the spud water boils, ditch the lid, drop the heat to simmer and cook until the taters are easily crushed with tongs.  Drain the potatoes well.  The less moisture, the better.
  7. Add the Butter and Garlic, Bacon and Apples.
  8. Add the final teaspoon of salt, add 1/4 of the buttermilk mixture and start smashing.
  9. As the spuds break down, add more of the buttermilk mixture.  Remember these are smashed potatoes, not whipped potatoes.  The red potatoes will mash well, the russet potatoes will mash slightly, but also some will remain whole, leaving a nice mixture of creamy potatoes with firm hunks floating.  Mash to your desired results.
  10. Garnish with Dill and Chives and ENJOY


My good Blogging buddy Larry has been RVing around the country and stopped by our little corner of the Universe.  I used the occasion of his visit to throw a Bobby Flay style BBQ Addiction Whoop de Doo with...

Fish, Fowl, Hoof, Larry, Snout and Fish!  

First up, the Fowl, that's a BBQ Turkey, brined and injected with Cajun Butter and Glazed with that Jack Daniel's Whiskey BBQ Sauce.
Second is the Hoof, a 30 Garlic Peppercorn Beef Roast.
Third is Larry hisself!
These Sweet Cherry Baby Back ribs are second from the right 
And last but not least... the Fish is an absolutely amazing Cranberry Walnut sauce Sugar Cured Whole Salmon Filet.

But even Larry does not travel 4,000 miles in a rolling Studio Apartment on Meat alone... Come back all this next week for my side dishes, desserts to go along with all that meat.

I started with a spectacular presentation of a simple Jell-o salad (Dessert???).  Just a little extra effort and I had Stained Glass Jell-O, worthy of any Church PotLuck.

And then I whipped up a quick and easy faux Succotash (no Lima Beans) of corn and tomato relish (salsa, or... well, why not go ahead and call  it a Succotash!) that added bright colors and a unique combination of tastes (and only takes about 10 minutes to make)!

Now we are into the side dishes (and haven;t even started the pies yet)... 8 Dishes and still rolling along.  See you tomorrow!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Ways to Cook Side Dish Recipes"!!!

Sure the meat gets all the glory but real cooks know it's the spread... the specialty Side Dishes that makes a meal rise or fall. Here's a few of my favorite recipes that will help to create that illusive COMPLETE MENU!

LOTS of Potato Sides, Vegetable Sides, Specialty Salads, Bread and MORE!


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


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