Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes
We all have a bucket list of recipes we want to try from magazines, cookbooks, our blogging friends or wherever you find your inspiration. If you're like me you will have an infinite list of recipes in the wings. This week I have tried to put a small dent in "the list" by recreating a few of these dishes that have been waiting patiently for their moment to shine.
If you have been following More Than Burnt Toast you will know that I have been creating personal challenges based on a theme to infuse new life into my cooking adventures. Even every day food should be an adventure either with new ideas, or experimenting with a new cuisine. Every day we should be excited about what we are eating even if it just means making use of a wonderful find in your culinary exploration. With these personally imposed challenges my own culinary skills have been rejuvenated and are back on track and I am once again inspired. With the holidays coming this is the perfect time of year to pump up our kitchens into high gear!
For the past few days I have been sharing with you a menu from beginning to end.. from starters to dessert... from my "bucket list". We started off with an hors d'oeuvres that made our tastebuds sing with citrus notes...Crab Cake Sliders with Lemon Remoulade. Following that was the piece de resistance, a classic Roast Chicken with Thyme Gravy. By chance the recipe chosen for our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club fit right in with my menu with a nutty, almost smoky flavoured Wild Rice Dressing with Roasted Chestnuts and Cranberries.
Next we move on to the sides. We often find potatoes here on MTBT. It seemed a natural progression that you have to have mashed potatoes with gravy. Everybody knows how good mashed potatoes are but if you really want to impress your friends and family try them with browned butter. You won’t believe how much flavour is locked into a stick of butter but you have to believe these are the best-mashed spuds you’ll ever have! This recipe comes from Canadian chef Michael Smith and does not disappoint.
This is followed by a Mock Spinach Souffle from the pages of Thyme for Cooking - The Blog about cooking and her life in France by our very own Katie . I thought it would be the perfect addition with the right amount of colour and flavour to compliment the menu. Now on to the recipes....
Mock Spinach Souffle
**Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes **
Two pounds or so of unpeeled potatoes (about four large)
A stick of salted butter (4 oz/1/2 cup/113 grams)
A few pinches of nutmeg
A sprinkle or two of salt and pepper
Cut the potatoes into large chunks then steam, boil or microwave them until they’re tender. Drain well.
Meanwhile, toss the butter into a small saucepot and heat it until it melts over medium heat. Because butter contains as much as twenty percent water it will then begin to steam and foam. Once the water has evaporated the foam will subside and the butter’s temperature will begin to rise. The milk fat solids that are one or two percent of the butter will then begin to brown. Continue watching as it begins foaming a second time. Swirl it gently, watching the color, until it turns golden brown and releases the aroma of toasting nuts. Immediately pour the browned butter into a bowl to stop it from browning further.
When the potatoes are tender mash in the butter, nutmeg and seasonings. Taste and season a bit more if needed. Then watch the bowl empty!
Note: This recipe is very forgiving. On his show I saw Michael add some milk to the butter to stop the browning process.
**Mock Spinach Souffle**
1 package frozen spinach, 8 - 9 oz, or the equivalent (250 gr)
2 eggs or 2 egg whites
1/2 cup (125 mL)Greek yogurt
1/4 cup (59 mL) grated Parmesan
pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon (5 mL) olive oil
Thaw spinach (use microwave, hot water or saucepan) and squeeze out excess moisture. In medium bowl beat eggs well. Add yogurt, Parmesan and nutmeg. Mix well. Add spinach and mix well. Lightly oil a small baking dish. (I use a 7 inch square glass baking dish) Pour in spinach and bake at 400F (200C) for 30 minutes or until set. Remove and serve directly from baking dish.