Mashed Purple Potatoes
My husband Lulu and I are spending the holidays with my family and friends in Paris. We just arrived and have enjoyed our first couple of days in the City of Lights, despite the cold weather. The sights are wonderful, but the real treat is the wonderful products and ingredients that France has to offer. We went to an open air market this morning and brought back some Vitelotte potatoes.
You might know them as purple Peruvian fingerling potatoes, négresse or truffe de Chine. They are small-sized waxy potatoes, with a skinny and oblong shape. The flesh is dark-violet blue surrounded with a white rim. The texture is quite flour-y and have a different flavor than regular potatoes. I prepared them by boiling, mashing and then mixing the potatoes with butter, cream and milk. I flavored the mashed potatoes with blue cheese and dill. It was a delicious way to start our Parisian vacation!
Yields: 2 servings1 pound purple Peruvian fingerling potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy cream, warm
½ cup milk, warm, as needed
9 tablespoons salted butter, diced and softened to room temperature
½ teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
2 tablespoons Roquefort blue cheese (optional)
2 sprigs fresh dill (optional), chopped
Boiling the potatoes:
Wash the potatoes and place them whole in a large pot (no need to peel them). Add cold water until the potatoes are barely covered. It's important to start with cold water so the potatoes cook evenly. Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt and reduce the heat to medium-high (if you cook the potatoes at a roaring boil, they might fall apart). As soon as the water reaches a boil, cook for about 15-20 minutes. Test, using a fork; the potatoes should be tender. Remove from the pot. Drain the potatoes thoroughly and let them cool a little (do not rinse). Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle and have dried completely, gently remove the skin using a paring knife. Cut them into thirds.
Warm the milk and the heavy cream, separately, for 30 seconds in the microwave (or a few minutes in a saucepan).
Return the potatoes to the pot over low heat (to ensure there is as little liquid as possible). Turn off the heat. Using a potato ricer, mash the potatoes. Add butter, warm cream, white pepper, 1 tablespoon of blue cheese and 1 teaspoon of dill (if used). Stir well, using a wooden spoon.
This step is optional but I wanted to make smooth, fluffy mashed potatoes. Using a spatula, strain the mashed potatoes through a coarse-meshed sieve.
Add milk until you reach the desired consistency (I used ½ cup of cream). Garnish with a small piece of blue cheese. Finish with a sprig of dill.
Serve warm with gravy on the side.
If you re-heat the mashed potatoes, it's preferable to use a double boiler. For an easy double boiler, place the mashed potatoes in a heat-proof bowl over a larger-sized saucepan filled with simmering water. I always like to add a little kitchen towel underneath the bowl. That way the bowl won't jiggle and there won't be any splatter of water in the mashed potatoes.
With leftover mashed potatoes, you can make a shepherd pie.
A big no-no is to mash the potatoes in a food processor or a blender; the texture will be gooey and sticky and the result won't be good. The best way is to use a food mill, a potato masher or a potato ricer. You can also manually mash the potatoes using food service disposable gloves or the back of a fork. And most important, do NOT over-work the mashed potatoes.
If you're a `tater lover, check out my oven roasted potatoesPublished By: on December 13, 2010.