Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Healthier Mashed Potatoes with Herb-Shallot Butter

Tonight's Mashed Potatoes with Herb-Shallot Butter were a bit healthier than my usual version, but just as delicious. Mashed potatoes are one of the few recipes that grace our table year-round – the end of comfort food season does not mean that they are going away. I make really excellent mashed potatoes – just ask my children or my dad. I prefer Yukon gold potatoes, and as much salt, butter and milk as it takes to get the right texture. I planned our meals for the week over the weekend, and the menu for tonight included Smothered Pork Chops with Mushrooms and Onions, mashed potatoes, and sautéed green beans. And then I went to the doctor today about my injured pinky finger and was informed that my blood pressure was on the low end of being high. I have my annual check-up in about 6 weeks and I'm  worried about hearing that I need cholesterol meds. Ugh. I’m not interested in adding two pills to my allergy cocktail, so I set a goal to get those numbers down over the next six weeks. That means fewer calories and less salt and saturated fat. But the menu was planned and the pork chops were thawing so I spent a little time this afternoon looking for a healthier mashed potato recipe.  I  found this recipe at Cooking Light. My slightly adapted version is as follows:

Mashed Potatoes with Herb-Shallot Butter


Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons diced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced chives
  • 6 1/2 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk plus 2 tablespoons (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Directions:
  1. Melt the  butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. 
  2. Add the parsley, thyme and chives. Stir until the butter is well-blended.  Cover and chill.
  3. Place the potatoes and garlic in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium lose and simmer the potatoes for 25 minutes or until very tender.  
  4. Drain the potatoe,s then return them to pan. Add the milk, sour cream, salt, pepper and  butter mixture.  
  5. Beat at medium speed using a hand mixer until smooth.
  6.  Add the remaining two tablespoons of milk to the potatoes but do not stir it in.  Cover the saucepan, but leave is slightly cracked so that some of the steam can escape..
  7. Keep the potatoes warm on the lowest heat possible.  When ready to serve, stir in the steamed milk.
I like to steam the potatoes on the stove  because it makes the texture lighter and creamier. It also makes the timing for the various dishes less of an issue.  A sprinkling of kosher salt once they were plated was perfect. I was afraid that the kids might be resistant to change but they loved them, especially with the mushroom gravy. And B happily ate the mushrooms – a first for him and a triumph for me!

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