Thursday, December 20, 2012
Mashed Potatoes with Kale
With the holidays coming up, I seem to always turn to foods which are comforting. Who am I kidding?! I love comfort food any day of the year, I love creamy food, I love dishes with cheese, butter, and anything decadent. It's not just because the holidays are coming up; this is me. I almost had you fooled for a second, didn't I? ;-)
But seriously, I love Christmastime because I think you can do some really great things with your holiday menu. It's the time of year when people like to indulge in great foods and desserts. Why not? When I saw a recipe for mashed potatoes with kale, I couldn't stop thinking about them. Not only will they be perfect with dinner on Christmas, but what's the harm in trying out the recipe BEFORE Christmas? And by before Christmas, what I really mean is last night for dinner. I planned my whole dinner menu around these potatoes. Yes, I was thinking about them THAT much! (I actually sent a few text messages to my friends yesterday telling them about this potato recipe. No, I'm not kidding. You know who you are!!) :-D
I slightly altered this recipe from one by Giada DeLaurentiis. Whether or not you really love kale, or kinda like it, this side dish will have you texting YOUR friends in the middle of the day!
What you will need:
- a few large Russet or baking potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled, plus 1 extra clove minced for the kale
- 1 package of frozen kale, thawed
- 1 small onion, minced
- 3/4 cup fat free chicken broth, divided (organic, if you can find it)
- 4 Tbsp butter, room temperature (and more if you're feeling saucy that day) ;-)
- 4oz. (half a stick) of Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
Chop your potatoes into roughly 1 inch cubes. No need to be precise because you're mashing them up anyway. Put all of your potatoes in a pot with enough cold water to cover them. It's very important to cook potatoes in cold water because if you wait for it to boil and then add the potatoes, the outside cooks faster than the inside. That's not going to get you creamy mashed potatoes. To the water, add some salt and your crushed garlic cloves. The garlic goes right into the water and you will discard them later. Allow the spuds to boil for 20 minutes. You'll have no problem mashing after that.
While your potatoes boil, prepare your kale. In a small pan, add your minced onion, a swirl of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Sautee for a few minutes until they're translucent. Add your one minced garlic clove and cook for about 30 seconds. To the pan, add your kale and sautee until the kale is covered with the onions and olive oil and heated all the way through. Add about a half cup of chicken broth to the kale and continue cooking. The kale will start to absorb the flavors of the broth. You're really trying to flavor the veggie as much as possible at this point. I used frozen kale because it is what I had in my freezer. I cook all the time with fresh kale, and it's delicious, but will take you a few minutes longer to cook it down. If you're in a hurry, go frozen. Same nutrients, freshness, and everything else that comes from the fresh version.
Drain your potatoes in a collander, and throw out your garlic pieces. Transfer your potatoes to a bowl and mash with a potato masher. Here's when you can throw everything together and mix, mix, mix! Add the cream cheese, butter, 1/4 cup of broth, Parmesan cheese, kale mixture, and salt and pepper. Mix everything together, and make sure to work the softened cream cheese into those potatoes. It should completely melt into the warm and creamy dish. I always taste my food for seasoning at this point. You can add more or less salt and pepper. (Or add more cheese. Or cream cheese. Who's watching??) ;-) Serve these while they're hot and delicious.
Note: They're even better the next day!! The garlic and onion really sets into the potatoes and they are really, really flavorful. If they seem too thick for you, when you reheat you can add a dash more of broth and some more cheese if you need to. I thought it was fine with a little more broth and some salt. Perfect! Perfect! Perfect!