It’s been ages since we’ve made these Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes. We started making them years ago after we tried them at a restaurant, but then they sort of dropped off our food radar, along with, surprisingly, any variety of mashed potato. Now, you might think that we’re resurrecting these potatoes for you, dear reader, but, as it turns out, we need them for a dish that we’ll be writing up next week.
Fear not, though, as Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes stand on their own as a great side, better than plain mashed potatoes with almost no extra effort. And, while we’ll use most of these potatoes for something else, we will tell you how you can make a elegant little side/snack with any leftovers.
As stated, we got the idea from a restaurant years ago — and, at this remove, we aren’t even sure which one, or even if it’s still in business; otherwise, we’d give them credit.
We like to use gold potatoes, as they already have a somewhat buttery flavor and they’re good mashers. Red potatoes or any other waxy potato would work just as well. Since we’re using these potatoes in another dish, we needed them peeled. For just a side, we would have mashed them along with the peels, but only because we try to use organic potatoes — potato crops make heavy use of pesticides and fungicides that tend to collect in the peel, and we don’t need that. We aren’t sure if the cheese we use (we buy it at Trader Joe’s) is truly a Gouda cheese, but it does have a nice smoky taste. You could also use a smoked Cheddar cheese to great effect. We used homemade sour cream, basically because we had some on hand; otherwise, we would have used heavy cream or half-and-half. Butter, unsalted, of course, you know best how much salt to add; why have some dairy help?
Procedure in detail:
Peel and cut potatoes. Break out that potato peeler and give the potatoes a good going over. Then roughly chop them into pieces about 1 1/2 inches on a side, so all the pieces will cook at about the same rate. We left a bit of peel on in spots, figuring it wouldn’t be too distracting, but you decide how much peel you’re willing to leave behind. Place the potato pieces into a large saucepan.
Cover with salted water. Cover the potatoes with water and add about a teaspoon of salt to the water.
Simmer. Place the potatoes over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow the potatoes to simmer, covered, until they’re easily pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.
Add dairy and mash. Add the cheese, heavy cream, and butter. Use a potato masher to mash everything together. If you like mashed potatoes with a few lumps, leave a few. If you like smoother mashed potatoes, mash more.
Add milk. As they stand, the potatoes are probably quite stiff. Either stir or mash in milk until your mashed potatoes have the texture you like. If you like them stiff use less (or even no) milk. For us, we used the full half-cup of milk.
Season. Taste the potatoes, and add salt and pepper as needed, stirring it in.
Serve. Mashed potatoes taste best hot, so serve immediately. Or, you can keep them warm, covered, in a 200°F oven, provided your pan is oven-safe.
We used ours to top a shepherd’s pie that we’ll talk about on Monday, but we did have a bit of mashed potatoes left over, so we made a few potato croquettes. Basically, small mounds of potatoes (we piped them onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat) baked in the oven at 375°F until browned, about 20 minutes. These were delicious, and, tasting them, we knew this was a five-star recipe for mashed potatoes. After all, the only additional thing you need to do is grate up a bit of cheese, and using a smoked cheese just seems to be a perfect match to potatoes.