Monday, March 16, 2009

Irish Champ (Mashed Potatoes with Herbs)

This recipe is based on a classic Irish dish called champ. It is typically made with onions or scallions, but we've used shallots—and parsley as well. You can create simple variations with parsley or chives alone, or go all out with a combination of sautĂ©ed leeks, caramelized onions, and fresh peas.
Serves 8

2 cups milk
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped shallots
3 pounds yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold
Fine sea salt to taste
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

Bring milk with parsley and shallots to a simmer in a saucepan, then remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 20 minutes.
While milk is standing, cover potatoes with salted cold water by 2 inches in a large pot and simmer, uncovered, until very tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain in a colander and, when just cool enough to handle, peel.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Mash warm potatoes with a potato masher, gradually adding 1 1/2 cups herbed milk. Add remaining milk 1/4 cup at a time, mashing, until potatoes reach desired consistency. Season with sea salt and pepper, then transfer to an ovenproof serving dish.
Heat potatoes, covered, in middle of oven 15 minutes.
Serve potatoes hot, topped with pats of butter.

Happy St Patrick's Day!

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