Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Creamy Mashed Potatoes & Rajma Salad

I had no idea that the kids would love mashed potatoes.... The few times I have tasted mashed potatoes myself (in the past), I wasn't really impressed -  it tasted quite bland so I had no desire to make it at home myself.

However, for a school potluck, I had signed up to bring in mashed potatoes and my search took me to Alton Brown's recipe... I liked the idea of a garlicky, creamy mashed potato and like all of his recipes,  it didn't disappoint- in fact it was quite a hit. I have made it many times now and the kids can't seem to get enough of it - even my daughter who is not a big potato fan relishes it like it's some creamy chocolate mousse or some such delicious dessert... with her eyes closed and with a long "mmmmm...." sound for every spoonful. In contrast, my son is the kind who is keen on gobbling down food as fast as he can and if he likes something the gobbling rate just increases... :)  My husband who only likes spicy food also enjoys this and me, well I wish I didn't like it as much as I do... considering how it's not exactly diet friendly :)

Here,  I've served the mashed potatoes with a crunchy kidney bean salad and it made for a satisfying and easy dinner that the family enjoyed.



Potatoes (preferably Russet) - 3 to 4 big ones
Garlic - 3 to 4 cloves, sliced
Milk - 3/4 cup
Heavy Cream - 1/4 cup (replace with milk for a lighter version)
Cream cheese (low fat) - 1 oz, softened (this is my addition and is esp. useful if you are not adding heavy cream)
Dried Rosemary - 1/4 tsp (optional), I add this because i like the combination.
Parmesan cheese - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste (about half tsp to a tsp)

1) Rinse, peel and dice potatoes into big cubes. Add to a pan and cover with water & add salt. Let this come to a boil and allow to cook until potatoes are very tender (test with a fork) - must be at a fall apart stage.

2) Meanwhile, in a small pan on medium low, combine sliced garlic, dried rosemary, cream and milk and allow to simmer for about 4-5 minutes. Cover and let rest until potatoes are done.

3) Once potatoes are at a fall apart stage, drain them completely and mash them with a potato masher till nice and smooth. If the potatoes are well cooked, this should be a breeze. Now add in the cream cheese and the garlicky milk-cream mixture and mash together. It will seem soupy and watery but fret not, it will thicken to the right consistency as it cools down a bit.

4) Stir in parmesan cheese and serve while still hot or warm....

For the Salad, toss together canned and rinsed kidney beans (cooked Rajma) with chopped peppers, cucumbers, carrots, de-seeded tomatoes, chopped kale or spinach. For the dressing, combine a tbsp of olive oil with some lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss with the veggies.