Garlicky Smashed Potatoes

I love potatoes.  I love them any way you can have them.  NO i mean it.  Hash browns, home fries, mashed, baked, fried, salad, any way…  I have about 10 different ways that we make them.  This is my favorite way mashed!  Cause garlic is amazing with potatoes!  They compliment each other well.  Rob doesnt care for mashed potatoes as much as the boys and I do but if he is going to have them, this is the way he wants them!

This recipe came about when I was making salsa one time and had peeled about 4 bulbs of garlic to make my roasted garlic salsa.  I had 20 or so cloves left over and I didnt want them to smell up the fridge so I threw them into the water with the potatoes.  YUMMMMMMMM  yeah those were good!    So now the kiddos ask for them quite often!  They can be a bit time consuming cause of the amount of garlic to peel but they are uber good!   You can also use roasted garlic as well, just throw it up at the end when mashing. 

A note about potato types.  There are russets, white, idaho, red, yukon gold, etc.  I know that different ones have different textures and that makes for a different final product.  To be honest, I am cheap and I buy whatever is on sale.  My favorite to cook with is russets or yukon gold but that being said I never been able to really afford to be picky.  My fave for baking are idaho or russets and for mashed would have be russets or yukon gold.  Here is a great article about types and what is best served for cooking styles.

Ingredients
Some russet/yukon potatoes (I’m feeding three grown men, so I make a 5 lb bag)
2 bulbs of garlic
2 tbsp salt (yes 2 tbsp, its for the boil water, relax)
1/2 cup milk ( I used to use half and half, then started weight watchers haha)
1/2 stick butter (not in picture, I was slacking)
S & P

Cast of Ingredients

First step is the one I hate the most, peeling the garlic.  I hate how my hands get all sticky, but I much prefer the flavor of fresh peeled to the already peeled stuff. 
Then throw them into the pot after you half them.

Peel the potatoes.

Then after you slice/quarter/cube them (which ever works for you… I do thick slices) throw them in the pot with the garlic and cover with hot water.    Add the salt.  ** see disclaimer on salt below…  

Boil until fork tender.

Drain off  but do so over another bowl.   Potato water has many uses but I use it as a thickener in chowders etc.  Just let it boil down at bit more and it concentrates the starches and I put it into soups that have potato in it, like corn or potato chowder. 
You are left with yummy potatoes, with chunks of garlic. YUM

Put in a serving bowl and add the butter.

Then add some pepper and a tiny bit more salt (like 1/2 tsp).

Add the milk.   This isnt an exact amount (well neither is the butter) it depends on how creamy you want them.  I like them a bit more scultpable.. hehe  I usually try to go a bit on the low side.  You can always add more but cant take away.  Making potatoes is like so much else in life.. start off in moderation.  You can cut down on the milk and use some of the potato water as well.  This is good too.

Then beat the hell out of them.  I do like a bit of lump in my potato from time to time but pretty smooth for the most part.

Then serve them up.. trying hard to not eat them by the spoonful as you go.  

These are my favorite with my meatloaf, and a side of peas or corn.  Simple homecooked, comfort food.  These are easy peasy flavorful yumminess.   And now the disclaimer on salt……
**Salt water is what helps you cut down on the amount of salt needed.  When you cook starches (pasta, rice and potatoes) you need the salt to get pulled in while it is cooking.  If you wait and just do salt when finishing, it sits on the starches and you need more to get the same flavor.  SOOOOOOOOO salt the water.  Start off with one tablespoon the first time you do it.  Then you can add more the next time you do them.

Hope you enjoy…

Happy Cooking!!

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Stir Fry Chinese Cabbage

When I was in college I worked in a chinese restaurant as a waitress and delivery girl.  I had never had chinese food before college.  Okay well maybe never isnt the correct word, intensely infrequently would be a better way to put it, like 5-6 times when we would go into the city for school clothes shopping.  HAHA well anyway.  I learned alot about restaurants and chinese food that year.  I learned that most of what Americans call chinese food is not what the Chinese eat when the place is closed for the night.  Those late nights after closing the store, I was introduced to real chinese food. 

Duck tongue soup and chicken foot stew, were not really my favorites.  I would try them but I had a hard time getting past what they were.  So I ate alot of rice, simple soups and chinese cabbage or bok choy stir fried.  Fai, the owner, called me Honey and used to say to the cooks Gui and Jimmy, “Honey staying for dinner tonight, make extra bok choy, its her favorite”  and he always would.  I have never had bok choy or cabbage made as well as how Gui or Jimmy would make it.  This is pretty darn close. 

This is slightly adapted from this recipe on the website of a fellow Nestie Blogger.  I originally went to her site to find her scallion pancake recipe for Rob but I still havent made them yet.. but I saw this and had just bought some chinese cabbage randomly.. fate took a hand!   I am still not sure what had prompted me to buy the cabbage 3 days ago, especially since I didnt post for a recipe request for pancakes until yesterday….  (enter the Twilight Zone theme).

Ingredients
WW points 0 
1 head of bok choy or chinese cabbage
5 cloves of garlic (or to your taste)
S & P
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp corn starch

Cast of Characters

Start off by mincing your garlic.  I did a kind of haphazard mince so there were big pieces and little pieces to vary the flavor.

Throw it in a pot with a spray of oil.  Saute on low for about 5 minutes, you dont want it to burn but do release its fragrance.

Chop up your bok choy or your cabbage (the original recipe called for baby bok choy, not finding it anywhere, boo).

Once the garlic is fragrant, throw half the cabbage in and let that cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes to start to wilt.

Then once that is started to wilt, add the rest and cook for another minute.

Add your salt, and pepper.  Go gentle on the salt since there is a ton in the soy sauce.

Then add the soy sauce. 

Cover and let cook for about 3-4 minutes stirring often.

Sprinkle the corn starch on (forgot to take a pic of that part) and stir to combine and thicken the fluid.  Once it is thick enough, plate it up, or in this case bowl it up and enjoy! 

I am so happy that I found this recipe.  It brought back some great memories.  I am finding more and more fun things as I get more and more into this blogging thing.  I hope that you all are enjoying it as well!

Happy Sauteeing!!