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Ultimate winter mashed potatoes (plus). December 27, 2010

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes, Uncategorized, wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , , ,

Silence Dogood here. Here at Hawk’s Haven, the cottage home our friend Ben and I share in the precise middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania, we’re big fans of mashed potatoes. We love mashed potatoes all year ’round, made with Yukon Gold potatoes, red-skinned new potatoes, or baking potatoes. We love them with lots of butter, Trocomare or RealSalt, lemon pepper, and half-and-half, and maybe even some cream cheese if we’re feeling really decadent. The calorie hit insures that mashed potatoes are a treat at our house rather than a staple, and we never tire of them.

But I was thrilled to find a special recipe that combined potatoes and winter squash in a way I was convinced would be healthy, hearty, and perfect for winter meals. Again, the calorie count is stratospheric—not your nightly potato side dish—but in this recipe, you’re combining the vitamin A and high-fiber content of winter squash with the inherent yumminess of potatoes and the protein of cheese. And the gorgeous color combo of golden Yukon Gold potatoes and orange Butternut squash is ideal for a winter feast.

I discovered the dish originally on the Tennessee Locavore’s blog (http://tnlocavore.typepad.com/). She makes it as a casserole. But I wanted to make it for Christmas dinner, and between my dressing and corn pudding, the oven was pretty much taken. So I simplified the recipe and made it stovetop, in the heavy Dutch oven I use to cook the potatoes. Check out her blog to see her recipe, which I’m sure is luscious. But oh my, the version I made was simply fabulous. Our friend Ben, no slouch when it comes to eating mashed potatoes or praising my recipes, announced that he ranked this in the top five of everything I’ve ever made for him. Check it out:

      Mashed Potatoes and Winter Squash

2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes

1 Butternut squash, peeled and chunked 

9 ounces (one block) Gruyere cheese, grated

3/4 cup shredded Parmesan

4 tablespoons butter

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon Trocomare or salt (we like RealSalt)

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

Boil the potatoes and squash until tender; drain, mash, and stir well to blend. Return to very low heat. Add butter, cheese, eggs, and spices, stirring well to blend. Heat and taste, adjusting seasonings, and serve.

This really is delicious, and pretty easy, too, though peeling and seeding the Butternut squash isn’t much fun. But our local grocery sells pre-peeled and chunked winter squash, so I’ll use that next time. I’m notoriously texture-sensitive, so the slippery-slimy texture of winter squash would normally cause me to pass up any dish containing it, but the potatoes in this dish cover for the squash, so even I thought it was delicious and have joined our friend Ben with delight in the Christmas leftovers. Try it and let me know what you think!

         ‘Til next time,




1. Elephant's Eye - December 28, 2010

I also hate peeling butternut. Make that peeling anything. Then I realised, if you chunk, then boil, THEN peel – it goes much easier.
(Trying for the 12 days of Christmas to follow your daily blog post lead)

Thanks so much for the tip, Diana! And good for you for blogging every day. Can’t wait to come over and see what you’ve been up to!

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