When I was a child and we went to Grandma’s house for dinner, I knew without a doubt that big bowls of fluffy white mashed potatoes would be passed around the table. It followed immediately after the meat platter and before the gravy boat! I loved mashed potatoes as a child and I love them just as much as a grandma! Today, our grandson, Gabe, was at our home and there was not a question in my mind as to what I would prepare for dinner. When our three boys were still at home, I kid you not, however many mashed potatoes I prepared, there were never any left. They could hardly even enjoy their first helping because they were frantic their brothers might finish off the remaining potatoes before they got their seconds or thirds… So, it is by habit that when I prepare mashed potatoes, I make PLENTY. (any left-over’s are perfect to add to my homemade bread)
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Peel and cut potatoes into 2” pieces. I had a mixture of Yukon Gold and Russet, although I believe red potatoes make the best mashed potatoes. If you aren’t going to cook them right away, cover with cold water. Sprinkle with 1 t. salt and enough water to come about half-way up the potatoes. Bring to boil, reduce heat and continue cooking covered until potatoes are fork tender. (about 20 minutes)
I had cooked a chicken earlier and deboned the meat.
Last week I gave instructions on making a béchamel sauce. I am using the same technique today to make the creamed chicken. Add 3 T. butter to non-stick skillet and 3 T. flour. Stir together over medium heat.
Add 1 1/2 c. chicken stock. I order this wonderful concentrated stock online. It makes the most fantastic and homemade tasting stocks, glazes or gravies. I have used the roasted chicken stock as well as turkey and vegetable. www.morethangourmet.com
Mixture will have lumps of flour/butter at first, but bring it to a boil as you continue to whisk it and soon it will be smooth and thickened.
Add 2 c. boned and cooked chicken pieces. Bring to boil, reduce heat and stir frequently. This can be served within a few minutes, or you can keep it warm on the stove until needed.
I was pretty sure Gabe liked butternut squash, so I prepared it my favorite way…roasted in orange juice. Peel and dice squash.
Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and 1/4c. orange juice. Roast in pan in oven at 375 for 30 minutes. Stir and toss halfway through.
Heat 1 c. milk with 2 T. butter for the potatoes.
Drain potatoes. Save any potato water for bread making or to add to soups.
Before adding any milk or butter, whip potatoes with electric mixer, until there are no lumps. (do not overmix or you will end up with gluey potatoes)
Add hot milk and butter and mix until just blended. Potatoes will thicken as they set, so make them a bit wetter than you think.
If my meal does not have any green in it, I will chop up some chives or parsley to add some color! I purposely did not add any to Gabe’s plate because if I remember right, most little boys aren’t fond of little green things! I pulled out some Pumpkin Muffins from my freezer and served them also.
I soon found out I was wrong about him liking the butternut squash…so Grandma found an applesauce in the cupboard to substitute! That’s a glimpse of Grandma’s love!
6-8 medium potatoes
1 t. salt
2-4 T. butter
1/2-1 c. hot milk
Peel and cut up potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and enough water to about half way up the potatoes in the sauce pan. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and continue cooking until potatoes are tender. (about 20 minutes) Drain, saving potato water for future use. Whip potatoes using electric mixer until they are lump free. Do not over mix. Add hot milk and butter and mix until well blended. Keep in mind that potatoes will thicken as they set.