Creamy Leek Mashed Potatoes

Holy mackerel! Where did the time go? Next week is already Thanksgiving. Then comes the day which should just be referred to as “America’s Day of Greed” (aka Black Friday), or as I like to call it, “Food Coma Day.”

I can’t even believe Thanksgiving is here. My in-laws are already asking me what I plan on bringing to dinner. Honestly, I haven’t a clue. It is hard to focus on Thanksgiving because the older I get, the harder it is for me to resist just skipping Thanksgiving totally and blasting my top three Christmas albums (Mariah Carey, Michael Buble, and She & Him) while I make all things peppermint! Sounds enticing right? I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!

But, alas, we still have to get through Thanksgiving. Please help me stay focused on the holiday in front of us. My friend, Stephie, did an amazing dessert round up in case you are blanking in that category. The easiest things to bring are side dishes. I am partial to my Mom’s mashed potatoes because you make them the night before, and then just pop them in the oven before your guests come over. Since I am a carb lover to the core, I went with a different take on mashed potatoes for you if you are like me and get bored with the same stuff at every holiday dinner.

These mashed potatoes are creamy, have a slight bite from some leeks and a bit of horseradish, and have cheese in them! The best of all food groups in one dish.

Creamy Leek Mashed Potatoes
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Author:
Serves: 4 – 6

Ingredients
  • 5 Russet Potatoes
  • 1 Leek (white part only), chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, grated
  • ⅓ Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk or Whole Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Prepared Horseradish
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Pepper
  • ½ Cup Finely Grated Pecorino-Romano Cheese

Instructions
  1. Clean the outside of the potatoes under cool running water to remove any dirt or grit. Cut the potatoes into fourths. Drop the potatoes into a bowl filled with ice water.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drain potatoes and add to the boiling water. Boil for 20 to 25 minutes until fork tender.
  3. While the potatoes boil, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a medium skillet. Heat oil over medium heat for about a minute or so. Halve leek and run under cold running water to remove grit. Slice the whites of leek into ¼ inch wide slices. Add the slices of the leek to the hot pan. Sauté leeks for 7 to 10 minutes until tender. Add the grated garlic, stir, and cook for another minute.
  4. When the potatoes are fork tender, drain and then return to pot. Add the leeks, remaining olive oil, and buttermilk/whole milk. Mash potato mixture until it reaches the desired consistency. Add the horseradish, cheese, salt, and pepper—stir to combine. Add more olive oil or milk as needed. The longer you keep them warming, the more liquid they will absorb.
  5. Serve potatoes right away topped with more grated cheese.

Recipe adapted from the Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook.

Tomorrow, I will have an easy no cook side dish that will have even the non-Brussels sprout lovers (like me) going back for seconds!

Grilled Dijon-Horseradish Pork Chops

This past weekend in the Sarcastic Cooking household had a very somber note to it. It was the official last weekend of my husband’s summer vacation, which also means summer mentality is over for me too.
Womp, womp.
We had planned to go to the zoo or maybe a new brewery in the city to cap the summer off on Friday. However, life had other plans. In between waiting for deliveries and hemming and hawing over driving into the city during rush hour, we kind of lost our ambition to do anything.
I am sure you all have had those days where you make big plans and nothing seems to go right, so you just give up. Isn’t there a saying about mice and men and best laid plans going astray? English major friends, help me out!
Anyway, before we just plain old gave up, put on sweats, started another season of Dexter, and ordered a pizza, we both threw the same idea out there. We just went to our favorite local beer garden—nice and shady with huge blowing fans to keep you cool, even on the hottest of days.
We enjoyed each other’s company and conversation over probably the last Summer Shandy’s we will drink this summer. We watched a little of the Olympics, then headed home. Not the excitement level we were looking for, but still a great night.
Saturday, we attended a friend’s wedding. Weddings are always a fun time and are always a staple of our summers. This one was even more fun because we got to spend time with a few of our dear friends who live kind of far away.  It’s nice to spend time with people that we don’t have the luxury of seeing all the time.
You all know how sometimes after a wedding and staying the night in a hotel you wake up the next morning and even a Gatorade and a cool shower won’t revive you? Well, we didn’t want that to affect our last day of summer vacation, so we were a bit worried. Luckily, we woke and felt great.
Not gonna lie, though.  A little fruit punch Gatorade never hurt anybody!
Sunday ended up being the perfect antithesis of summer all wrapped up in one day. We drank some lemonade and fired up the grill. Mike grilled my favorite Dijon-Horseradish Pork Chops. I made an heirloom tomato salad with fresh tomatoes from my parents’ garden. We sat outside and enjoyed a nice night going over all the highlights from our summer.
We stayed up so late Sunday night just talking. I guess it is that little kid mentality: “If I don’t go to bed, Monday won’t come.” Sadly, it did, and unfortunately, both of us were dragging our butts this morning.
We may have not got to do everything we wanted on our last weekend of summer, but it will still be remembered as all I wanted from that last sweet sip of my summer!
Ingredients (Serves 2 – 4)
4, Boneless Trimmed Pork Loin Chops
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1 Tablespoon Prepared Horseradish
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Pepper
Combine the Dijon, horseradish, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Give the marinade a quick whisk to combine and then transfer the marinade to a large gallon size plastic storage bag or dish in which you want to marinade the pork chops in.
Make sure each pork chop is coated in a bit of marinade. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to marinate.
When you are ready to eat, turn the grill to medium/high heat. Let the pork chops sit at room temperature while you allow the grill to heat up for a few minutes.
Place each pork chop on the hot oiled grill. Grill on each side for approximately six minutes. In between each flip, try and brush on a little more of the marinade.
Serve these chops right away with a nice summer salad or vegetable option. Pork chops will last wrapped in foil or in an air tight container for four days under refrigeration.
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