When cooking for guests, I tend to try new recipes. I know this is risky, but I guess I love the hunt of the new recipe and having guests over is a perfect excuse to go on a hunt. This recipe was made for this Sunday's lunch with guests, and was adapted from the cookbook Simple to Spectacular by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman. This is the same cookbook from which I adapted the Raspberry Sorbet with Thai Chili and Lemon. These potatoes are another winning recipe from the book and my favorite part of Sunday's lunch. The mustard in the dish gives the potatoes a lovely tang and the crunchy shallots make a nice contrast of textures against the smooth mashed potatoes. I was also able to time this recipe to be finished with the other dishes by keeping the boiled mashed potatoes in their boiling water on the stove for 20 minutes while the other dishes were cooking. When the other dishes were finished, it was quick work to drain the potatoes and mash them. That way, everything was hot and finished at the same time. The fried shallots may make this dish a bit heavy for warmer weather, but if you are looking for an upscale potato dish for Easter next week, this is your dish.
Mashed Potatoes with Mustard and Crunchy Shallots adapted extensively from Simple to Spectacular
4 oz. shallots, peeled
6 Russet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. milk
4 Tbls. unsalted butter
2 Tbls. Dijon mustard
1. Heat the oil over medium high heat in a skillet.
2. While your oil is warming, slice your shallots using a thin setting on a mandoline or in a food processor using the smallest slicing disk
3. When the oil is heated, add the shallots to the oil, stirring constantly until browned. Do not leave them as they will burn quickly. When browned well, remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel. This step can be done several hours beforehand.
4. In the meantime, place the potatoes in a big pot and cover with water. Salt the water and potatoes generously. Bring the water to a boil and boil the potatoes until soft, around 20 minutes. If you are not ready to assemble the potatoes, you may leave the potatoes in the warm water (off of the heat) for up to 20 minutes.
5. Drain the potatoes and place them back into the pot. Add the milk and butter and mash. Add the mustard and mix well. Adjust the salt and pepper.
6. Place the mashed potatoes in a serving bowl and top with the crunchy shallots.