Mustardy Mashed Potatoes
Spell check says that ‘mustardy’ isn’t a word, but I think it is. Our kitchen is bare after not being in NY for a month. I had planned to do a good grocery shop yesterday, but being on a bicycle in a snowstorm with heavy groceries didn’t sound like the best of ideas.
Jeff kindly went on foot to fetch some groceries and he came back with 2 potatoes and 2 pork chops and some asparagus. Great, but I don’t even have an onion or head of garlic or fresh herbs or… well, you get the picture. However, after living in the mountains where substitution and creativity is a way of life: no rolling pin around so use wine bottle; a batch of bok choy made Italian style with onion, garlic and guanciale which turned out surprisingly good. And for the record I do not leave home without a hunk of guanciale (cured pork jowl).
So I’m holding the 2 spuds in my hand when it occurs to me that silky, mustardy mash potatoes might be pretty good. I like potatoes and mustard together. Warm crunchy roasted potatoes on top of a green salad are divine. A plate of boiled, chunked potatoes finished with a spoonful of whole grain mustard is irresistible. (Cut the potatoes up into bite sized chunks, use Yukon golds if you can find them, cook in just enough salted water to cover the potatoes and boil until they are good and mushy and there is virtually no water left. Finish with either a few tablespoons of olive oil or butter and a good size dollop of grain mustard. Serve with roasted or grilled meat).
Why not mustard mashed potatoes? Using the same method as above (namely a smaller pot and less water than you might normally use) boil the peeled and cut up potatoes until they are soft, which should be about 15 minutes. Whisk together with a small pat of butter, a glug of milk and a good tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Wow. It gives the potatoes a little bit of kick and substance and worked great with a seared pork chop.
For every experiment that works, there are others I’m not so sure of. Like roasted asparagus with blue cheese. The two flavors are so strong and I’m not sure they play nicely together. But when our cat sitting friends leave us a piece a blue cheese in the fridge and that’s all you have, you give it a try. Jeff loved it, me not so much. Anyone else a fan of asparagus and blue cheese? And while I’m on the subject how come asparagus got so cheap in NY in February?? Just another one of the mysteries of life in NYC.
I do love the roasted asparagus, but the blue cheese, not so much. Asparagus is just coming into season, at least from Mexico and southern California – the batch I bought last week cost me all of $1.99, and was delicious…but I did just roast it with some olive oil, salt and pepper.