Blog Categories
Search Blog
Subscribe to our blog

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

« Spring Salad | Main | Shortbread – the Best Cookie in the World »

Mashed Taters and Leek Lessons

By Lori Powell
For One or Two Bites, a blog for singles and couples

Mashed potatoes are one of my favorite indulgences and when mixed with the sweetness of caramelized leeks, what could be better?

Ramps, known as wild leeks, are everywhere at this time of the year and they certainly can be used in place of the leeks. But I would reduce the amount by one-third, because the ramp, while a cousin of the leek, is from the boisterous, assertive side of the family.

Leeks are much more timid and sweeter and they are native to Mediterranean countries where they have been enjoyed for thousands of years.

Whenever I see slender leeks (more tender than the bigger, grown-up ones) with crisp, bright-green tops, they somehow always end up in my market basket. You see, leeks are extremely versatile. You can roast, poach, sauté, stir-fry or add to soups, stews, risotto, roasts, stuffing and mashed potatoes, as in the recipe below.

Don’t throw away the inedible, green leafy tops as they can be used to infuse flavor to stocks and soups as part of a bouquet garni. Or blanch them and wrap them around a pork tenderloin or fish to add a hit of flavor, as well as to protect the meat or fish from drying out on the grill.

The most important thing to do with leeks is to wash them thoroughly because they tend to be riddled with dirt that gets trapped between the leek’s many layers.

To wash, trim off the dark green parts (save for another use) and trim the root ends, then slice or chop the white and pale green parts. Add to a bowl of cold water and swish them around. Let stand a couple of minutes to allow the dirt to settle and then scoop out the chopped bits that have floated to the top, discarding the sandy water in the bowl.

To wash leeks that are not chopped but halved lengthwise, simply rinse under cold running water while separating the layers with your fingers to allow the dirt to rinse out.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Caramelized Leek Mashed Potatoes
Serves 1 or 2

1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sliced, cleaned leeks
1/4 to 1/3 cup milk
1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon or whole grain mustard
Salt and pepper

  1. Peel and cut potatoes into wedges. Add to a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer back to saucepan.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, heat butter in a small skillet over moderate heat; add leeks and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl along with the cooked and drained potatoes, and mash with ¼ cup milk and mustard until almost smooth, adding additional milk if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir-ins and variations:
  • Cooked, crumbled bacon
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • Prepared horseradish
  • Cooked peas
  • Fresh chopped herbs, such as dill, chives or tarragon
  • Replace the milk with buttermilk, cream or sour cream

Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Our bloggers blog Monday through Friday to give you cooking inspiration. Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Follow us on Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Related posts:
  1. Chickpea Lessons in a Taxicab
  2. Irish Potato Leek Soup
  3. Sandwich Dinners to the Rescue
  4. Cooking with Kids
  5. Shaved Raw Beet Salad

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Easy 30 minute recipes for weekday cooking - Blog - Mashed Taters and Leek Lessons

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>