It might surprise you to know that I’m fond of the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Now, to tell you the truth, I’m not the kind of person who really likes fixing things that aren’t food related. A pothole tried to eat my hubcap and it’s just been sitting in my trunk because I can’t be bothered to slap it back on. I’m like, the tire still works? Cool. I’ll let the car dealership handle the hubcap problem when I go in for an oil change. Oh, and ask Colin how long it took me to program the universal remote.
But when it comes to food … I’m always changing things, adding cheese, omitting parsley (because really), tossing in some garlic or bacon or a glug of wine to make a dish my own. But some foods are pretty perfect in their traditional state – like mashed potatoes. Whether you use lots of butter and cream, or sour cream, or cream cheese, traditional mashed potatoes are just tops. But (and isn’t there always a but?) that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experiment.
Mashed potatoes are certainly not broken – but that doesn’t mean you can’t fix ’em up with some caramelized onions and goat cheese, right? Well, I’m telling you now – if doing so is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. I got the inspiration for this from Epicurious, and decided to make some tweaks here and there. Caramelized onions, potatoes and goat cheese are three of my favorite food things, and they go together like ramma-lamma-lamma…oh, whatever, I don’t really like Grease. I do, however, like these. A lot. A whole lot. They’re a nice way to get through this (hopefully) last hump of a never-ending winter.
Mashed potatoes with goat cheese and caramelized onions (inspired by Epicurious)
1 1/2 cups sliced onion
3 tbsp butter, plus 7 oz butter, cut into relatively small chunks
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4-5 small-medium sized potatoes (red, Yukon gold or russets), peeled and cubed
1/3 to 1/2 cup half and half (depending on how creamy you want your potatoes to be)
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add your onions and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sugar and 1 tsp salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden brown, at least 30 minutes.
Put your peeled and cubed potatoes in a stock pot and fill with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring the pot to a boil, add salt, and cook until potatoes are soft and easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain your potatoes, then add your 7 oz butter and half-and-half to them. Using a hand-held mixture, beat until smooth and creamy, then add your goat cheese and continue to beat until blended. Add your caramelized onions and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if you think the dish needs it, and serve.