Sunday, April 8, 2012

Manchego Mashed Potatoes

Right before Thanksgiving, our local grocery store (Harps) had a cheese tasting event. I didn't really realize that; I just stopped in with child 2 for some groceries. It was pure luck on my side. I LOVE cheese. And while all of the cheese treats were tasty, one stood out.

Machego Mashed Potatoes.

I do like mashed potatoes. I really do.

But these potatoes. I loved.


The cheese of course.

I was ready to go home and make a pot of them (since I only seemed to be allowed to have one sample). Child 2 was ready to join me too. She loved them too.

I got the recipe and checked out the cheese.


Then I saw the price.

And the dream was over.

Manchego is apparently a special cheese.

I am not overly frugal; I am terrible at cutting out coupons, and I do buy brand names mainly because there are some things I just prefer brand names for.

At the same time, I just cannot splurge. I mean, I am feeding a family of 6, including one very hungry teenager. I cannot use our whole paycheck for food. That is one of the reasons I plan out menus. It keeps us from buying food that will go to waste (and waist) as well as from eating out frequently.

My biggest splurge in the cheese department is Parmesan wedges to grate/shred on demand (usually my own demand). And even then, I do NOT get the high end Parmesan.

This cheese costs about 3 times what I pay for Parmesan.


Fast forward to this week.

I asked my parents if they would like to come over for Easter dinner (which is a twist since we usually go there :).

I had already decided we would have ham, the traditional meal. Sidenote on ham: One of my friends explained that one of the reasons we eat ham on Easter is because with Jesus' death and resurrection, we were freed from the law which banned ham as an unclean food. I don't know if that is true, but it sounds neat.

I thought Easter might be the perfect time to splurge.

I will admit, I almost walked away when I looked at the price again.

But in the end, the memories won out.

I bought the cheese.

And we had the potatoes tonight.

They were just as wonderful as I remembered.

This will not be in the regular line up for us due to the cost of the cheese. I just cannot justify spending that money.

But for very special occasions...well, if we can, we just might.

I do think I will use this basic recipe and substitute Parmesan on occasion. It isn't a fancy recipe but I REALLY liked the texture. And honestly Parmesan and Manchego have a similar taste, though I daresay that I like Manchego more.

I am not totally positive who to attribute this recipe to...I guess Harps? The main adjustments I made were reducing the amount of ingredients to what I could find.

3 pounds baby red potatoes (or baby Yukon gold potatoes)

4 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces (I used Blue Bonnet light)

1/2 cup milk or cream (I used milk...did add a little more)

5 to 6 oz Manchego cheese, shredded

salt and pepper to taste

Wash the potatoes (I just have to...I can't use dirty potatoes). I chose not to peel them; peels in mashed potatoes don't bother me. The recipe said to halve the potatoes, but I actually quartered them

Place potatoes in a large pan, filling with water just above the potatoes. I went ahead and added some salt at this point (just in the water).

Bring to a boil.

I didn't cover to bring to a boil but if you do, uncover once the water starts boiling.

Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 12-15 minutes.

Drain potatoes.

Return potatoes to the still warm pan.

Add milk, butter, cheese, and pepper (which I actually forgot this time around) to pan.

Mash potatoes until smooth.

Enjoy. Each and every bite.

And don't think about the cost. :)


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