Sunday, May 19, 2013

Ramp Mashed Potatoes

Topped with fresh ramps
When cooking with ramps the ideas and uses are limitless, yet sometimes you have to get back to the basics. This re-creation of a classic recipe is something I ate growing up and I'm sure many of you have too. Yet I've made a few tasty alterations to include ramps into the recipe, I’m sure it will not disappoint. This is my twist on ramp mash potatoes; they are a great side dish to help introduce people to ramps. This recipe leaves the potatoes with a mild flavoring of ramps throughout the dish without being over powering.

8 to 10 – Red Potatoes
4 to 6 – Small/Medium Whole Ramps (bulbs, stalks, and leaves)
4 to 8 Tablespoons – Butter
½ Cup – Milk 

In a large pot put water on to boil while cutting / quartering up potatoes. Once the potatoes are cut, place them in the boiling water with a pinch or two of salt. Allow for potatoes to boil for 20 to 30 minutes or until they are soft.

While the potatoes are boiling separate the ramp bulbs and stems from the leaves. Once the ramps leaves are separated from the steams, finely mince the steams and bulbs and rough chop the remaining leaves of the ramps. Add one to two tablespoons of butter to a small skillet on medium heat. After the majority of the butter has melted, add the ramps (minced bulbs/stems and rough chopped leaves) and sauté.

By this time the potatoes should be soft enough to begin mashing them. To start this process the potatoes need to be removed from the heat and then drained. Put the drained potatoes back into the/a pot and run a potatoes masher through the potatoes until they are broken into small chucks. At this point add two to four tablespoons of butter and the ½ cup of milk to the mashed potatoes and stir/mix the potatoes. Continue stirring until they reach your preferred consistency. Now add the sautéed ramps and butter used to sauté them to the bowl of mashed potatoes; stir the ramps in until they are mixed thoroughly throughout the potatoes. If you like your mashed potatoes a little on the creamier side you can add a few more splashes of milk and then more butter to flavor. 

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