If you were around these parts last year, you might have seen my crazy 7 Days of Thanksgiving posts, which featured a smoky sunchoke mash – which, I must add, was and is still an autumn favorite. However, on Thanksgiving, I got a chance to use the grill to actually apply real smoke to some potatoes, and this is what I decided: Mashed Potatoes are Best When Smoked.
Thanksgiving, a time to experiment! – said no one ever.
So here’s a little background on what actually happened. A few hours before Thanksgiving dinner we were scrambling to see who would make mashed potatoes, so naturally, a few people volunteered, including myself. Let’s just say that no smoky mashed potatoes were left after about 30 minutes, unlike the other plain stuff with bacon or chicken stuff that filled up our fridge for weeks. Unmentionables, really.
So, I’m going to make this a very quick how-to in a few sentences because it’s very very simple, and if I finish and post this, I can work on that chestnut pot de creme recipe I’ve been putting off.
How to Make Smoked Mash Potatoes
heavy cream/whole milk (at least 1/2 c. per 4 pound of potatoes)
+ Depending on your personal preferences, have some milk or butter handy. I typically use heavy cream and butter, but you can make this vegan by omitting that and using veggie stock and oil.
+ Prepare a cool grill – the cooler it is, the better for smoking, though you do need enough heat to evaporate the smoking chips. Soak some wood chips in water.
+ Start by scrubbing your potatoes and steaming until they crack open. Then, place wet wood chips into your grill and let it steam the grill. Place potatoes in for no longer than 20 minutes, then remove.
+ Rehydrate the potatoes in their skin with milk/cream and melted butter on low heat in a covered pot. This will allow it to get soft and moist, despite getting smoked. Depending on the heat of your grill, you may need to use stock to lengthen the potatoes’ time on the stove. Everything should be falling apart at the touch of a fork.
+ Then, use a food mill or hand blender to whip up the potatoes. A ricer generally will give you the softest airiest result.