January 20, 2010 § Leave a comment
I’ve been making a lot of mashed things lately. I’m beginning to wonder if I have some unconscious aggression seething inside me that’s coming out in my cooking, or something. After all, there are few things more cathartic than really pounding the heck out of some root vegetables. I learned in a Belgian restaurant that the Flemmish word for mash, apparently, is stoemp, which I really like the sound of. I think it’s a very accurate sound to convey the process of smashing your boiled food to a pulp. Well, until you get out the handheld mixer and decide to whip it up, to make it less stoemped and a little more light airy (the question is, does this then mean the suppressed aggression has reached scary levels?).
Anyways, I’ve been mashing just about every root vegetable known to man, except the classic potato. I made some very lovely mashed sweet potatoes (they were the light orange color I’m currently fancying painting my bathroom!), lightly sweetened with maple syrup but with a dash of salt for contrast. I was at a friend’s for dinner a couple of nights ago where we had cheesy beer waffles for supper (which, by the way may possibly be the absolute best use of a waffle iron EVER! They were amazing. I definitely will find the recipe). But, when we looked, the main other foodstuffs we could turn up was a large rutabaga. So, I iron chefed it with the other things I could find, those being: a lime, cream cheese, butter, cilantro, garlic, onion, and a small green bell pepper. Rutabagas aren’t particularly flavorful, so we figured we could add whatever we wanted to it, as long as the rest of the ingredients went together. I minced the onion and bell pepper and sautéed them. Meanwhile I peeled, chopped, and boiled the rutabaga until it was soft, and drained the water off. Then I smashed together the rutabaga with a couple of Tablespoons of the cream cheese and a plop of butter for creaminess, and the onion and pepper for some extra flavor. Inspired by the quasi-Latin-Americaness of the onions and pepper we also made a sort of chimichurri by mincing a clove of garlic, and a couple Tablespoons of cilantro, mixing these with a tsp. of lime zest, a squeeze of the lime, and finally a drizzle of olive oil to hold it all together. We sprinkled this on top of the mashed rutabaga, and it was actually quite delicious. (It didn’t go with the waffles at all though, oh well, that’s when you pretend you’ve made the food to be eaten in mini courses.) « Read the rest of this entry »