As your resident drama queen, I find it pertinent to tell you that these are the best mashed potatoes ever.
I know. Ugh. How annoying is THAT?!
You don’t have to agree. Different strokes for different folks. And since I’m deep in the throes of brownbutteraholicism, my own thoughts may be skewed.
But here’s the deal. This whole browning butter thing? It allows you to use LESS. Yes. Less butter. Not that I have any idea why on Earth you’d want to use less, or why you should use less, but the clothes hanging in my (and your!) closet will agree: this can be good.
Kind of cruel. But good.
I’ve only told you this about a bazilion times over the last few weeks, but brown butter is where it’s at. It deepens the flavor of dishes like something I’ve never had before, and I can easily compare it to adding a bit of bacon grease for flavoring or dissolving anchovies in your parmesan garlic sauce before tossing in a cup of penne.
Which, uh… can I just tell you that last night I did that very thing? I made some pasta with a lot of anchovies and didn’t tell anyone until after they ate it. That.was.awesome.
Even if they did want to pie me in the face. Like sixty times.
Then… then I made a bunch of these cute mini double chocolate donuts with tons of equally as cute rainbow sprinkles and glanced at Mr. How Sweet claiming “look what I made!” as I watched him shove the plate to the side (!)… then I whined and complained that I couldn’t believe that he wasn’t going to eat any so I strategically placed the plate in front of his face while we putzed about and yes… nearly 20 minutes later the entire plate of donuts was gone, as was not only a can of diet Coke but also a diet Mountain Dew. And then I threw another tantrum because he ate alllllll the donuts without saving me any.
Oh… uh, see this little beater?
Yeah. It’s partner decided to fly off the handle one day (um… literally) last week and nearly take my eye out. So now I’m mixing certain things with one beater attached to my hand mixer. It makes me batty.
So really… brown butter is just… that something something that makes other somethings amazing. It’s like the cinnamon crust on a holiday almond, the chunky belted wrapped around the waist of a cute dress, the extra glitter in your MAC Dazzleglass, the tight t-shirt missing from Gerard Butler’s body and the pretzel m&m’s hiding in that bowl of trail mix. None of those things are truly necessary to make each fabulous, but that leeeetle extra tweak makes the end result extra delicious. You know it’s true.
I guess the whole moral of this story is that if you go three more seconds without brown butter in your life, I’m really going to have to reevaluate our relationship? And I just don’t feel like doing any extra work this Monday.
Yield: serves 4-6, with generous helpings + leftovers
Total Time: 45 minutes
3 pounds of (yukon gold or russet) potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup of milk (whole will taste best, but 2% tastes great too!)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Peel and chop potatoes, then add to a large pot. Fill with cold water – stopping just as the water reaches about an inch about the potatoes. Heat over high heat and let come to a boil, then cook for 25-30 minutes, or until fork tender.
When potatoes have about 5 minutes left, add butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisking continuously, cook until little brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan, then remove immediately from heat.
Drain potatoes, then add back to the pot, turning the heat to low. Mash with a potato masher to break up the chunks, then add in butter, milk and salt. Mash some more, or use a hand mixer to whip potatoes until creamy. At this point, taste and see if you desire any more flavoring (salt, pepper, additional brown butter, etc).
Garnish with fresh sage and serve.
I guess I’m also a sageaholic. Oh well. At least my addictions can be fried.