Friday, 13 May 2016

Mashed Potatoes with Spinach & Spring Onion Greens

This one came out of an old cook book, Cookery for English Households, by a French lady, where it was rather grandly called Pommes de terre à la Hambourgeoise. As ever, I did not quite follow the instructions. I did not put them in the oven, and I omitted the nutmeg in favour of some lovely shallot greens from the garden, although any greens from any oniony thing will be fine. Wild leeks, if you could get 'em would be superb.  And yes, this is a 3-pot vegetable dish. No apologies; all you need to serve with it is a nice piece of protein; fish, chicken, lamb... almost anything, really. Hamburger? Yes, that would be good!

And now, on a completely different topic: what's gotten into the mice this spring? Mum had a few (?) hanging out in her cupboard for a while. I spotted one yesterday morning in the living room. I was on the way out to plant onions, so I mentioned it to Mr. Ferdzy, but then we got to planting onions and forgot about it. After lunch he went to lie down for a nap, and I was sitting at the computer when I felt something on my foot. The flies were driving my crazy when we were planting, so I supposed some had gotten in. I shook my foot a bit, but when the feeling didn't go away I looked down. The bloody mouse was sitting on my foot. I've always seen myself as the strong, silent type, but apparently I can scream like I mean it. It woke Mr Ferdzy up and he came pounding upstairs. Traps now set. But why are they moving in now; when they should be out enjoying the lovely spr - oh, well, yeah.

Anyway; potatoes, spinach, onions, butter - what's not to like? This should serve more than 4 but I can't think that it usually will. 

4 to 6 servings
45 minutes prep time

Mashed Potatoes with Spinach & Spring Onion Greens

1 kg (2 pounds) potatoes
8 cups lightly packed spinach greens
4 green onions, or the equivalent onion greens
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup buttermilk, sour cream, or thinned yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Wash and trim, or even peel, the potatoes. Cut them into chunks and put them in a pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil until tender; about 15 to 20 minutes. I find the spinach slow enough to clean and prepare that I get a good head start on it before I turn the pot on though.

Meanwhile, wash the spinach thoroughly and pick it over, discarding any bad bits or tough stems. Steam it until cooked, about 5 minutes. If you have a steamer that fits over the potatoes you can do it there.

Rinse it in cool water and wring out as much moisture from it as you can. Chop it finely, or if you want it really fine run it through the food processor.

Wash the onion greens and mince them finely. Heat the butter in a small skillet and cook the onion pieces in it until softened. If you are puréeing the spinach, cut the onions in larger pieces and add them, with the melted butter, to the food processor with the spinach. Otherwise just mix them in with the spinach.

When the potatoes are tender, drain them and return them to the pot. Keep them over medium heat as you mix in the spinach, onions and butter, the buttermilk or other similar product, and the salt and pepper. Mash thoroughly together, mixing well.

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