The secret smoked mashed potatoes strategy you didn’t know you needed

Food for Grownups
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Consider the lowly mashed potato. The standby and staple on so many American dinner plates, ubiquitous but largely unnoticed and under appreciated, potatoes are the white noise of vegetables, particularly when they are mashed. They are comforting, of course, bringing back memories of childhood and mom’s meatloaf but the truth is, mashed potatoes are really just a vehicle for gravy.

Now, don’t get me wrong, like just about everyone, I enjoy a good mashed potato. Or even a mediocre one. But that is the problem with mashed potatoes, isn’t it?  Unless you load them up with copious amounts of butter, cream, and blood pressure spiking measures of salt, the best mashed potatoes you ever had probably weren’t that much better than the worst mashed potatoes you ever had.

But what if there was a mashed potato recipe so delicious and mouth-watering that it could steal the show at your next dinner party without adding a lot of extra fat and calories?

There is!  And I discovered it in a very unlikely place.

On our recent trip to Hawaii, my husband and I had a lot of wonderful meals, most featuring delectable fresh seafood, exotic fruits, and locally grown vegetables, some of which were entirely new to me. But the one meal that stands out most sharply in my memory featured mashed potatoes. No kidding.  What made these tubers so terrific?

They were smoked.  As in, prepared in a smoker!  And they were ah-mazing!

Why hadn’t I thought of this before?

Cooking the potatoes on the smoker infuses incredible flavor without adding any calories. Plus, this recipe calls for chicken broth and butter-infused olive oil instead of cream and butter, so they’re about as healthy as mashed potatoes can be. Trust me, you won’t miss the cream and butter at all. Not one bit.

We had a perfectly grilled mahi filet resting atop of these beauties but I would imagine it would pair beautifully with any grilled meat. My mouth is watering just thinking about what would happen when I make these with smoked ribs!

Unfortunately for me, my husband actually ordered them and while he graciously let me have a few bites, I could have polished off the entire crock by myself. It left me wanting more. That’s why these potatoes are my new go-to when I need a show-stopping, healthy side dish.

Here’s how to make them.

2 lbs. yukon gold potatoes
1 TBS butter-infused olive oil or extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
Green onions, parsley or chopped rosemary
Sprinkle of Maldon Smoked Sea Salt for garnish

Parboil potatoes with a pinch of salt. Transfer to baking sheet and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Put in smoker at 250F for 1-1½ hours or according to manufacturer instructions. Remove from pan and mash potatoes with a hand mixer or use a potato ricer, which is my preferred method. Ricing the potatoes tends to result in a fluffier texture.

Mix together with butter-infused olive oil and chicken stock. Salt and pepper to taste. Finish with chopped herbs and a sprinkle of smoked sea salt on top for an extra smokey kick.

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