Annie's Chamorro Kitchen: Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Sesame Garlic Green Beans

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Annie's Chamorro Kitchen: Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Sesame Garlic Green Beans

by: Army Lt. Col. Annette Merfalen | .
Annie's Chamorro Kitchen | .
published: May 20, 2015

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes aren’t traditionally found on a Chamorro menu, but there are times when my family craves something other than rice with a meal.

We like mashed potatoes–GARLIC mashed potatoes, that is–with the “classics” like fried or baked chicken, baked turkey, ham steaks, and meatloaf.  If it’s prepared right, you don’t even need gravy.  Oh, I just cringed–me, who LOVES to drown my food in lots and lots of gravy!  Well, my mashed potatoes are delicious with our without gravy.  It’s light, creamy, and garlicky…it’s just plain YUMMY!

I made this with russet potatoes, but it’s also fantastic with red potatoes (leave some of the skin on if you use red potatoes).

Give my mashed potatoes a try.  It’ll go great with your next meal. J

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium russet or baking potatoes
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free half and half
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Wash and peel the potatoes.  Cut into evenly sized pieces.
  2. Place the potatoes into a medium sized pot then cover with cold water.  I also salt the water, about a teaspoon of salt will do.  Bring the water to a boil, keeping the pot uncovered.
  3. When the potatoes are done, turn off the heat and pour out the water.  Keep the potatoes in the pot.  Why dirty another bowl?  Everything gets mixed in the same pot.  Slice the butter into small pieces then add it to the pot of potatoes.  Stir gently; the heat from the pot and potatoes will melt the butter.
  4. Add the garlic powder and cheese to the pot; stir to combine.
  5. Place the half and half in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl.  Heat for about 90 seconds.  Pour the hot liquid into the pot of potatoes.  This may appear to be too much liquid, but trust me…it’s just the right amount.  In case you’re wondering, those green flecks in the photo below are dried parsley (I used garlic powder with dried parsley in it).
  6. Place the half and half in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl.  Heat for about 90 seconds.  Pour the hot liquid into the pot of potatoes.  This may appear to be too much liquid, but trust me…it’s just the right amount. In case you’re wondering, those green flecks in the photo below are dried parsley (I used garlic powder with dried parsley in it). 
  7. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes.  Mash only to the point when you don’t have any large chunks of potatoes anymore.  A few small chunks are okay.  This is IMPORTANT:  DO NOT over mash, and by all means, DO NOT use a hand mixer to mix your potatoes.  Over-mixing or over-mashing potatoes turns the whole thing into a sticky, gummy mess.  If you stop mashing–as I stated above–when there aren’t anymore large chunks, I guarantee you’ll have light, fluffy, tasty mashed potatoes your family will love.
  8. Add salt and pepper, to taste.  Stir (no more mashing), then taste again.  Adjust seasonings if required.

Serve and ENJOY!

Sesame Garlic Green Beans

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • A pot of water (about 5 cups)
  • A large bowl of ice
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds

Directions:

You will need to blanch the green beans first.  Blanching means to put vegetables into a pot of boiling water, let it cook for a few minutes, then remove the vegetables and immediately place them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.

Here’s how it’s done.

In a large pot, bring about 5 cups of water to a rapid boil over high heat. Add enough salt so the water tastes faintly salty. While the water heats, fill a medium sized bowl about three quarters full with ice, then add enough cold water to cover the top of the ice.

When the water is boiling and the ice bath is ready, trim the green beans to the size you need. It’s best to trim them just prior to cooking so they won’t oxidize or dehydrate. Add the beans to the boiling water in batches small enough to ensure that the water doesn’t lose its boil. Boil the beans only until they’re barely cooked through but still tender. To test, remove one piece with a slotted spoon, dip it into the ice bath to cool, and eat it.

As soon as the beans are done, remove them as fast as you can and submerge them in the ice bath. Remove them from the ice bath as soon as they are no longer warm.  Set aside.

  1. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the sesame oil and garlic to the pan.  Cook until the garlic begins to brown slightly.
  3. Add the beans and soy sauce to the pan.  Stir to coat the beans in the sauce; cook for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat.
  4. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, serve, and ENJOY!

Annie's Chamorro Kitchen website

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