Sep 23, 2009

Mom’s Mashed Cheese Potatoes

Filed under: Sides,Dutch Food,potatoes,Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , — Kay @ 10:58 am


 

Reliving my childhood through mashed cheese potatoes. Eating this brings me right back there. I can see myself sitting at the dinner table: scraped knees, bruises and a messed up ponytail while eating a big plate full of this. I could have come up with a smashing name for the dish, but I didn’t. It’s just one of those really simple and old family recipes. They didn’t come with fancy names back in those days.


This is what my mom used to make for me when I was feeling sick. And after my tonsils were removed at the age of 21, which was seriously no walk in the park. Or whenever I needed a pick me up during all the drama teenage girls go through for years and years and years. And after dramatic breakups with boyfriends. There were lots of those as well!

Have to admit I’m secretly glad I had a little boy. I would have been in a world of trouble having to raise a little girl from the same gene pool as me. My mom would have been the first to wholeheartedly agree with that.

But anyway, I digress…
 
Ingredients:

2 pounds potatoes
2/3 cup of milk
6 oz aged cheese
black pepper
nutmeg
butter
salt


Directions:

I wasn’t lying about the scraped knees and bruises! See! They had to bribe me into wearing a dress. I still remember how my mom thought it cute to dress me and my somewhat older sister alike. We absolutely hated it.

 
On to the recipe.

Here’s a little over 2 pounds potatoes.

 
Peel them, give them a quick wash and cut them in coarse pieces.

 
I usually eyeball the amount of salt I use but I wanted to know for sure this time. Have some actual facts! I’ve used exactly 4 cups of water and 2 tsp salt for this. What can I say? I like over-sharing. And my new bright pink measuring cup.

 
Boil them until really tender. Cooking time depends on how small you’ve cut the taters. Mine took about 20 minutes. Set your timer!

 
Photo one is me showing off my Jamie Oliver pan. Photo 2 is me pouring 2/3 cup of milk in said pan. If you got it, flaunt it, right?

 
This version uses Gouda cheese and I’ve never used a different cheese for this, so if you want to try a different one; you’re on your own! I cubed 6 oz of it.

 

Now here’s where my recipe differs from the majority of recipes that add grated cheese to mashed potatoes. This next step makes a HUGE difference flavor wise. I need the cheese flavor to be everywhere. I wasn’t talking about mashed potatoes with an occasional cheese cube. Nope, I literally meant mashed cheese potatoes.

 
So here’s what I do. Or better said; here’s what my mom and my grandmother used to do and what will make my sisters (who read my blog, too) smile when they see it. I add the cheese cubes to the milk. The moment the potato timer only has 10 minutes left to go, you place the pan on the stove.

Melt the cheese over low heat. The milk does not reach boiling point! The cheese cubes will get all soft, some will melt completely, some of them won’t, but they will all release their fat. The milk will take on the flavor (and color) of the cheese. As soon as you see that yellow layer appear on top of the milk, turn off the heat.

Drain the potatoes. Add a good knob of butter and season with pepper and (freshly grated) nutmeg to taste. Can’t stretch this enough; freshly grated nutmeg makes all the difference. Even confirmed nutmeg haters have been converted when they tasted freshly grated nutmeg!

 
Pour the cheesy milk in with the potatoes.

 
Start mashing to your heart’s content. If you want a homogenized version, break out your hand-mixer. I never do, though, it’s not part of my childhood memory.

 
My version still has some texture with a half melted cheese cube here and there. Check the seasoning.

The scraped knees, broken hearts, tonsils and my mom are long gone. What stays are the wonderful memories. Too many to mention.

 
What’s that one special dish that makes you relive your childhood days?


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    45 Comments »

    1. 1

      Good Morning everyone! Hope all are glad that Fall has arrived. In sunny Florida it is still in the mid 90’s at noon…so if you have a chance to channel a cool breeze from the North lands…we are READY! Kay I read this with great delight as my Mother as well, RIP , would do the same thing when I was ill and made the most wonderful comfort foods. This I will definitely try as I come from a long line of tater farmers and truly appreciate them. My mom used to can a great deal of veggies and one that was a family fave was cranberry beans. Do not confuse them with cranberry’s as they truly are a legume. They are like a mix between a kidney and pinto bean. My mom would take the beans and cook them with a small amount of sauteed onions in bacon grease and then adding whole milk and a dab of (nob) of butter. We would then spoon this over slices of her freshly baked bread that had also been smeared with butter. I know it sounds very odd…but now as an adult I realize that thru the lean times that they never shared with us kids this was a healthy, inexpensive meal to prepare. I know that you can find a spin on the ingredients . Thanks to All moms….you really don’t know how great they are until they are no longer there. Have a great day and a plate of beans on bread! Its Fall after all.

      Alvin on Sep 23, 2009 @ 1:24 pm Reply
    2. 2

      This looks and sounds great!

      Liz Brooks on Sep 23, 2009 @ 2:07 pm Reply
    3. 3

      @Alvin:

      Thanks for sharing that. It put a smile on my face.

      Kay on Sep 23, 2009 @ 2:12 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Looks great. Why did I never think of melting the cheese first? So brilliant.

      Erin on Sep 23, 2009 @ 2:39 pm Reply
    5. 5

      “The scraped knees, broken hearts, tonsils and my mom are long gone. What stays are the wonderful memories. Too many to mention.” That brought tears to my eyes!

      These potatoes look amazing! I’ll have to try these the next time my babies need a little comfort food.

      Karly on Sep 23, 2009 @ 3:11 pm Reply
    6. 6

      I think I’d like the potatoes with the gouda cheese & the nutmeg. We mostly have potatoes with cheddar cheese & they’re usually stuffed into pierogies. I never used gouda cheese before in recipes, but I’m definitely going to try these. My dad used to make a melted cheese that we would spread on toast. Usually, he would make this or bacon gravy whenever he would pick me up from Sunday school and my mom was at the 11:00 church service. The melted cheese was simply about a 1/2 lb of longhorn style colby cheese that he would cut into small pieces and slowly melt in a cast iron skillet. As soon as the cheese was melted he would vigorously beat an egg into the cheese with a fork so that the egg would incorporate into the cheese. He would cook this for just a few minutes until the egg slightly thickened the cheese. We would eat this on toast sprinkled with ground black pepper. I make that & the bacon gravy & my dad’s fried peppers, and my husband loves it all. But you know Kay, it’s still not the same as if my dad was here and making it. I agree with Alvin…just in my case it’s my dad who’s gone.

      Andilynn on Sep 23, 2009 @ 3:19 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Those potatoes look great. It is also a great idea for kids. I am going to try them this evening to make our own wonderful memories.
      By the way, I have a similar memory too. Whenever we got sick, my mom cooked chicken broth soup and whenever we came home with an unhappy face, my mom cooked animal-shaped cookies. Love from Turkey…

      umur on Sep 23, 2009 @ 3:21 pm Reply
    8. 8

      @Andilynn:

      It sounds really tasty actually! Comfort food. I want to try it!

      My dad died as well, when I was 5, so I don’t have such memories of him either. Being nobody’s child anymore is probably why I love documenting these memories so much. My blog is, aisde from a public food blog, also my legacy to my son.

      Kay on Sep 23, 2009 @ 3:25 pm Reply
    9. 9

      Our “comfort foods” are so much more than just food, aren’t they? They so full of memories of the ones who prepared them and who shared them with us. I have wonderful memories of comforting dishes that my mother, grandmothers and aunts prepared when I was a child. And, I’m very fortunate to still have my mother and grandmother around so that we can still share those dishes and their memories. The one recipe that always stands out is my mother’s Macaroni and Tomatoes. I don’t think she has made it in many years, but it was basically bacon, onion and tomatoes cooked together, then mixed with cooked elbow macaroni. In my childhood memories it represents love, comfort, warmth, safety and security.

      This post was a beautiful tribute to your mother. I know you miss her.

      Lana on Sep 23, 2009 @ 3:29 pm Reply
    10. 10

      Mmmmmmmmm! your version sounds way more delicious than mine!!! I am on my way to the store shortly… so I will be picking up some Gouda!!!!!! yummilicious!

      ps… my version uses that hunk of plastic cheese someone recently sent you…. and most people are in LOVE with that.. so I can hardly wait to try yours!!

      karen Cucpake on Sep 23, 2009 @ 4:24 pm Reply
    11. 11

      Mashed potatoes was my favorite when I was a child too.
      But I didnt know the name! I always asked and mom didnt got what I mean!
      So sad!

      Fernanda on Sep 23, 2009 @ 4:40 pm Reply
    12. 12

      Awww…sweet story, and glad to see you were a tomboy too! It was a lovely ode to your mom. Comfort food to me is APPLE PIE – or any cake straight out of the oven. But for something my mom made, it would probably be her spaghetti with lots of gooey cheese and spicy meat.

      Ann on Sep 23, 2009 @ 7:05 pm Reply
    13. 13

      Spaghetti and meatballs. I used to LOVE walking in from school to the aroma of meatballs and sauce.

      Hoofer on Sep 23, 2009 @ 8:26 pm Reply
    14. 14

      You must have missed your mom, I can tell. Thank you for sharing her version of mashed potatoes with us.

      My favorite mom’s dish would be her beef (shredded), potatoes and rice porridge (Chinese style) cooked with slices of ginger, chopped Chinese celery, and topped with the fragrant oil of fried garlic and shallots. She would cook this for me and my brothers when we got sick. She would put extra cubed potatoes for me, because I like potatoes.

      You mentioned that you had your tonsils removed when you were 21. I had mine removed last year, the pain was intolerable, but I was prescribed narcotics to help ease the pain. They said, people who no longer have their tonsils, can’t yodel. Can you yodel? :-)

      Ita on Sep 24, 2009 @ 1:43 am Reply
    15. 15

      While my mum is a fantastic cook, one dish I remember vividly is the pommes frites that my mum used to make for us. I remember it so well because it is fried so deeply and turns out so oily that it makes me giddy after popping a few hot fries into my mouth! I love my mum nonetheless. I can’t imagine any day without her.

      Mrs Ergül on Sep 24, 2009 @ 7:12 am Reply
    16. 16

      Sounds like a great comfort food. Mine was my mother’s salmon sandwiches and hot chocolate. What all of us wanted when the weather was cold and damp. Another thing was tomato soup and grilled cheese.

      Lindie on Sep 24, 2009 @ 3:16 pm Reply
    17. 17

      This was moving really…I love your writing, pictures and certainly this recipe too…I ‘ll do it soon, maybe a rainy day so I will get an even stronger sense of “comfort”. Thank you for sharing your memories!

      Rossella on Sep 24, 2009 @ 4:45 pm Reply
    18. 18

      Mashed potatoes with Gouda?? Oh oh oh does that ever sound like the greatest comfort food ever!!

      Kath on Sep 24, 2009 @ 11:48 pm Reply
    19. 19

      Hmmm..probably her roasted chicken with masked potatoes and beans. She is such a great cook. The thing that amazed me is she did not use many herbs but the flavours she managed to impart in to the dinners with just salt and peper and butter and a bit of parsley…amazing!
      Another was her Corned beef and Cabbage with parsley sauce and potatoes….she still makes this for me when I get home to visit…going in October..YUM!
      I am definately going to make these potatoes…I just made a Mac’n’cheese that used aged gouda and it was wonderful!
      here is my post about it, a local well known chef had it in a magazine…
      http://stampingandscrappin.typepad.com/photoaday_2009/2009/09/14-sept-2009-things-i-never-had-when-i-grew-up-in-ireland.html

      Sue on Sep 25, 2009 @ 8:47 am Reply
    20. 20

      Talk about the perfect comfort food, these sound absolutely delicious!

      Kerstin on Sep 25, 2009 @ 6:24 pm Reply
    21. 21

      Geweldig sissie
      Had nooit gedacht dat je opgelet had toen ma het maakte
      Ik zat daar van de week nog aan te denken!
      Ik was daar verslaafd aan,is echt heerlijk
      Je bent GEWELDIG!!!

      xxxxxxxxxx ce

      Celia on Sep 25, 2009 @ 6:53 pm Reply
    22. 22

      Creamy and cheesy mashed potatoes are a perfect comfort food!

      Kevin on Sep 26, 2009 @ 8:19 pm Reply
    23. 23

      So simple and delicious!!!!

      Parita on Sep 27, 2009 @ 2:52 pm Reply
    24. 24

      Hi Kay. YUM I love cheesy mashed potatoes! I grate my cheese into my boiled potatoes and let it melt with the butter before I mash. I might have to try your version though! MMMmmmm!
      I don’t have a food that takes me back to childhood. Does over well done fillet steak count? LOL (ick) I used to get up on a Sunday morning and make myself brownies as a kid, so brownies might do it :) My Mum’s comfort food that started being made in my early–mid teens was her spaghetti & meatballs, and that way just MADE of win. It’s “birthday” food, to be honest :) I’d love my Mum to be here in the next week or two and make them for me!

      LizzieBee on Sep 27, 2009 @ 3:15 pm Reply
    25. 25

      Great website. Great recipes, very well written and the pictures of the whole cooking process is just brilliant.
      Keep doing this great job.

      Green Smoothie on Sep 27, 2009 @ 10:10 pm Reply

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