Sunday, August 14, 2011

Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Horseradish flowers
It was never my intention to grow horseradish.  Not that I had anything against it, mind you, it had just never occurred to me to do so, and never once in all of my years of gardening did I ever run across a horseradish plant at the garden center.  One year we just happened to be visiting friends in my husband's native NJ and I was admiring his very large, very lush vegetable garden.  "What plant is this?" I asked him, pointing in the direction of a very healthy, wide-leafed plant.  "Horseradish," he replied, and then went on to sing the praises of the ease of growing, the disease resistance, and the wonderful jars of fresh horseradish they'd get each season as the result of this hardy plant. In fact, he told me, his horseradish had become so popular among his family and friends that people asked to have their names put on a list to get a small jar each year. 

I thought nothing else about it after our visit, so was very surprised when, two days after our return home, the Fed-X man was knocking at the door.  I hadn't ordered anything and neither had Jim, so the contents was a puzzle.  Much to our surprise, inside the package were six horseradish roots along with specific instructions as to how to prepare the soil and plant the roots. 

This was six years ago, and we've had horseradish ever since.  Horseradish, like Jerusalem artichokes, is one of those things that you put into the ground once and reap year after year after year. If you haven't had fresh horseradish, let me tell you it is amazing.  It can also be quite deadly if you don't learn to prepare it properly, i.e. outside, wearing a mask.  The first time I cleaned the roots I did so over the kitchen sink with no mask.  I ended up with the worst headache of my life and had to go to sleep in order to get rid of it, so be forewarned.  This does not, of course, apply to the roots you find in the produce section of your market, they are not out-of-the-ground fresh. 

There are many uses for horseradish, one of which is these delicious mashed potatoes.  My husband will not eat mashed potatoes, considering them too bland, but he does like these.  You can control the level of "zing" by adding more or less to your taste.  Consider this recipe as more of a guideline than something written in stone.  Experiment!

2 lbs. large Russet potatoes, peeled and quartered*
3/4 cup half-and-half (more or less to achieve desired texture)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 T. fresh horseradish (but drained, bottled will do)

Put potatoes in a medium, heavy sauce pan. Cover with cold water, then simmer, uncovered, until fork tender, 25-30 minutes (Test with fork).

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan bring half-and-half, butter, salt, onion powder and pepper just to a simmer, stirring until butter is melted; keep hot, covered.
When potatoes have reached desired doneness, drain in a colander and put back on the hot burner to allow for evaporation of any liquid that remains in the potatoes. You'll see a lot of steam for a minute or two. With hand mixer, smash potatoes and then beat on medium speed, slowly adding the hot mixture.  Stir in horseradish.  Serve.

I like to mound the potatoes in an oven-proof dish and place them under the broiler for a minute or two to brown the top edges and make them puffed and golden. Yum!

*You can use small red potatoes and leave the skins on for a more rustic dish


Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

One of my friends and I were talking about growing horseradish this year. We wondered if it would be too difficult to harvest. Then, we never found a plant; so that thought flew out the window. Now, I think I would love to give it a whirl. I love horseradish with steak and roast beef. Sounds yummy in your potatoes. Thanks!

Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z said...

We love horseradish and those mashed potatoes look devine. What a beautiful photo too. This is my first time to your site and am your newest follower. Hope you will visit my blog and follow back.

The Tablescaper said...

I rearely use horseradish on anything but cold seafood, but it sure would add some zip to mashed potatoes.

Thanks for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

- The Tablescaper

black eyed susans kitchen said...

We have been growing horseradish in our garden for years because, like you said, once you start, there is no stopping it. We freeze ours in jars and give it out to anyone who asks...I like using it in meatloaf and of course bloody mary's.

Jenny @ DIY Newlyweds said...

Mmm, this looks delicious! My Dad grows horseradish, but I never thought to add it to mashed potatoes.

Mary said...

Potatoes are my kryptonite! My husband can take or leave mashed potatoes too, but I bet he'd love the horseradish in these!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a great way to add some zing to ordinary potatoes. I love horseradish but only think of using it in sauces. I'll have to try this!

Danielle@SixTastesChef said...

Yum, I love horseradish! Your potatoes look great. I really like to make horseradish aioli and eat it with a salad with boiled potatoes, green beans, tomatoes and greens. Just thinking about it makes me hungry!