Southwest Mashed Potatoes

This dish was inspired by a dish I had in New Mexico on my honeymoon. My wife liked it so much I had to reverse engineer the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

4 pounds Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic + 2 more (optional)
3 dried New Mexico chiles
1 dried California chile
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste

METHOD:

Toast the chiles over an open flame. When aromatic, split open and remove seeds and veins. (Work carefully, avoid touching yourself until you have washed, or wear gloves.) Tear up into smallish pieces and put the chiles into a small pan with enough water to cover. Bring to the boil and turn off heat. Allow the chiles to soak until tender.

When chiles are tender, puree in a blender with just enough soaking water to get them moving.

Put cream in a 1 quart pan with the honey, sugar, and optional 2 cloves of peeled garlic. Heat the cream to a slow boil, and then add the butter in pieces. When the mixture returns to the boil reduce heat to a bare simmer and add the chile puree. Taste the mixture for bitterness. If it is very bitter, add a little more honey to the mix to smooth it out.

Start the potatoes in cold water with a tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Add three peeled garlic cloves to the potatoes.

When the potatoes are done, drain them and return them to the pot after wiping down the pot to remove any scum the boiling potatoes left behind. Heat the potatoes to allow any excess moisture to evaporate.

Begin pouring in the cream mixture while mashing/beating the potatoes to incorporate the cream mixture. Don’t overwork the potatoes or they will get starchy. Salt and pepper to taste. If the potatoes seem dry, add some more butter. Serve hot.

Chef Notes:
The potatoes, when done right, will be a dark terra cotta or deep Indian red, and the sweetness should balance the heat from the chiles. If you like it spicy, add more chilis.

YIELD: Serves 4