Cravings for comfort food come naturally with the colder weather upon us. While filling and flavourful, the list of the regular hearty dishes seems routine.
One night as I stared down my homemade après ski style beef stew, I wondered what I could do to make it different; more exciting and less pedestrian.
Inspiration came from two opened jars of extra hot horseradish. (I like order. There isn't supposed to be a second opened jar of anything in MY fridge.) You say horseradish. I say beef!
The small remnant leftover in jar number two was going into dinner, somehow! I didn't have the heart to toy with the prepared stew so I decided to ‘junk up' the mashed potatoes.
My extra-hot horseradish was going to seep up into each bite of the fluffy forkfuls of tenderly handled spuds.
I rice my potatoes for fancy, but when it's a ‘junk-up', the regular masher will do. I do not like to use a hand-mixer because it is too easy to over work them, bringing out the gluten and making them ‘gooey'.
Wondering what goes into ‘junked up' mashed potatoes? Just about anything that shouts ‘flavour'.
I started with the usual suspects of milk (or cream if you dare), butter, salt and pepper. Then added a good dollop of the horseradish, a SUBSTANTIAL spoonful of caramelized onions and closed with a number of cloves of roasted garlic, which I kept whole.
I could even imagine putting in a wee crumble of blue cheese ... had there been any.
It is extra effort, but most ‘junk up' delights can be prepared ahead of time and are great for events when comfort stew is on the menu like the big Super Bowl party, after skating on the canal, following a day at the hill skiing or boarding or just because…a little comfort goes a long way.