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Wasabi-Chive Mashed Potatoes

Potent wasabi paste elevates plain mashed potatoes to something really special—just a couple of teaspoons adds a lot of fire. Oniony fresh chives lend another boost of flavor as well as vibrant green color. Rich cream and silky butter help all the ingredients shine.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large russet potatoes, about 3 1/2 lb. total weight, peeled and cut into quarters
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 to 3 tsp. wasabi paste or powder
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives

Directions:

Place the potatoes in a saucepan. Add a generous pinch of salt and enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a sharp knife but not falling apart, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the butter, cream and milk, stirring to melt the butter. Add 2 tsp. of the wasabi paste and a pinch each of salt and pepper and stir well. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding the additional 1 tsp. wasabi paste if you prefer a bolder, spicier flavor.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pan. Place the pan over medium heat and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to eliminate any remaining moisture. Transfer the potatoes to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and mix on low speed just to break them up. Gradually increase the speed to medium and continue to mix. When the potatoes are almost smooth, turn off the mixer and add half of the warm milk mixture. Mix on medium speed to blend, adding more of the milk mixture as needed to achieve a creamy consistency.

Stir the chives into the potatoes, then taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Vegetables, by Jodi Liano (Oxmoor House, 2008).