On The Side - Mashed Potatoes & Spinach

Sam's Mashed Potatoes

5 lbs. red  potatoes
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 qt. heavy cream
1 tbsp. kosher salt

1. Wash potatoes and place them in a large pot of cold water with half of the salt.
2. Bring the potatoes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender (about 45 minutes). While the potatoes are cooking, warm the cream in a saucepan. Remove from heat and reserve.
3. Strain the potatoes and place them in a mixing bowl.
4. Mash potatoes with a large potato masher to a chunky consistency.
5. Mix in half of the hot heavy cream and all of the butter.
6. Season with salt to taste. The potatoes should be creamy. Add the remaining heavy cream and more salt if desired.

yields approximately 10 servings

Sautéed Spinach

¼ cup garlic oil*
1 lb. baby spinach, washed
1 cup caramelized garlic*
¼ tsp. kosher salt

1. Place a large sauté pan over medium high heat.
2. Add the garlic oil, spinach and caramelized garlic to the pan, paying attention not to overcrowd the pan. If necessary, work in small batches.
3. Turn the ingredients and add salt. Continue to turn the ingredients until the spinach is well wilted (1 ½-2 minutes).
4. Squeeze the spinach to remove moisture and place in a serving platter. Spinach should be bright green, and there should not be any excessive liquid in the base of the serving dish.

yields approximately 10 servings

*Carmelized Garlic & Garlic Oil Recipe

20 garlic cloves
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup water
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 bunch fresh thyme

1. Remove the brown ends from the garlic cloves, and combine the cleaned garlic, oil, water, salt and thyme in a small saucepan over low heat.
2. Gently simmer the garlic (there should be occasional “bubbles” rising through the oil/water, but not so many that it is a steady stream) for 45 minutes.
3. Slightly increase the heat and simmer garlic until it is a light golden brown (approximately 10 minutes).
4. Strain the garlic and refrigerate the oil and garlic separately5. Once cool, slice the garlic cloves in half.

This recipe makes more oil than necessary for the spinach. The extra oil can be used to make a vinaigrette, aioli, or to cook other vegetables. It can be kept refrigerated and covered for a week.