Irish Champ (Mashed Potatoes With Scallions)
If you’re a fan of mashed potatoes, trust me when I say that the addition of scallions really elevates the mashed potato experience. Visually, the green specks make the lump of pale yellow more appealing. In terms of texture, the random crunch as your teeth smash the scallion bits into smithereens provides a pleasant contrast. In terms of aroma and flavor… What can I say? Plain becomes remarkable.
- First, rinse and scrub the potatoes well to remove any soil that may cling to the skins.
- Boil the uncut potatoes in their skins. Make sure that the potatoes are completely covered with water. Optionally, you may add salt.
- Cook the potatoes until very tender. To test, drive a pointed knife at the thickest part of the largest potato. If the knife goes in without any resistance, the potatoes are done.
- While the potatoes cook, dump the scallions in a small sauce pan, pour in half a cup of milk, and simmer for a minute. Turn off the stove and let the scallions steep in the milk.
- Drain the potatoes and peel at once. Do not wait for the potatoes to cool because you really need to mash them while still very hot. That’s the secret to cottony soft mashed potatoes.
- Then, throw in the butter, salt and pepper. Mash the potatoes. The butter will melt into the potatoes.
- Pour the milk and scallions in a thin stream, lightly stirring as you pour, until you reach the consistency that you prefer. If the mixture is too thick, add the rest of the milk.
- Taste, adjust the seasonings and serve your Irish champ.
Some cooks prefer to peel the potatoes prior to boiling but I find that a lot of the starch is lost that way. So, I peel them after they have been cooked. Most times, I don’t bother to peel them at all. If you’re okay with not peeling them, skip the peeling part. But if you’d rather remove the skins, here’s the trick so as not to burn your fingers. Pick up a potato using a fork. With the fork in one hand, use the other hand to peel off the skins. They will come off easily.
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