Appetite for Life: You say potato …

With a food that is a perfect blank canvas for any flavor profile, why is it so hard to come up with new ways to make potatoes?  We’ve all done them mashed, whipped, fried, baked, scalloped, and julienned.  We’ve made them from a box, from a frozen food bag, and from fresh potatoes.  So, when I decided to enter the Tasteful Selections™ Simply Amazing Flavors Recipe Contest, I really didn’t hold any hope of placing in the contest.  I just wanted to enjoy the experience of developing a new recipe and competing for the first time.  It was something new for me as a foodie and food writer, so I sat down one night to come up with the recipe that follows.
I had previously whipped up a lovely recipe for mashed potatoes that called for shallots and blue cheese, but the recipe for this contest could not have previously been published anywhere else, so that was out.  As I pushed my cart through the store that night, I was just not feeling inspired whatsoever.  That led me to grab random things and toss them in the cart.  (Note: this is how I normally shop, but one would think with such an auspicious task at hand, I would have gone in a little more prepared.)
When I got home, I started grabbing ingredients, not really measuring or taking note of what I did.  It’s very hard for me to make myself take notes while I’m developing a new recipe, because I just don’t cook that way.  I finally relented and jotted down the basics and was really happy with how the potatoes turned out.  Luckily, the judges for the contest did, too, and I took first prize.
Give this recipe a try during the holidays if you’re looking for something new.  Stop by sarafinaskitchen.com and let me know if you liked the recipe or if you’d change something about it.  I love getting feedback from my readers, especially if it helps me become a better cook.

Potatoes Sarafina

potato2

1 ½ lbs. fingerling potatoes
2T butter
2 red bell peppers, diced small
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
6.5 oz. Garlic & Herb Aloutte Cheese
2/3 oz. fresh chives, chopped
2 t seasoned salt
2 t black pepper

  1. Scrub the potatoes and place in a pot with 6 quarts of water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, sauté the bell peppers and garlic in 2 T of butter.
  4. Drain the water and return the potatoes to the pot.
  5. Using a potato masher or fork, start breaking the potatoes apart into smaller pieces.
  6. Add the Aloutte and heavy cream and continue mashing the potatoes.
  7. Gently stir in the chives and add salt and pepper to taste.

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