Mashed Potatoes, Dressed-Up

Break your fast with this filling make-ahead dish, dressed up with garlic and leek.

Online Jewish Week Columnist
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I never like to break my fast on meat or chicken, but I still like something comforting and filling after a whole day without food. Potatoes - particularly mashed potatoes - are the ultimate comfort food, and this version, dressed up with caramelized leeks and a hint of garlic, are a perfect choice. Make sure to cook the leeks low and slow over gentle heat, so they caramelize instead of just browning. Only add the garlic in the last couple minutes since it burns quickly and only needs a quick time to cook.

Most people make mashed potatoes with cream or milk, but I prefer to use stock - it adds deep flavor without tons of calories, and then a tablespoon or two of milk adds some creaminess. If you want to make this before the fast and reheat once it's over, it microwaves very well, but you can also put it in a covered casserole dish and reheat in a low oven, stirring once or twice to ensure even heating.

Amy Spiro is a journalist and writer based in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the Jerusalem Culinary Institute's baking and pastry track, a regular writer for The Jerusalem Post and blogs at bakingandmistaking.com. She also holds a BA in Journalism and Politics from NYU.

Ingredients: 
2 large or 3 medium leeks
2-3 tablespoons oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 large potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1-2 tablespoons milk or soy milk
salt and pepper to taste
Recipe Steps: 
Slice the white and light green parts of the leek, then rinse to remove dirt and pat dry. Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium to low heat, then add leeks. Cook over low heat, stirring every few minutes, for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown (lower heat if they start to brown too quickly). Two minutes before you remove the leeks from the heat, stir in the minced garlic.
Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes into similarly-sized chunks, about 1". Place in a pot and cover with cold water and add salt. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook until fork tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and let cool for about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, mash the potatoes roughly, then add the stock and milk to taste. Stir in the leek and garlic mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.