A Squared: Caramelized Onion Smashed Potatoes

Monday, June 15, 2015

Caramelized Onion Smashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one of my favorite comfort foods. It's funny to type that though as I rarely ever make them. It might be because I associate them with the holidays and special occasion meals-- as if eating mashed potatoes is reserved for fancy dinners only. Or maybe it's because my mom makes amazingly simple and delicious mashed potatoes that I just haven't been able to replicate myself? Whatever the reason, this is the first time I have broken out the potato masher since Thanksgiving... But I think it was worth it!

On one of our recent farmer's market trips I stopped into one of my favorite stalls. They always have at least a dozen varieties of potato available on any given day. Since I like to let the produce there dictate my weekly menu, my wheels were already turning. But the sign next to these gorgeous little Purple Viking potatoes described them as "buttery," my mind immediately went to mashed-- or smashed-- potatoes.

I love a chunkier mashed potato, so smashing them with the skins-- in this case, pretty purple skin-- gives the potatoes that rustic texture that I love. While the potatoes are "buttery," this recipe really isn't. These potatoes get their creaminess from a bit of butter plus low fat milk and light sour cream. They're still creamy and comforting, but feel lighter and more appropriate for a weeknight dinner versus decadent holiday dinner potatoes. And they get an amazing boost of flavor from fresh garlic, parsley, and the star ingredient: sweet caramelized onions. Folding these slow roasted sweet onions into the potatoes really makes them something special and that subtle sweetness is just the best.

So maybe these are special occasion potatoes after all?


  • 1/2 lb. baby potatoes
  • 3 Tbs. butter, divided 
  • 1/2 Tbs. olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup yellow onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup fat free low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 Tbs. milk
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper 
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbs. flat leaf parsley, chopped
Place the unpeeled potatoes in a large saucepan and pour in enough cold water to cover potatoes with at least an inch of water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs. butter and the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once melted, swirl in the pan and add onions and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions are very soft and slightly browned, at least 15-20 minutes. Remove onions from heat and set aside.

In the same saucepan that the potatoes boiled in, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. butter over medium low heat. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes until fragrant and not browned, stirring frequently. Add chicken broth and milk and stir until warm. Carefully add potatoes back to the pot and use a potato masher to smash into desired consistency. Stir in sour cream until fully incorporated with potatoes and liquid and season with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Fold in parsley and caramelized onions.

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