TRIO OF MASH
Michael Jordan’s Steak House in Chicago makes a base
mashed potato with butter, cream, cayenne pepper and
salt, with a high ratio of butter and cream to potatoes. “Our
mashed potatoes won’t stand up on a plate,” says James
O’Donnell, executive chef. “We do more of a purée, so the
result is a mashed potato that pans out on the plate.”
The base mash version is served on its own with any item
on the menu. “I want the base mashed potatoes to be full of
cream, full of butter, super-smooth, and provide a contrast in
texture from an accompanying crusty steak,” O’Donnell says.
A trio of mashed potatoes at Michael Jordan’s includes a
lobster mashed potato made with the base mash, lobster
stock reduction, chopped lobster meat, creme fraiche and
chopped chives. The horseradish and Prairie Breeze white
cheddar version has the base mash, heavy cream infused
with freshly grated horseradish, white cheddar cheese
and a horseradish/parsley/cheddar compound butter on
top. The third member of the trio is a sweet potato purée
made with mashed sweet potatoes seasoned with ginger,
bourbon, cayenne pepper and maple syrup and finished
with marshmallows that are torched and browned.
“Everyone can relate to
“Any one of the trio can change seasonally or for special
events and holidays,” O’Donnell says. “The possibilities
are endless when it comes to mixing and matching three
servings of mashed potatoes based on the time of year.”
Greg Hardesty, executive chef/owner of Recess and Room Four
in Indianapolis, makes mashed potatoes every way he can,
using either russet or Idaho potatoes. “A lot of times it depends
on what we have on hand in the kitchen,” he says. “That’s what’s
so great about making mashed potatoes—you really don’t need
to plan too much ahead of time. Nine out of 10 times, we’ll have
something on hand that’ll work to match a protein.
3-4 medium-sized Idaho
3 slices bacon
2 T. unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dashi (recipe follows),
¾ T. salt
¾ T. pepper
½ t. white truffle oil
1) Skin potatoes; cook in
boiling water until fork tender.
Put in strainer; rinse twice in
cold running water.
2) Saute bacon in butter on
low to medium heat. Once
fat has rendered, caramelize
garlic (about 10 minutes).
3) In blender, put ½ cup dashi
and bacon/garlic mixture;
purée until silky smooth. Add
BACON/DASHI POTATO PURÉE
Jason Kwon, Chef/Owner | Joshu-ya Brasserie | Berkeley, Calif.
Yield: 3-4 servingss
potatoes and remaining dashi;
purée. Adjust seasoning with
salt and pepper.
4) Drizzle with truffle oil.
1 piece ( 4 x 6 inches) kombu
4 cups filtered water
½ cup loosely packed bonito
½ cup mirin
½ cup sake
½ cup soy sauce
Salt, as needed
METHOD: Wipe kombu clean;
remove grit. In water, simmer
over medium heat. When water
comes to a boil, remove from
heat; add bonito flakes. Add
mirin, sake, soy sauce and
salt. Return to heat; boil for
7 minutes. Remove kombu.
“Everyone can relate to mashed potatoes. They need no
explanation. But the unique aspect is they are a blank canvas.
They are a great carrier of any flavor you want to add to them
or put on them.”
Mashed potatoes also allow chefs to introduce guests to
ingredients they may shy away from. Hardesty’s bone
marrow with parsley mashed potatoes is an example. The
bone marrow adds a richness that butter can’t match, and
freshly chopped parsley adds color and a fresh grassy flavor.
A classic combination of lemon/thyme mashed potatoes is
served alongside lighter dishes, such as seafood or chicken.
“The two ingredients will turn plain mashed potatoes into
something special, with earthy notes from fresh thyme and zip
and zing from the lemon zest and lemon juice,” Hardesty says.
The manchego/broccoli mashed potato dish is Hardesty’s
take on broccoli and cheese. “It’s a play on a classic kid’s
vegetable dish that adults can enjoy.” And dilled-carrot
potato mash could be made into a purée or left rustic with
chunks of carrots. “No matter which recipe is used, the