I've been thinking about a fake mashed potato recipe for a while now. My first (and only) experiment was to follow conventional wisdom. I boiled and mashed cauliflower and served it as I would mashed potatoes. The result was not horrible, but it was very thin and bland.
The other night, I baked some Delicata squash. The texture was like very moist potato steak fries.
So! In terms of texture, what would happen if I mixed cauliflower and winter squash? This is what I'm trying tonight.
After baking the squash and cauliflower, I mashed them with a hand-held potato masher. This left lumps. Since it's just an experiment, I carried on. I added 1 cup of milk and some salt and I put it in a sauce pan to simmer at low temperature as I prepared the rest of my dinner.
For the purpose of documentation, here is the "recipe" I used for tonight's dish. The procedure will be improved upon.
Fake Mashed Potatoes v.0.1
- 13 oz. firm winter squash
- 13 oz. cauliflower florets
- 1 c. whole milk
- 1 T. butter
- 1/4 t. salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 375F.
- Peel, halve, and seed squash
- Place squash and cauliflower in a pan and bake for 1 hour.
- After the vegetables are cooked, transfer them to a medium sauce pan and mash with a potato masher.
- Add milk, butter, salt, and pepper, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
Next time I try this, I won't use a hand-held potato masher. I'll put the squash, cauliflower, and milk into a food processor and blend until smooth.
An open question: Is a one-to-one ration by weight of squash and cauliflower optimum? Taste till tell.
The Delicata squash had a somewhat sweet flavor after baking. I don't know if the same will be true of the Festival squash that I used in this experiment. It may be that I'll need to offset the sweetness of the squash with some other ingredient.
A word of caution: Winter squash is very firm/hard. As you're peeling it with a sharp knife, there is some potential for a nasty accident. As you peel the squash, please try to hold it in such a way that your gripping hand would not be in the knife's path should it slip.