Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fake Mashed Potato Experiment

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
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
  2. Peel, halve, and seed squash
  3. Place squash and cauliflower in a pan and bake for 1 hour.
  4. After the vegetables are cooked, transfer them to a medium sauce pan and mash with a potato masher.
  5. 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.

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