Recipe Roundup: Mashed Potatoes with Kale

kale mashed potatoesWelcome to March! Since it’s still cold here, very cold, and there’s still a lot of snow on the ground–thought I’d kick off the month with some comfort food. And what says yummy comfort better than mashed potatoes?

Giada DeLaurentiis is one of my most fave celebrity chefs–I even went to see her at a personal appearance and got my cookbook signed. Plus, I DVR her show every week. Which is where I discovered this recipe.

I love kale. But the way I have been taught to prepare it–while delicious–is also relatively unimaginative. But this way, this is just delish. And you get your starch and green veggie all in one dish. Enjoy!

Mashed Potatoes with Kale
From Giada DeLaurentiis show, Giada at Home, on The Food Network

Ingredients
Potatoes:
5 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 4 pounds)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Kale:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 12-ounce bunch kale, stemmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

(Tara’s Tips: I used pre washed and precut kale from a 16oz. bag and just estimated out 12oz. Worked perfectly. I also used red onion because I just like red onion better. And I did not use low-sodium chicken broth, I used the regular stuff.)

Assembly:
1 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature (about 8 ounces)*
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning

(Tara’s Tips: *Ok, so I thought I had all the ingredients for this recipe and it turns out I didn’t. So instead of mascarpone, I used ricotta because that’s what I had in my frig. Was still yummy and I’d do it again! And it goes without saying that I shredded my own Parmesan cheese. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, see my prior recipe with the pre-shredded cheese rant. (Seriously, with all my substitutions, does this even count as Giada’s recipe anymore???))

Directions
For the potatoes: Combine the potatoes, garlic, salt and butter in a 5-quart saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and remove the garlic cloves. Return the potatoes to the pan and mash the potatoes until smooth using a potato masher.

For the kale: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, salt and pepper. Cook until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the kale and chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 10 to 12 minutes.

To assemble: Add the kale mixture, mascarpone cheese, chicken broth, butter, Parmesan, salt and pepper to the potatoes. Stir over low heat until smooth and warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

OMG, I Think I’m a Foodie!

foodieWe put labels on a lot of things–people included. There are many labels I would give myself: good listener, funny, creative, obsessive handbag connoisseur, and the list goes on and on. However, what I discovered after coming home from dinner with one of my girlfriends last week is I can add another label to myself–foodie. This one caught me by surprise, but after careful consideration–I don’t know why.

See, I always thought foodie’s were those people who chased the latest fads like food trucks and cupcakes; always went to the latest and trendiest restaurant openings; things like that. While the term may apply to those people, I think foodie covers a broader spectrum.  Here’s why I think I fall into it. I love to cook. I love to bake. (I’m good at both.) I like to go out to eat–including trying trendy new restaurants–but I also LOVE an eatery that’s considered a hole in the wall with good food. I love inviting friends over and having a theme for a meal and finding recipes to fill out the menu. And  yes, I watch the Food Network and buy food magazines (when the covers look particularly yummy).

When I say I watch the Food Network, I’m not watching Chopped or other cooking competition shows (though I was really into Iron Chef America for a while). I watch and DVR cooking shows. My 3 favorites are (in no particular order):

Every week I record and watch these 3 shows and then determine which recipes I’m going to try out. My list is growing substantially, to say the least. This was the final component that sealed my foodie fate. I am super excited to add this latest label to my repertoire of personal descriptors–and in turn, as I try out new recipes, I’ll let everyone know how they go. First up: The Pioneer Woman’s Crash Hot Potatoes