Alec Sherman, chef de cuisine at Chicago’s Southport & Irving restaurant, grew up in the Midwest and has long loved the simple rusticity of skin-on mashed potatoes. “I enjoy the texture, and it reminds me of home,” says Sherman. “The four ingredients my family has always used include heavy cream, butter, salt and fresh cracked pepper. But we recently elevated this with one of my favorite ingredients: sunchokes!” Sherman says smashing roasted sunchokes into the hot potatoes with roasted garlic and pureed baby spinach “ has completely changed our mashed potato game: The additions give the finished dish great flavor and a beautifully vibrant green color.” We’ve adapted Sherman’s recipe for home cooks. We love the earthiness of the sunchoke/roasted garlic combo. Add it to your holiday table with roasts—vegetarian and meaty. It’s also nice with almost any grilled meat (Sherman serves it at Southport & Irving with a chimichurri-marinated hangar steak and crispy sweetbreads.) This would also taste good with some of Chef Mike Sheerin’s Liquid Gold Gravy. And since I am a sunchoke fanatic–try our sunchoke soup–sooooo good!
Makes 4 to 6 servings
Smashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic, Sunchokes & Spinach Ingredients
- 2 pounds Idaho potatoes
- 1 head garlic
- 1/2 pound sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt; 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream divided into two portions: 1/2 cup and 1 cup
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups packed baby spinach
- ice water bath for hot blanched spinach
- Make potatoes: Place 2 pounds of Idaho potatoes in cold water. Heat to just below boiling. Water will be steaming but not moving. Cook potatoes in steaming water until tender: about 1 1/2 hours.
- Heat oven to 350. Toss sunchokes in olive oil and salt and pepper. Place on sheet pan.
- While potatoes are cooking on stove top, roast sunchokes in oven at 350 until soft. Also place head of garlic in square of aluminum foil and roast until soft.
- Remove garlic from oven and set aside.
- Turn oven down to 325.
- Remove sunchokes from oven and puree with 1/2 cup cream, using immersion blender, or food processor.
- When potatoes are fork tender, remove from water. Place in warm 325 oven to dry potato skins.
- While potato skins dry, heat second pot of water for blanching spinach, to boiling.
- While you wait for the water to boil, in a small sauce pot, melt butter with the remaining 1 cup of cream until hot. Set aside.
- Blanch spinach in boiling water for two minutes. Have your ice water bath ready. Using a strainer, remove spinach from water and plunge into ice water. Squeeze out water. Puree spinach using an immersion blender or food processor. Set aside.
- Remove potatoes from oven. Leave skins on. Smash with a potato masher in a large pot, slowly adding warm melted cream and butter mixture while you mash. Add garlic and sunchoke puree and smash more. Stir in pureed spinach. Salt and pepper to taste.