Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Skinny "Cheesy" Smashed Potatoes

BRIGHT SHINY OBJECT!

That is what my husband says to me when I cannot focus.  Which apparently is often.  That's how I feel about the potato recipe I should have posted by now.  I got caught up in "other food" and almost lost track of the smashed potatoes I was going to write about from Easter!

In my opinion, there is a difference between MASHED potatoes and SMASHED potatoes.  I think of mashed, potatoes as those potatoes which are boiled or steamed and then mashed smooth.  I think of smashed potatoes as those potatoes that are baked first then smashed and left sort of chunky.  I (and my family) happen to like smashed, chunky baked potatoes.  There is something about baking a potato that just gives it a more comforting, deep and more satisfying flavor.  An important thing - especially if we are not going to "load them up"

My normal recipe is loaded with butter, sour cream and LOTS of cheese (I know. bad, bad, bad....BUT they are SO  good -  I bet they are a day's worth of points!).  Since I don't eat that way anymore, it was a challenge to make potatoes I would like just as well.

I just couldn't remove the cheese completely.  My brain (and my mouth!) would NOT let me.   I love cheese.  Everything about it.  The way it tastes, melts, satisfies and comforts.  What I don't like is the fact that it's fattening....I HATE THAT!! WHY OH WHY does cheese have to be sadly fattening???????

YES!  If you're wondering.  THAT WAS A WHINE!

But alas there is another option - Remember the LAUGHING COW CHEESE?  It's so good, so creamy and yummy that it's hard to believe its LOW FAT and LIGHT.  One triangle (which is a lot) is only 1 point!  PERFECT for these potatoes.  I used the Garlic and Herb flavor.

So I was off to the races with the spuds.

Feel free to add, subtract and enhance this "recipe" - when you do, please comment so others can benefit!!

Here is what I did:

First bake Large potatoes in the oven at 350 degrees until VERY soft.  I used 13 potatoes for 10 people (we had leftovers)

For a family of four probably about 5 LARGE

Once baked, let them cool for a while.  Cut potatoes lengthwise:



Scoop the potato flesh out of the skins into a large bowl:



When done, use a potato masher or large spoon to smash the potatoes a bit...remember as you add stuff and stir they will get smoother so don't over smash.

I used Low Fat Chicken broth and added it/stirred it into the potatoes until I was happy with the consistency.  This is all a matter of preference.

From here I added seasoning.  This is strictly up to you...I used fresh Chives from my garden...probably more than a 1/2 cup.  Some  salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder.  Have fun with this....try lemon pepper, Mrs. Dash, an assortment of fresh/dried herbs - your imagination is the only thing stopping you!  I often saute onions till caramelized and add them to the potatoes...SO GOOD

Stir all seasoning completely into potatoes.  Now it's time for the cheese...(my favorite part). Unwrap 1 cheese triangle per person  you are serving and cut them up into small chunks and add to potatoes.



If potatoes start to thicken too much, add more broth.  Taste to check seasoning and put the potato mixture into a sprayed casserole dish. 

Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly 



** NOTE - this is terrific made a day ahead and baked just before you serve.

The result?  A much lighter yet still satisfying, creamy, and tasty potato dish that's perfect for special occasions as well as week night dinners. 

By the way, few people even realized it was the SKINNY version.  And that makes me happy...it's the berometer to tell whether or not the dish was in fact, really good.

From my home to yours, ENJOY!!

1 comment:

  1. these tasted amazing!!!

    ReplyDelete