I know… vanilla beans in mashed potatoes, Holly? Really?
See, what had happened was… I went to D Bar a while back with my girl @imanicezanne and we had vanilla bean and white cheddar mashed potatoes. When we went back recently, eagerly anticipating more vanilla bean mashed potatoes, we were told they were no longer on the menu. -___-
I couldn’t just sit around NOT have vanilla bean mashed potatoes in my life, so I came up with this recipe. It’s pretty simple – only 5 ingredients. I decided to go with mascarpone cheese instead of white cheddar like in the original version. Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese and is slightly sweeter and less tangy than traditional cream cheese. You may know mascarpone cheese as the creamy part of tiramisu. I thought the subtle sweetness in the mascarpone would help bring out the vanilla – since our palettes are so used to recognizing vanilla as something essentially sweet, the mascarpone gives a tiny hint of that flavor profile without being overpowering.
I know it’s weird, but FMITK wouldn’t be FMITK with some random foods paired together for no good reason than being bored and hungry. bloop!
Vanilla Bean and Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes
3 1/2lbs Yukon gold or russet potatoes
1 stick + 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
8oz mascarpone cheese
1/2 tsp sea salt, more to taste
Peel and cut the potatoes into equally sized pieces. Bring a large pot of water to a boil along with a large pinch of sea salt. Add the potatoes to the water, bring back to a boil and cook for about 30 minutes, until a fork can easily pierce the potatoes with no resistance. The potatoes should almost fall apart.
While the potatoes are boiling, melt the butter. Split open the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the beans from the inside. Place the scraped vanilla beans and the pod in the melted butter and set aside.
Drain the potatoes well. Place them back into the dry pot over low heat and mash, letting the steam escape and any additional water evaporate. Turn off the heat.
Remove vanilla bean pods from the butter and add to the potatoes. Add in the mascarpone cheese and mash. Add 1/2 tsp of sea salt. Taste and add additional salt if necessary. Mash until desired consistency – be careful not to over mash or potatoes may become gummy.
Completely optional delicious and decadent but totally unnecessary step: Push the mashed potatoes through a fine sieve and to create a super creamy and smooth consistency. Adjust consistency with additional melted butter or warm cream if necessary.
Cook Time:40 minutes