Sure, mashed potatoes are good. Some mashed potatoes are great. Jalapeño cheddar mashed potatoes, though, are *A*W*E*S*O*M*E*! These came about after I had planned on trying to make homemade tater tots. But then my laziness kicked in and I opted to do something else with the taters I had. I also had a couple of jalapeños that I needed to use up and these were born.
Believe it or not, most jalapeño peppers are not all that spicy when properly seeded and deveined. The veins in jalapeños are where the heat is so if you are careful to remove all the white pithy parts inside the peppers, you end up with the fruity flavor instead of the heat. Like more heat? Leave more white. Easy peasy good with cheesy!
I am not a fan of creamy mashed potatoes. Whipped potatoes are definitely out because, regardless of the flavor, it makes me feel like I am eating paste which is something I didn’t even do as a kid. So leaving the skins on the potatoes is the choice I usually make when making mashed taters. Adding in the sautéed jalapeño also helps add the texture I like.
The bright, fresh flavor of the peppers paired really well with the chimichurri chicken I made this night as well. I was a little hesitant about how the flavors would be together but it turned out to be a great match up. Simple buttered peas completed the fresh green trifecta that was this meal!
- 3 lbs red or yellow potatoes, quartered (skins-on optional)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2-4 jalapeño peppers, seeded and deveined, chopped small (wear gloves if you can and avoid touching your eyes when cutting these)
- 1 heaping Tbsp jarred minced garlic
- 4 Tbsp butter, cubed
- ¾ c sour cream
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz Cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
- Fill a large pot with water and bring it to boiling. Add the potatoes and boil 10-20 minutes until tender and a knife pierces the potato with no resistance. The time will depend on the size of the potato pieces. Drain.
- Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the olive oil over med-high heat. Add the jalapeño and cook, stirring constantly until the peppers start to blister slightly. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 30-60 seconds. Remove from the pan and add to a large bowl.
- Add the butter and sour cream to the bowl with the pepper-garlic mixture.
- When the potatoes are done cooking and are drained, add them to the large bowl as well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mash to the desired consistency. Stir in the cheese and serve.