Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.
Monday, October 29, 2012
I don’t cook with canned pumpkin nearly enough, it seems most cooks only use it for making pumpkin pie, but since I’m not a pumpkin-pie-kinda-gal (not everyone is, right?) the canned pumpkin rarely ever makes it into my cart.
Well, 2 weeks ago, it finally did. I dared myself to make something with it – and if you can just imagine me at the grocery store, pacing around and around with a can of pumpkin in my hand, mumbling to myself (…I just dare you, Jaden, double-dare!), you’ve got the right mental picture.
I read somewhere recently (I know, so very specific, right?) – I just don’t exactly remember where – but somewhere out there in the internets about people who don’t like to mess with mashed potatoes. No shaved parmesan, no truffle oil, no stir-ins or sprinkle-ons. Just plain ‘ol mashed potatoes…..which is TOTALLY fine by me, but potatoes deserve to have a little fun too, right?
I settled on pairing pumpkin with mashed potatoes and added ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Of course, butter and a bit of heavy cream as well. Kelly and I tasted the pumpkin mashed potatoes and decided that it needed more.
We added maple syrup for a tiny hit of sweetness. But the flavor was still flat. Normally, that means it’s missing “umami” – and when cooking Asian dishes, I reach for soy sauce, fish sauce or miso paste. For non-Asian dishes, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy paste or demi-glace.
After rounds of testing, miso paste was the winner. I know it may sound a little strange to add miso paste to mashed potatoes – but don’t tell that to one of the most famous restaurants in Las Vegas! (Here’s my recipe for Miso Mashed Potatoes)
Surprisingly, miso paste added the richness and savoryness that the recipe had lacked. It helps pull together all of the flavors – warming spices, sweet maple syrup, creamy pumpkin.
If you don’t have miso paste, try 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce in its place.
By the way, this makes a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!
Pumpkin Mashed Potatoes
If you have Miso & Easy, use the regular flavor! If not, any regular or low-sodium miso paste is perfect. If you don't have miso paste, substitute with 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce.
Ingredients:2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
15 ounce can pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons miso paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
minced fresh chives or parsley (optional)
1. Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to boil, turn to heat to medium-low and cook potatoes for 20 minutes or until you can easily pierce with a fork. Make sure when you cook the potatoes, that the water is a very low boil (a bubble burp every couple of seconds) - a big, rolling boil will make your potatoes mushy. Drain water.
2. Mash the potatoes. Mash and stir in the remaining ingredients to the mashed potatoes until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
Disclaimer: I’ve been developing recipes using miso paste for Miso & Easy, the makers of ready-to-use miso paste. See all of the recipes I’ve developed for them!