So, I made a new discovery in the grocery store this week. I didn't actually make it, in fact I'd known it was there the whole time, but my boyfriend (I guess he deserves a name, doesn't he?) Mike found, for the first time, purple potatoes. Now I'd had purple potato chips, so while I'd seen them before I'd never really thought twice about it, especially because I had no idea what I'd do with a purple potato once I acquired it.
We bought them, and decided to make mashed potatoes. It was way more exciting than I expected. I later learned that the purple variety of potato has more nutrients in it than the regular kind, so maybe this is just how I'll do it from now on!
They were so small! This was by far the tiniest (and therefore most adorable). I quartered the rest of the before boiling them, but this one I just put a bunch of fork-holes in so it'd cook properly. When they were cut, the color was beautiful:
And they were all speckled inside! This was where it started getting really exciting. The potatoes were really purple, and I was really cooking them. They, however, lost a lot of their color in the boiling process:
Still definitely purple, but a much more subdued tone. It all got very pretty again when they were mashed, though.
They're kind of lavender now. I suppose I should be calling them "smashed potatoes" as we kept the skins on. Now, I usually cheat at this step and pull out my KitchenAid and its whisk attachment and make whipped potatoes, but Mike insists on mashing them the old fashioned way and allowing a few chunks to stick around. (Tangent: I really hate the word "chunk." It just sounds so awful, and I especially don't want it describing my food. I rarely buy cans of tuna because of this, despite the fact that tuna salad is the only non-sushi seafood I can abide. However, it makes more sense here to say 'chunks' than 'unmashed bits of solid potato' so I will have to deal.)
Mike's method turned out great; the potatoes were just as smooth as I'm used to. They also looked delicious with the rest of the food. The picture came out blurry, unfortunately, because the flash was making them look almost white and I don't have a tripod for my camera. And the point was the purpleness, so I wasn't going to allow them to look white in the pictures. Mike said he could taste the purple--that is, that they TASTED purple, which I understand because I believe very strongly that beets taste red (he thinks blood oranges taste red)--but I thought they tasted like pretty normal mashed potatoes, perhaps just a little richer. (Served with green beans pan-fried with freshly minced garlic, lots of olive oil, and balsamic vinaigrette; cajun marinaded steak. The flavors worked much better together than I expected them to.)
RECIPE: Purple Mashed Potatoes
-2 lbs purple potatoes
-Whatever else you usually put in mashed potatoes (I used some dried parsley, garlic powder, butter and cream.)
1. Make mashed potatoes exactly the way you usually do, except with purple potatoes.
2. See the looks of awe on everyone's faces as you present them with purple mashed potatoes. Ask them if they can taste the purple. Regardless, they'll think it's cool.
Now I really want to make purple gnocchi.