Whipped potatoes with cilantro pesto

Jealousy is such an ugly emotion. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Especially when it is displayed by me.

Friday night the boys and I go over to our friends Kim and Lori’s house. Kim is also a big-time cook and she and I are making supper. I have not seen Kim’s house since she did a giant remodel, tearing out a wall between her old kitchen and the garage and making a brand new kitchen. I know I am going to be impressed…and jealous. Very jealous.

My kitchen is humble. I like to pretend I live in France because my kitchen is about as big as the average kitchen in Paris. I arrive at Kim’s and there it is. A big honking brand new kitchen with everything. She has two sinks, one with a fancy pot filler. She has custom cabinets and deep, deep drawers for her thousands of high quality pots and pans. Her Le Creuset enamel pots look brand new (my one pot is 25 years old and chipped – am I whining yet?).

And then we get to the crushing blow. The stove. I look like I’m smiling here, but it is a facade masking my intense jealousy over this stove. It is an industrial restaurant stove, a six burner. Gas, naturally. Two ovens. Convection. I am green with envy but I do not display it. However, I actually bring the one kitchen tool that Kim does not have. It is a ricer for the whipped potatoes with cilantro pesto. She marvels at it. Says she’s always wanted one. She has the $6,000 stove. I have the $14.99 ricer. I take what solace I can.

The meal is a great success. Kim makes Bobby Flay’s pork chops with a soy and honey glaze. Here’s the recipe. She grills them on her medium Big Green Egg. I have a large one. Ha! Oh, that’s petty, too, isn’t it.

The chops were very tasty. Very tasty, indeed. But the hit of the supper were those whipped potatoes with cilantro pesto.

They are also from a Bobby Flay recipe. I just love Bobby Flay. He’s such a creative guy and his recipes, unlike my former boyfriend, Thomas Keller, are easy to follow. Maybe I’ll make Bobby Flay my new boyfriend. He makes his whipped potatoes with butter and milk and cream. Yes!

So the evening was a smashing success. Great food and great conversation with two of my favorite gal pals. We’re getting ready to leave. I gather up my cookbooks and head for the ricer. “Uh, could I keep it for a few days?” Kim asks. Of course, I respond with a faint whiff of superiority.

Bobby Flay’s Whipped Potatoes with Cilantro Pesto

Serves: 4

Fold, don’t mix, the pesto into the potatoes. You want to marble the potatoes with ribbons of the vibrant green pesto.

Cilantro Pesto
1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup tightly packed parsley leaves
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine cilantro, parsley, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil until emulsified. Add the cheese and salt and pepper and pulse a few times until combined.

Mashed Potatoes
3 pounds baking potatoes, such as Idaho or Russet, peeled and cut into quarters
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by 2-inches. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat and cook until soft, 25-30 minutes. Drain well and return them to the pot on the stove over low heat.
2. Combine the butter and milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Add the butter and hot milk/cream mixture to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Fold the cilantro pesto into the mashed potatoes and season with salt and pepper.


Filed under pork, sides, Uncategorized

4 responses to “Whipped potatoes with cilantro pesto

  1. Kim

    The mashed potatoes made AWESOME potato pancakes last night. Lori’s dad loved them. Thanks again for a great time. What are we cooking next?

  2. Mark


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