You might be wondering why an Italian is posting a recipe for Amish brown butter mashed potatoes. Well, this Italian happens to live about 80 minutes from Amish Country. And I’m telling you, these potatoes are the best thing I ever ate there. And that’s saying a lot, since there’s pie in Amish Country. And lots of cheese. And chocolate.
And normally, I can take or leave mashed potatoes. But, when my son was in sixth grade, I chaperoned his field trip to Amish Country. We ate lunch at a place with long tables where groups of tourists were served plates of broasted chicken, vegetables, and mashed potatoes with a pool of amber liquid resting on top and dripping down the sides. I had never seen or tasted browned butter in my life. But after one mouthful, I was swooning. My blog wasn’t even a twinkle in Mamma C’s eye yet, but I had to ask one of the Amish ladies about that topping.
“It’s brown butter,” she told me. I nodded reverently and made a mental note that someday, I would learn to make it and pour it all over my mashed potatoes.
But, alas, my daughter never liked mashed potatoes (though she tells me she occasionally eats them at college), so it’s one side dish I’ve rarely served. Amish browned butter mashed potatoes remained a decade-long memory and nothing more. But, I discovered that making browned butter simply involves melting it and letting it simmer and bubble until it turns a caramel color and gets brown speckles. It tastes nutty, toasty, salty and divine. I’ve used it in Mashed Turnips with Brown Butter and Bacon and Browned Butter Banana Bread with Frangelico and White Chocolate Chips.
School is wrapping up soon for my daughter, though, so my hubby and I drove down Saturday to pick up as much of her stuff as we could cram into my van. We could only see out the front, driver’s and passenger’s windows when we were done, but that was enough for me to catch a glimpse of the Amish Country billboards as we drove by.
And, suddenly, I couldn’t stop thinking about those dreamy mashed potatoes. I decided I needed to figure out how to make them and share the recipe with all of you.
When we got home, I began my research. After reading at least 10 recipes for mashed potatoes, Amish and otherwise, I felt I had enough background to get into my kitchen and start experimenting. I knew I would throw in a couple of garlic cloves while boiling my potatoes, as Mom taught me. (They later get mashed right along with the spuds.) I knew I would add cream cheese, which I found in most of the Amish recipes. I decided to play the milk situation by ear, since a few recipes don’t call for it. But I ended up using a full cup for three pounds of potatoes.
And, while I originally thought the brown butter would be mixed in throughout, plus drizzled on each serving, I learned the Amish stir in regular butter and only use the brown butter as a topping. I’m guessing that’s to keep the mashed potatoes looking pale yellow. It works for me.
So, I played with the amounts of ingredients, figured out how much salt and pepper to add, and ate way too many mashed potatoes in the process. I did it for you. I’m thoughtful like that.
Friends, these Amish brown butter mashed potatoes are so delicious, I can’t help but roll my eyes and say “Mmmm,” as I savor each bite. They’re probably laden with calories, but you can use low-fat milk and cream cheese like I did. Just don’t skimp on the nectar of the gods…I mean, the brown butter.
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C)