Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chorizo Ragu with Cilantro Idaho Spuds

As newlyweds, M. and I love cooking dinners together, spending an hour or so whipping up a 3-course meal. But other nights, we just want simple comfort food with intense flavors that are whipped up in less than 20 minutes. This is where Idaho Spuds come in.

First of all, before having Idaho Spuds, I had never had mashed potatoes from a box. It's not something you see much in the Dominican Republic, and I honestly never even gave them much thought. I can hear you sigh and say "Oh why can't she just peel, cut and boil potatoes? Isn't she a chef? Bla bla bla..." I could, but sometimes (probably once a week), I feel too lazy to do the peel, cut and boil method and the satisfaction of having comforting, buttery mashed potatoes in five minutes is definitely appealing. They come in Classic Flakes and Signature Potato Bits.

One of the main issues when using a pre-made product is the fear of added preservatives, but Idaho Spuds are 100% Idaho® potatoes. No fillers, all potatoes. And since potatoes are naturally glute-free, so are Idaho Spuds! The fact that they cook quickly is great and here are some quick ideas to add even more flavor to your Idaho Spuds:
  • Grate your favorite cheese, such as Parmesan, Taleggio or even a dollop of burrata to make it indulgent!
  • Finely chop broccoli florets and steam for 2-3 minutes. Stir into mashed potatoes for added health benefits and color!
  • Instead of making mashed potatoes with whole milk, use a mix of both whole milk and coconut milk. Serve alongside your favorite curry!
  • Some easy to add flavors are: wasabi, horseradish, or ginger. Remember a little goes a long way!
  • Sprinkle with spices and cover with marshmallows for a twist on your classic sweet potato pie. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice and Cloves are some of my favorites!

Chorizo Ragu over Cilantro Mash
Using a sausage such as chorizo adds intense flavors that need not many more ingredients. Add any other vegetables you have available! This quick meal could work for either lunch or dinner and even as breakfast rolled into a corn tortilla!
Serves 2

4 chorizo sausages
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Idaho Spuds
Cilantro Paste
Fresh Cilantro
(measurements depending on amounts needed)
  1. In a hot cast iron pan, chop chorizo into slices and sear for 2 minutes. Add chopped pepper and onion and cook until translucent. Add tomatoes and let simmer for 20 minutes. Season with sugar, salt and pepper. 
  2. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, prepare mashed potatoes as instructed. Add cilantro paste as well as fresh cilantro leaves and fold in. Serve and enjoy!

Connect with Idaho Spuds! Check out their website for some delicious recipe ideas, follow them on Twitter and give them a like on Facebook!

Disclaimer: Idaho Spuds provided samples of their products, but as always, opinions are 100% based on personal testing and tasting!

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