Cheers! Here’s to Champagne Mashed Potatoes
Column and photos by Ali Carter, Vice President, WPGA Auxiliary
The holidays are upon us and this means gathering for delicious feasts with family and friends. As I began to plan our menus for this season, I decided to create something a bit special and unique for our upcoming celebrations.
While dreaming of ideas, I remembered a conversation I had last summer with a woman I was seated next to at a wedding. I liked her instantly. She was bubbling over with friendliness and welcomed me into her conversation.
When I mentioned that I do recipe development and have been blessed with opportunities to share those recipes, she and I began chatting about cooking. Of course potatoes were a main topic and she told me that she has a recipe for champagne mashed potatoes. I had not heard of such a thing and was intrigued.
The conversation and evening moved on, and unfortunately I have not had the pleasure to chat with her since the wedding. And I did not get the recipe for those champagne mashed potatoes! Ah, the regrets in my life.
Anyway, back to the holiday menu planning—I set about creating my own recipe for champagne mashed potatoes, and after a few practice meals I think I now have the most perfectly delicious creamy potato dish to share with you.
The champagne adds a hint of fruitiness to the potato dish, and the buttery Havarti cheese melts perfectly into the mashed potatoes, not to mention the tanginess it offers to tamper down the sweetness of the wine. Adding the herbs puts this dish over the edge in taste and gives the finished potatoes a very pretty presentation.
Fresh tarragon is flavorful and has a distinctive taste that reminds me a little bit of black licorice. Tarragon is ideal in this dish but can be overpowering if you use too much, so adjust the amount to your taste.