This Week

Mack's Corner

This Week

This week 02-17-15

Silly String Mashed Potatoes

I was making mashed potatoes a few months ago. I usually like to push them through a fine mesh screen to get them nice and fluffy, but that takes 30 - 45 minutes for 4 potatoes. I didn't have a potato ricer (I do now.), so I was looking for a way to do it quick. (I usually put Gruyere cheese in them so starting off fluffy is a big deal.) I hunted around the kitchen and then had a great idea. My KitchenAid mixer has a pasta attachment that is supposed to extrude pasta. You make pasta dough and then put it in the top of the device. It has a screw type pusher that is supposed to push the dough through little holes in the front and you're supposed to get spaghetti. It doesn't work. Either you get a big blob of spaghetti-ish stuff that you can't separate or it never comes out at all. You're better off just doing it by hand. BUT!!!! If I put potatoes through it and I got a big blob of spaghetti-ish potatoes, that would be perfect. I got it out, thinking I was a genius and thinking I had finally come up with something to do with the pasta attachment. I started cramming hot potatoes in the top. Nothing came out, I kept cramming, still nothing, more cramming …. I turned up the speed of the mixer and jammed in more potatoes…. Nothing. There are about 30 little holes in the front of this thing where the potatoes were supposed to be coming out. I could see potatoes behind it, machine still running .. I got close and looked to see what was stopping it up… I rubbed my finger over the holes and boom.. One hole, only one, opened up.. hot mashed potatoes, like silly string, came flying out, right in my eye and all over my head and shoulder. I turned away to wipe my eye and when I turned around it was still coming out like some mad scientist experiment that had taken on a life of its own. The stream was shooting out 6 feet across the kitchen hitting the wall, the stove, the fridge, all over the floor .. I reached up and turned off the mixer and it still kept coming. I guess the pressure had built up. I put my hand in front of it till it stopped. I spent the next hour cleaning potatoes out of my ear, my shirt, the stove, under the fridge, behind the fridge, off the wall.. everywhere ..  I boiled more potatoes and pushed them through the mesh. It still took 45 minutes, but they were perfect, nothing got on the wall or in my eye. Of course the main reason I like to cook is that it makes me slow down and relax. If I had wanted fast potatoes, I could have nuked them in the microwave .. I had all day, why was I in a hurry. The point was to go slow and do it perfect and learn. I put the pasta attachment way, way back on the shelf.. maybe I would never find it again.

God's like that: We want everything to go fast, like we've got someplace else to go and then we ask God "Where were you?" .. God shows us stuff all the time, talks to us through other people, kids. We never listen, we never see it, we never understand. The Idea is to go slow and listen and do it perfect and learn. When you're dealing with God, you really don't have a better way, you just think you do. Go slow, do it perfect, listen, and learn.

I wonder if silly string mashed potatoes in a can would sell? You could squirt it on your friends or have it for lunch. silly string mashed potatoes with silly string gravy!!!  wonder if I could sell that to the army? Part food, part weapon.


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes - Living Well - Mediterranean Diet:

I haven't done a chicken recipe in a while. This one looked great and it has several things that are great to learn. This will take longer than 20 minutes, but you can do it, just go slow..
This is from Amanda Freitag. Her restaurant is Empire Diner in New York City on 22nd and 10th Ave.
IF you want to see her cook this whole dish go here:  How to Cook Lemon Chicken Like a Pro with Chef Amanda Freitag

Amanda Freitag's Lemon Chicken



1 pound lemons (about 4 large), halved
1 large onion, chopped
¼ bunch parsley
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 bay leaf
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon black peppercorns


1 3½–4-pound chicken, quartered
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 lemons, halved
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 pounds small carrots, scrubbed
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup fresh ricotta


Bring lemons, onion, parsley, garlic, bay leaf, salt, sugar, peppercorns and 4 cups water to a boil in a large heavy pot, stirring occasionally until salt and sugar are dissolved. Let cool, then add 2 cups ice to brine; stir until melted.


Cut wings from chicken breasts. Cut through leg joint to separate thighs and drumsticks; set thighs aside. Use a sharp knife to score chicken skin along the length of each drumstick (this will make it easier to remove it in one piece). Remove skin from drumsticks; set skin aside (reserve drumsticks and wings for making stock). Place breasts and thighs in brine. Chill at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 425°. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Cook lemons, cut side down, until charred, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Remove chicken from brine. Rinse, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet, skin side down. Cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Turn and cook 4 minutes longer. Transfer to oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 165°, 12–15 minutes.

Meanwhile, toss carrots with 2 Tbsp. oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and roast, tossing halfway through, until browned and tender, 15–20 minutes; keep warm.

Cook chicken skin, fat side down (the side that was closest to the flesh), in a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat, pressing down to flatten and help skin make contact with the pan (((put another pan on top of the

skin to hold it down flat))), until golden brown and crisp, 5–7 minutes. Turn and cook until other side is brown and crisp, 5–7 minutes. Drain on paper towels; season chicken crackling with salt.

Transfer roasted chicken breast and thighs to a cutting board. Bring broth and lemon juice to a boil in skillet, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, and cook until liquid is reduced by half, 6–8 minutes; season pan sauce with salt and pepper.

Stir ricotta, lemon zest, and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Serve chicken with carrots and a spoonful of lemon ricotta, drizzled with pan sauce, with crackling and charred lemons alongside(((squeeze charred lemons on to chicken))).


Posted by Mack Oates at 12:06 PM