Homemade Mashed Potatoes Recipe

As life goes pretty hectic these days, we’ve got less and less time for activities like cooking. Some people can’t even find the time to eat properly. We need everything fast and easy, otherwise we lose interest. If you ever tried the instant mashed potatoes that can be found in supermarkets, then you surely know that’s not “the real thing”. It’s a huge difference in taste between instant and homemade mashed potatoes. Believe it or not, there’s not so much difference in the cooking time needed, if you don’t take into account the boiling time.

Take 5-6 medium potatoes. Make sure they are all pretty much the same size, because you want them to get cooked at the same time. Choose only healthy potatoes, with nice skin, without sprouts. Wash them very well.

Put the potatoes in a large pot with water, add a tablespoon of salt and bring them to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Check the potatoes with a fork to see if they are done. If the fork goes easily, you’re ready.

Boiling potatoes

Boiling potatoes for a simple mashed potatoes recipe

Remove the pot from heat. Take the potatoes one by one, cut them in half and peel them. Beware, they are very hot, so you’ll nee to use a fork to get them out of the water. As you peel the potatoes, put them in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of butter, some salt and optionally some freshly ground black pepper. Cover the bowl to keep it warm until you’re done with all potatoes.

Boiled potatoes

Boiled potatoes peeled, salted, with added butter, ready to be mashed

With a wire masher, start mashing the potatoes, gradually adding warm milk until you’re happy with the consistency of your mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes almost done

This is one of the simplest potato recipes and it’s an awesome side dish for steaks, sausages, stews and for all meat-based dishes in general.

Fried Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes

Fried Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 medium potatoes (Yukon Golds or russets)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup warm milk
  • salt, pepper to taste

If you’re really in a hurry, you can speed up cooking by peeling and dicing the potatoes before boiling them. However, boiling the potatoes unpeeled results in a better taste, therefore I reckon it’s worth the pain of prolonging the preparation time a bit.

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Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium baking potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preparation:
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add salt, pepper and flour. Stir frequently, until you get a smooth mixture, then start adding the milk, little by little. Bring it to boil and cook for about one minute. Set aside.

Oil a baking dish, then arrange one layer of potatoes on the bottom. Cover with half of the chopped onion, add half cup of diced ham, then pour one third of the milk sauce over it. Add a new layer of potatoes, the rest of chopped onion and ham, then cover with the remaining sauce.

Cover the dish and bake it in the oven for about 90 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with dried oregano, then return to the oven and bake it uncovered for 10 minutes.

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Mushroom Quiche With Potato Crust

Yummy quiche with pickled beetroot decor

Yummy quiche with pickled beetroot decor

Basic quiche recipes call for pastry for the crust. However, if you want, you can replace the pastry with potatoes. I did this and here’s my potato crust quiche recipe, which you can use as base for any kind of quiche you like: mine has mushrooms, red bell pepper, parsley, dill and onions, but variations are welcome.

The first step is to make the crust. You need two onions…

Two peeled onions

Two peeled onions

and about 6 medium size potatoes. Don’t ask me why my onions were one yellow and one red. Use whatever you have, the color makes no difference in this situation.

Peeled potatoes

Peeled potatoes

Peel and grate the onions. Here’s the part where you start to cry, so take your time, wash your face, grate some more, cry some more… the whole operation shouldn’t take you more than 5-6 minutes.

Grating onions

Grating onions

Peel and grate the potatoes. I grated them coarsely, but if you want a finer crust, use the fine side of the grater box.

Grating potatoes

Grating potatoes

Pre-heat the oven at 450F.

Squeeze the grated onions and potatoes very well to drain the liquid, then put them in a bowl and mix them.

Mix grated potatoes and onions

Mix grated potatoes and onions

Use both your hands, not one like I did. You won’t have to hold the camera, I guess ;)

Add a teaspoon of salt, some ground black pepper and 2 tablespoons of all purpose white flour. If you want, you can add spices. I added about a teaspoon dried thyme. Mix everything very well.

Grated potatoes - onions - flour mix

Grated potatoes - onions - flour mix

Oil a baking dish (bottom and edges). Shape the onion-potato mix into a pie crust, trying to get even thickness all over.

Raw potato quiche crust

Raw potato quiche crust

Bake the potato crust at 450F for about 15 minutes.

Take the baking dish out of the oven, brush the crust with extra virgin olive oil and put it back in the oven again for 10 more minutes. If you don’t have a special brush, you can use a folded paper towel to oil the crust evenly.

Oiled quiche crust

Oiled quiche crust

While the crust is baking, we are going to prepare the filling for our quiche. You need one onion, 15-20 button mushrooms, half red bell pepper, parsley and dill.

Button mushrooms

Button mushrooms

Peel and chop the onion. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan, add the onion and fry it for about 2 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Chopped red onion in pan

Chopped red onion in pan

Thoroughly clean the mushrooms, chop them and add them to the frying pan. I also added about a teaspoon of fresh rosemary, minced, but that’s optional.

Chop about half of a red bell pepper. Add it to the food. Stir and cook over medium heat. Chop the parsley and the dill and add them to the pan.

Vegetables in pan

Vegetables in pan

Continue cooking and stirring until the vegetables are soft and there’s a lot of liquid from the mushrooms in the pan. This process should take about 10 minutes.

Remove vegetables from heat, transfer them into a colander and drain them very well. You can use a wooden spatula or a spoon to squeeze them dry.

Draining stir fried vegetables

Draining stir fried vegetables

Pour the vegetables over the quiche crust, spreading them evenly onto the surface.

Quiche recipe - work in progress

Quiche recipe - work in progress

Grate the cheese. You’ll need about 1 cup of grated cheese. I used feta, but you can use any cheese you want such as Cheddar or Swiss cheese.

Grated Feta cheese

Grated Feta cheese

Spread the grated cheese on top of the baking dish.

Spread the grated cheese over the quiche

Spread the grated cheese over the quiche

In a small bowl, beat 3 eggs. Please note that there are only two eggs in the photo, but after I beat those, I decided to add one more.

Beat three eggs and add milk

Beat three eggs and add milk

Add about 1/4 cup of milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon paprika powder and some freshly ground black pepper.

Beaten eggs - milk - spices

Beaten eggs - milk - spices

Mix well and pour over the grated cheese layer in the quiche dish.

Quiche - ready to bake

Quiche - ready to bake

Bake over medium heat for one hour.

Mushroom quiche with potato crust

Mushroom quiche with potato crust

Let the quiche cool for 10 minutes after removing it from the oven. Cut and serve hot.

Mushroom quiche slice

Mushroom quiche slice

Serving suggestion: decorate the quiche slices with pickled beetroot or gherkins.

Mushroom quiche with potato crust topped with beetroot

Mushroom quiche with potato crust topped with beetroot

Ingredients for this quiche recipe:

  • 3 medium size onions
  • 20 button mushrooms
  • 6 medium size potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose white flour
  • 1 cup parsley and dill, chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese

This recipe serves 4-6 people. I ate two big slices while writing the recipe for you, however :)

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Traditional Quiche Lorraine

Quiche is a dish originating from France, specifically from a region called Lorraine. This is why it is mostly known as Quiche Lorraine, although it is popular not only across all France but also in many countries, from Portugal to New Zealand. The traditional quiche Lorraine contains bacon and heavy cream, but if you want a low-fat variant, you can use ham and yogurt instead.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 6-7 bacon slices
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg

Directions:
Pre-heat the oven to 400F and bake the pie crust for 30 minutes. Dice the bacon. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the diced bacon and brown it for 5-6 minutes.

Beat the eggs, add the heavy cream, the milk, the salt and the pepper. Mix everything well, then pour the custard over the pie crust. Take care not to completely fill the baking dish. There should be about 1/4 pan height free space for the mixture to expand.

Bake the quiche over 300F for about 30 minutes. Spread nutmeg on top. Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Spinach Quiche

Spinach quiche is a permissive recipe. You can add other goodies such as bacon, mushrooms, chicken, turkey or ham, thus getting rid of your food leftovers in a delicious and easy way. This is the basic spinach quiche recipe. I used frozen spinach, because we are now in winter time, when fresh vegetables are hard to find. However, if you cook this quiche in the veggies season, you are welcome to use fresh baby spinach leaves.

Ingredients:

For the pie crust

  • 8 oz all purpose white flour
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 2 pounds spinach
  • 1 pound feta cheese, shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • black pepper, freshly ground

Directions:
In a bowl, mix together all ingredients for the pie crust. Make sure the butter is at room temperature when you do that, because you want to obtain a homogeneous composition. Don’t be afraid to use your hands.

After you make the dough, put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes, then shape it round and flat. The diameter should be large enough to cover the bottom and the edges of the baking dish.

Butter or oil the baking dish, then put the pie crust in place.

While the dough is resting in the fridge, don’t check your emails, don’t watch movies, don’t step out of the kitchen, because you have more work to do: make the filling.

Thaw the spinach, drain it very well and chop it. Peel and chop the onion. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet, then add the onion and cook it for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Gradually add the shredded cheese, the eggs and some freshly ground black pepper. Mix everything very well, then pour the composition on top of the pie crust. Bake in the oven at 350 F for about 40-45 minutes.

The spinach quiche is best hot, but some people like it cold as well.

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Crustless Broccoli Quiche

Although typical quiche recipes call for pie crust, if you want a low-carb recipe, you can enjoy a healthy, crustless version of this delicious dish. It can make a perfect breakfast, nourishing and full of vitamins.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups broccoli, florets only
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups Swiss cheese, grated
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and saute the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the broccoli florets. Cook for about 2 more minutes, stirring often.

In a bowl, mix the eggs with milk, cheese, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Add the sauteed broccoli and stir gently.

Oil a baking dish. Pour the broccoli mixture inside. Bake it for about 40 minutes at 350 F. Serve hot.

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Baked Macaroni And Cheese

Baked macaroni cheese right from the oven

Baked macaroni cheese right from the oven

Ingredients:

  • 300 g pasta (spirals, elbow macaroni or any other type of short pasta)
  • 300 g hard feta cheese, grated
  • 100 g Emmental, Gouda or Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 100 g sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk

Directions:

Get 300g (about 10 ounces) macaroni. I used spirals for this recipe, but any other type of short pasta will do.

Spiral pasta

Spiral pasta

You’ll also need a block of feta cheese (at least 100g or about 3-4 ounces weight):

Feta cheese

Feta cheese

Boil the macaroni as per instructions on the pack. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the water to prevent the pasta from sticking. Since we are going to bake it later on, there’s no need to strictly respect the cooking time. Just make sure to, at least, cook it “al dente”. Here’s my cooked pasta, draining over the kitchen sink:

Macaroni boiled "al dente"

Macaroni boiled "al dente"

While waiting for the macaroni to cook, grate the feta cheese in a big bowl.

Grated feta cheese

Grated feta cheese

You want a big bowl because you are going to add the boiled pasta later on. Set aside about 1 tablespoon grated feta.

In the big bowl of grated feta add two eggs and mix everything very well.

Cheese - egg mixture

Cheese - egg mixture

In a separate bowl, beat the two remaining eggs together with the sour cream and the milk.

Drain the macaroni very well and let it chill out.

Meanwhile, put the butter in a Pyrex dish and let it melt on low heat, making sure it spreads evenly on the bottom of the dish.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Add the pasta to the feta cheese-egg mixture and mix it very well with a fork. Spoon the mixture into the Pyrex dish and shape it flat. Pour the egg-sour cream-milk mixture evenly on top, then sprinkle the dish with the remaining grated feta.

Macaroni cheese ready for baking

Macaroni cheese ready for baking

Bake the macaroni cheese on low to medium heat for about 30 minutes. Take the dish out of the oven, sprinkle the grated Emmental cheese on top, then bake it on medium to high temperature for 15-20 more minutes or until you see it getting a nice light brown, crispy crust.

This is how the macaroni and cheese looks when it's done

This is how the macaroni and cheese looks when it's done

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Macaroni Cheese With Parsley

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb macaroni (penne, shells, fusilli, elbow macaroni or any other type of pasta you like)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • salt, pepper

Directions:
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water with a teaspoon of salt, respecting the cooking time indicated on the pasta pack.

In a pan, heat one tablespoon of butter, add the shallots and saute them until they turn light brown. In another pan, melt the remaining butter and add the flour. Cook it on low to medium heat, stirring continuously. Start adding the milk gradually, stirring well, until the composition becomes smooth.

When the mixture starts boiling, reduce the heat and keep on cooking for about two more minutes. Remove it from the heat, add the cheese and stir until it melts.

Drain the pasta, put it in a pot, then pour the melted cheese over it and stir until it gets evenly coated. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and with parsley and serve hot.

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Mushroom Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust (frozen or homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups Emmentaler cheese, shredded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 eggs, beaten (always buy free range eggs, they taste so much better)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • nutmeg (just a pinch)
  • salt, freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Cook the onions until they are translucent (3-4 minutes should be enough, but make sure you stir quite often). Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook stirring frequently for about 10 minutes. The mushrooms should turn golden brown and the liquid they released during cooking should evaporate almost completely.

In a bowl, beat the eggs, add the cream, about 1/2 teaspoon salt, nutmeg and the shredded Emmentaler cheese. Stir well. Pour the mushrooms into the egg mixture. Make sure let the mushrooms cool for about 10 minutes before doing this, otherwise the eggs will scramble.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Pour the mixture into the pie crust. Bake it for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to medium and bake for about 30-40 minutes. In order to check if the quiche is done, insert a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, it’s ready. Let the mushroom quiche stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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Macaroni and Cheese with Bacon and Tomatoes

Macaroni cheese is such a great dish! Not only the basic mac & cheese recipe is delicious, but also its variations are really good. For example, bacon and tomatoes give it an awesome flavor, turning it into a complete meal for the whole family.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4-5 bacon slices (about 1/2 pound)
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded (you can use a mix of various cheeses if you want)
  • 2 average size tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a big pot, cook the pasta in boiling salty water, as per instructions on the pack.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and brown the onion for about 2-3 minutes. Cook the bacon until it becomes crispy, then remove it from the pan. Add flour, salt and pepper to the browned onion, then gradually add the milk, while stirring frequently. Bring it to a boil, them lower the heat and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, add the cheese and stir until it melts and blends into the mix.

Drain the pasta very well, return it into the pot, then add the cheese mixture and the crumbled bacon to it. Blend well and transfer in a greased casserole. Bake it uncovered for 15-20 minutes, then arrange the tomato slices on top of the food and put it back in the oven. Let it bake for maximum 10 minutes more. Serve hot.

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