Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Small (Dysfunctional) Family

I'm sure every successful restaurant with a long-time loyal staff, or "lifers" in the mix, must in some way, feel like a small family. It reminds me of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, by Anthony Bourdain. It is a fantastic book, in which he states that "cooks are a dysfunctional, mercenary lot, fringe-dwellers," who are "comfortable with the rather relaxed and informal code of conduct in the kitchen, the elevated level of tolerance for eccentricity, unseemly personal habits, lack of documentation, prison experience." The stories he tells are humorous, disturbing, and enlightening! If you haven't read it, go get your hands on a copy! Here, Raki Mehra has been working at Morton's for 25 years! Oh, the stories he could tell! Maybe he'll write a book? 

Anyway, continuing my Morton's Steakhouse Menu, we must include the humble staple of many family meals, mashed potatoes. Morton's version is very satisfying, with the usual heart-clogging amount of butter and cream, but with a little kick from sour cream and freshly ground white pepper. They are the perfect accompaniment to their Porterhouse Steak. Along with harticot verts, or Boursin Creamed Spinach, or a simple green salad, and a nice bottle of red wine, what more could you want? *Dessert? Check back for Morton's Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake!

Morton's Mashed Potatoes

Serves 6


5 pounds russet or all-purpose potatoes, peeled
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper


Cut the potatoes into approximately 1 1/2" cubes and transfer to a large pot. Add enough cold water to cover the potatoes by 1" and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Be careful not to overcook. Immediately drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine the butter and cream over medium heat, and cook until the butter melts. Do not boil. Set aside.

Transfer the drained potatoes to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the potatoes start to break up and blend together. You may have to do this in batches. Gradually add the sour cream and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper. (Alternately, mash the potatoes by hand with a potato masher.)

With the mixer still on low speed, slowly add the hot cream-butter mixture. When all is added, increase the speed to medium and mix for 30 to 40 seconds, or until thoroughly mixed. Add more warm cream if necessary for the correct consistency. The potatoes should not be completely smooth.

Recipe from Morton's Steak Bible: Recipes & Lore From the Legendary Steakhouse, by Klaus Fritsch with Mary Goodbody.

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