09 August 2008

Super Sides: Homemade Mashed Potatos and Parsley Peas with Onions

Tonight's dinner was all about comfort food: roast chicken, mashed potatos, and peas. We were feeling lazy and did not want to turn on the oven, so we bought the roast chicken from the grocery store. Though it's not the same as roasting one at home, I don't like to bake chicken at home during the summer because it requires my oven to be on for so long!

So, the stars of the meal were the homemade sides. Here are my simple recipes:

Mashed Potatos

5 medium Idaho potatos, peeled
about 1 cup skim milk
4 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. cream cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Chop the potatos into small chunks and place cut potatos into saucepan filled with cold water (water should be at least 3" below top of pot) and cover. Bring water to a boil, remove lid. Let potatos boil for 10-15 minutes or until very fork tender. Drain potatos and return them to the hot pot. Add all remaining ingredients and beat to desired consistency. You may need to tweak the amount of milk, salt, and pepper to your liking.

We prefer our potatos creamy, so I added more milk at the end and stirred it into the already whipped potatos. This is such an easy recipe, it's a cinch to make any night of the week.

Parsley Peas with Onions

2 small yellow or white onions
1 bag frozen peas
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Slice onions into thin half moons. Saute in 1 tbsp. olive oil until translucent and slightly carmelized. Lightly salt the onions to "sweat them out" - that is, get them to release their juices and soften.

In the meantime, defrost peas by placing in a colander and running under cool water. You may want to break them up with your hands so there are no chunks of ice in the peas.

Add the peas to the saute pan and heat through. When peas and onions are fully heated and combined, add parsley, salt, and pepper.

I like to saute frozen veggies rather than boiling them. It prevents them from getting soggy, and at the same time, prevents the nutrients from being sapped out into the cooking water.

Our lovely meal:

And the hungry little mongers trying to steal some chicken:

I did feed them some scraps, but further efforts to mooch off our dinner were thwarted.

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