So, I’d gone out to eat the other day; by the end of the meal, I discovered I really hadn’t gotten around to my side of mashed potatoes because I’d had a bit too much bread (“Don’t fill up on bread!“) during the meal. So what to do with the leftover mashed potatoes I’d brought home?
I suppose I could’ve done the obvious thing and make a version of shepard’s pie. Then there was the quote from newyork.grubstreet.com; Iron Chef Morimoto offered the following helpful thought –
“Japanese Mashed-Potato Soup
Heat the leftover mashed potatoes in a pan with butter and half-and-half, then ladle hot dashi (store-bought, or make your own with dashi kombu, water, and bonito flakes) over the soft mixture. Garnish with grated wasabi and chives.”
– Masaharu Morimoto (see http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2010/11/chefs_and_leftovers_can_we_agr.html )
This was actually one of the dishes Morimoto created during his potato battle with Michael Noble and can also be found in his book “The Art Of New Japanese Cooking”. You can watch Iron Chef Morimoto making the soup here –
(see time indices 3:58-4:34, 6:13-6:27, 7:07-7:36)
(see time indices 5:19-5:47, 9:50-10:04)
So that’s what I decided as part of dinner….
I had enough mashed potato for two people and I figured out that I needed:
6 oz mashed potato
1 tablespoon sake
1 tablespoon+1 teaspoon+1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
2 cups of dashi
3 oz of butter
3 oz of half/half cream
a bit of cut chives and wasabi for garnish
But that seemed to suggest that there was going to be 1 part potato : 1 part dairy. I imagined that the already-made mashed potatoes were going to be too liquid with the extra dairy and unable to hold it shape when placed into the soup bowls. Since the mashed potatoes tasted ‘buttery enough’, I thought ‘skip the butter and cream this time; I can always try it with the butter/cream the next time I make mashed potatoes from scratch”.
So I reheated the potatoes by steaming them (covered) and distributed the mashed potato into the two soup bowls for my wife and I.
I then ladled in the seasoned dashi and the garnished the top of the potatoes with the chives and a 1/4 teaspoon of the wasabi made from wasabi powder/water.
As my wife and I tasted the soup, she immediately agreed that that wasabi *had* to be there because of the richness in the mashed potatoes and the chives provided a garlicky sharpness to contrast the ‘smoothness’ of the potato’s flavor. I’m glad I didn’t add any salt to the dish – the soy sauce provided all the saltiness that the dish required. I’m glad I finally got around to trying this dish. I could either create this dish from the very beginning as part of future big family meal or at least have a great option to deal with leftover potatoes instead of doing something pedestrian.