When you think about it, the potato is an odd thing. Simplistic in nature, yet so diverse. A warm crisp french fry dipped in ketchup seems to be a completely different food than a serving of mashed potatoes topped with gravy. Then there's hash browns, potato skins, baked potatoes and even potato chips. None seem remotely related. The one thing they do have in common is they're all tasty.
About the time you think this versatile tuber can do no more, along comes plank smoked mashes potatoes. Unlike regular mashed potatoes, this version has a slight crisp on the outside and creaminess inside, all with a slight hint of smokey goodness. Similar to the evasiveness of the potato itself, these mashed potatoes aren't really like other mashed potatoes.
- 5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups sour cream
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3 bacon slices, fried crisp and crumbled, reserve some for garnish
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoons chopped chives, reserve some for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- smoking plank, soaked in water for 2 hours
- Fill a large pot with water and add about 3 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Carefully pour potatoes into a colander and allow to drain for about 20 minutes.
- Add butter to pot and slightly heat until melted. Add sour cream and milk and mix well. Remove pot from stove.
- Return potatoes to pot and add bacon, cheese and chives. Mash potatoes assuring all ingredients are equally distributed. Depending upon the size of your potatoes, an additional tablespoon, or two of milk may be required. The potatoes should have a consistency that will hold their shape when formed.
- Preheat a grill to medium. (275-350 ºF)
- Lightly coat one side of the pre-soaked smoking plank with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
- Scoop potatoes onto the oiled side of plank and form into a loaf.
- Place plank on the grill directly over the fire and close lid. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes or until potatoes are heated through and slightly crisp on the outside. An instant-read thermometer is a great help. Potatoes are done when the thermometer reads about 150 ºF.
- Carefully remove hot plank from grill. If desired, garnish with chopped chives and bacon bits. Remove potatoes from plank and serve immediately or serve directly from the plank.