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Monday, September 23, 2013

Ranch Mashed Potatoes

Back before Bailey was born, when Aaron and I lived in an apartment and ate mostly fast food because it was just easier to pick it up on our way home from work than to actually take the time to go grocery shopping and cook dinner after work, one of the few things that Aaron actually wanted to eat at home was (of course) macaroni and cheese.  Now, everybody has those weird food combinations that they like.  Mine is Wendy's french fries and a frosty.  I like to dip my fries in the frosty.  My brother used to (not sure if he still does) like Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls with nacho cheese.  Pregnant women are notorious for wanting strange things like pickles and ice cream.  Aaron's strange combination is ranch flavored Wavy Lays chips and macaroni and cheese.  He likes to use the chips as a scoop for the macaroni and cheese.

It's not a bad combination, actually.  I've tried it a few times.  For awhile it was almost all he would eat.  I tried to buy the chips and macaroni and cheese in bulk when they would go on sale.  He finally got over his obsession around the time Bailey was born.  He hasn't had chips and macaroni in probably over a year.

Well, the other night when I made the Ranch Crusted Fried Chicken I only made half of the recipe, leaving me half of a packet of  ranch dressing mix.  I was going to put it in a plastic bag and keep it in the cabinet for another night, but instead I decided to try something else new.

A few months ago I seasoned our mashed potatoes with steak seasoning.  I did it on a whim, just like these ranch potatoes.  I was using the steak seasoning to crust fried chicken (sound familiar?) and just thought what would happen if I sprinkled some of this into the potatoes?  Well, it was pretty darn good.  It took a tiny bit of tweaking with the steak seasoning because it had dehydrated garlic in it (minced size and pretty crunchy) which I felt needed to be rehydrated.  My solution was to soak the steak seasoning in the milk I was going to mix with the potatoes.  I think I've pretty well perfected those potatoes, so now onto a new challenge.

I really enjoyed these potatoes.  I think they're a great way to pack a little punch of flavor into your meal.  I maybe wouldn't make them with the ranch crusted chicken again because I felt the ranch flavor was a bit overpowering for the meal, but with some plain fried or grilled chicken they would be wonderful.

Ranch Mashed Potatoes

Source: Totally Original!

5-6 medium sized potatoes (I used russets but you can use gold or red potatoes if you prefer)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 oz packet ranch dressing mix
salt and pepper to taste

Start by peeling and dicing the potatoes.  Place them in a pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes.  Season with salt and bring to a boil and cook them for 20 minutes.  When the potatoes are cooked through drain them and place them in a medium-large mixing bowl.

Add the butter and ranch dressing mix and start smashing the potatoes with a fork or a potato masher.  Add milk in splashes until you reach your desired consistency.  I only used about 1/4 cup of milk.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.  I actually didn't need any salt because the ranch dressing mix had plenty of salt in it.

Serve warm and enjoy!

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