Wasn’t it good… wasn’t it fine… Crunchy mashed potato… it will be mine!
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An allegory for the cold war with music by the beardy ones from ABBA and lyrics by the guy who wroteJoseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,based on the world’s nerdiest* board game… a hit musical? Well… it nearly was. It certainly has a cult following but, despite the best-selling concept album and THAT song, the musical Chess was never the roaring success it perhaps should have been. You can find out more about the plot of the show in Georgina’s epic One Night In Spatchcock post.
*I know – that’s rich coming from a musical-theatre-themed food blogger.
Chess has been re-worked a few times with different versions on the West End and Broadway in the 1980s, as well as subsequent hybrids of the two [shouldn’t that be mash-ups? Ed] . However, with separate new productions planned in both London and New York in the coming months, perhaps Chess will finally find its audience, especially given how topical Cold War themes have become.
Duchess potatoes are a suitably retro side dish with which to celebrate this cult 1980s rock musical. Recipes generally include egg in the mashed potato mix in order to bind things together. However, I just used cold left-over mashed potato from the fridge which consisted of potatoes, butter, milk and seasoning. The great thing about using cold mash is that it had nicely stiffened up (steady… Ed) and holds its shape well.
But in the end he needs a little bit more than me
He needs his fantasies and freedom
I mash them so well.
I’m not going to give you a recipe for this… however, one of the most important things when making mash is to not overwork the potatoes (otherwise this releases the starch which leads to gluey mash). A potato ricer is ideal – a hand blender is a recipe for making glue. Oh – and use hot milk. And choose the right kind of potato (no new potatoes!). But that was definitely NOT a recipe.
Pipe the mashed potato into the desired shape (using a piping bag with a suitable nozzle), preferably onto a non-stick baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan and bake in a hot oven (200C /400F) for 15 minutes until golden. Serve up… the use of a chessboad is entirely optional.