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Champ February 5, 2010

Posted by General Zod in Family, Food.
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Since Delaware is expecting a big snow tonight, I’m going to be looking to keep the family warm indoors.  To that end, I’m planning a few distractions to keep my daughters entertained over the weekend.  For starters, I’ve Netflix’ed a movie for them to watch and dug out a couple of board games.  Couple that with some playtime in the snow and some quiet reading time, and the weekend should be pretty well spent.

In addition to all that, I’d like to prepare a little comfort food for the family.  As a Celt, there’s one dish that always fits into this category for me… mashed potatoes.  Now, plain mashers seems a tad bland… so to quote Emeril Lagasse, I’m going to “kick it up a notch!”

For dinner, my plan is to make Champ!

Champ is basically a mashed potatoes dish that’s tasty enough to make any self-respecting Irishman yearn for the Emerald Isle.  It’s made simply by combining mashed potatoes with spring onions, butter, and milk.  Some folks know this dish as “Poundies”.

The following is the procedure that I always use to prepare the dish:

Ingredients:

8 medium Potatoes
1 cup Milk
1 stick of Butter
1 bunch (about 6) spring onions (or scallions)

Directions:

Fill a large pot with enough water to submerge the potatoes (but don’t put them in yet), and stick it on the stove over high heat.  Add a few pinches of salt to the water.

Fill a large bowl with cold water.

cubed_potatoes Peel the potatoes, and then deposit them into the cold water.  (This will keep the peeled potatoes from browning while you work.)  Cut each potato into similar-sized cubes (about 1½” wide).

Drain off the cold water.  Then, add the cut potatoes into the stove-top pot.  Bring the water to a boil.  Then, lower the heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.  (You’ll know they’re cooked properly when there’s no resistance when you stab the potatoes with a knife.)

chopped_scallions While you’re waiting, use this time to finely chop up your scallions.  (The white bulb does have more flavor than the green stalks, but include some of both… if only to add some color to the dish.)

When they’re done, drain the potatoes in a colander.  Empty the pot, and dry it out a bit (being careful not to burn yourself).  Then, return the potatoes to the pot.

Place the pot over a VERY LOW heat.  Cover the potatoes in the pot with a clean tea towel (or a paper towel).  Do NOT allow the towel or paper to dangle outside the pot near the flame!  The heat will dry out the potatoes, and the towel will absorb some of the moisture.  Turn off the heat after 2 to 3 minutes.

While the potatoes are drying, cut 1½” of butter off the stick and set it aside.

In a sauce pan, warm up the milk, the larger half of the butter stick, and the chopped spring onions.  Stir about to melt the butter and blend the mixture together.

After the potatoes have dried for 3 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the tea towel.  Then, dig out your potato masher and smite them for all their worth!  (I like a smoother mash, but some folks like some lumps in their potatoes.  To each their own.)

After mashing, stir in the warmed onion mix.  Try to distribute the onions throughout all of the mashed potatoes evenly.

Give the potatoes a taste.  If they seem too thick, then just stir in a little more milk to thin it out a bit.

Transfer the potatoes into a serving bowl.  Take the remaining knob of butter, and press it about halfway down into the center of the mashed potatoes.  Once it melts, you’ll have a small pool of butter in the center of the dish.

champ Damn tasty!

One more bit… if you’ve ever heard the phrase that describes someone to be “as thick as champ” (meaning to be stupid)… well, this dish is where that phrase originates from.

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