• Karine Wlasichuk

The Last Leek Stalk: a Potato Mash for the Ages

Updated: May 1, 2020

March 18th: Quarantine, Day 3

I should start by saying this. Although the world has officially been quarantined for 3 out of 14 days, my baby and I have been for much longer. To me, this quarantine simply means that her dad works from home and that he gets gourmet lunches and snacks from me at all time. You see, Ella's immune system still being at its early developmental stages and all, I haven't ventured out of the house other than for quick walks or drives for her naps- in weeks. No contact with others, no restaurants, no strolls in stores. It might seem boring to some but it's my way of facing this. I am not hogging anyone's toilet paper or meat, simply making sure our daughter stays put. That being said, it also means I am off to a grocery store about 41 towns away tonight but I am ready for the night ride! (Note from the 19th: it was a 3 hour round-trip and absolutely worth it).

So for tonight's meal, I wanted to give a gourmet feel to an old bag of potatoes and the very last leek stalk in the fridge to accompany a chicken roast. I served it with a platter of every vegetable left to roast (which turned out to be baby carrots and broccoli crowns). A practically empty fridge can always turn into a delicious meal and it is one of my very favourite challenges to face (working in war zones and getting lost in countless international subway systems are also on the list. But this takes the cake).

So if you ever find yourself with random onions and potatoes left in your pantry, don't you dare not try to make them fancy! I promise it will end your day a tad better. You can do it.

You will need,

Shallots (2, thinly sliced)

Leek stalk (1, thinly sliced)

Potatoes (6-7, depending on the desired portion)

Paprika (a pinch, or the salt version)

Sea salt

Black pepper

Butter (2 tbsp)

Milk (for the potatoes, 1/4 cup-or, 1 tbsp of butter)

Optional: chopped scallions and 1 tbsp of horseradish

A step or two,

1. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter and stir shallots and leek until tender (7-10 minutes).

2. In a separate pot, cook potatoes in boiling water until very soft and drain. Test with a fork every few minutes- but to be fair, the mushier the better!

3. Put the potatoes back into the pot immediately (heat helps melt the butter and make everything blend together smoothly), add paprika, sea salt, black pepper, dairy of your choice (milk or butter, or both are great) and mash away! I personally add the leek-shallot mix halfway through mashing, so the potatoes already have a creamy texture- oh, and I add black pepper every 45 seconds. Enjoy!

By now you know: it's either food blocks or baby pictures.