Mashed potatoes are as iconic to Thanksgiving as cranberry sauce or stuffing- billowing white clouds of creamy, fluffy potato drowning in rich, silky gravy is a feature on most plates at Thanksgiving. To shake things up a little, I decided to make my mashed potatoes green, and to skip the butter entirely- all thanks to the magic of avocados. Avocados, like butter, contain the fat needed to make mashed potatoes more than just a dry, starchy mass but avocados are actually much healthier than butter. Avocados are filled with micronutrients (vitamins A and E, folacin, niacin, calcium and iron) and have about 5 grams of protein and only contain monosaturated fats whereas butter contains few micronutrients, no protein as well as trans and saturated fats. The other thing that avocados have that butter lacks is that wonderful rich avocado flavor cited as being the reason my generation will never own homes- and if I’m going to rent for life, I might as well enjoy my potatoes with avocado.
The gravy I did with this dish is actually fairly simple- I used dried porcini mushrooms I found at the local discount grocery store (as you can see in this picture, I paid only $3 for the exotic mushrooms)- they have the most impactful umami of any mushroom I’ve come across. Pairing with smoked paprika and chili powder, along with onion and making a simple (gluten-free) roux and incorporating cashew milk made a smooth, rich gravy. Best of all, it was simple and easy- a quick addition to a Thanksgiving feast!
Avocado Mashed Potatoes with Porcini Gravy
- 3 large potatoes
- 2 ripe avocados
- ¼ cup sunflower seed oil
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. chili powder
- ¼ tsp. allspice
- 30 grams dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 small onion, diced
- ¼ cup quinoa flour
- 1 ½ cup cashew milk
- Salt, to taste
1. Peel the potatoes and chop into cubes. Place in a pot on the stove and bring the pot to a boil. Check periodically to see when they’re done- you should be able to easily penetrate a cooked potato with a fork.
2. In a food processor, spice grinder, or mortar and pestle, grind the porcini into powder. Heat the oil on the stove, and mix in the spices and powdered mushrooms. Stir often to insure they don’t burn. After about a minute, add the diced onion and continue stirring. When the onions start to soften, add the quinoa flour and stir well, letting the flour cook but not burn. Lastly add the cashew milk, whisking it together with the roux created from the quinoa flour. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and allow to cook and thicken for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt to taste.
3. Once the potatoes have cooked, drain the water. In a large bowl combine the potatoes with the two avocados, and use a potato masher to mash until smooth. Add a little salt and serve with the completed porcini gravy.