An Old Favorite and A New One

In my family, when there’s a special occasion, someone better bring the Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes. It’s just not Thanksgiving or Easter without them. If you dare try to substitute regular, boring, ole mashed potatoes, you better be prepared to be strung up by your toes. Nothing can beat them.

Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes is an unusual name for a dish, but it’s explanatory, too. Once you’ve mixed them up, you can stash them in the fridge for up to a week before the final bake. This makes Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes a great candidate for family gatherings, as they free up your time on the big day for other preparations. They also work well as a weeknight side dish. Assemble when you have more time on the weekend and they’ll be waiting to accent just the right meal during the week, when your life is more hectic. They’re good like that.

Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes and Cilantro ChickenThe new favorite, then, would be Cilantro Chicken. Yay, a use for the cilantro I’m growing in my garden! I’ve used commercial cilantro lime marinades before and to be honest, it really isn’t all that more taxing to prepare it yourself. The most complicated part is chopping the cilantro, which is pretty darn easy. Then they sit, marinade and chicken flavors melding together in that bag while you carry on with your life. You are no longer a slave in your kitchen! Grilling the chicken takes very little time and before you know it, you have a flavorful meal with hardly any effort on your part. Isn’t that great?

Cilantro Chicken and Refrigerator Mashed PotatoesThe original recipe called for chicken breasts that you have to pound to an even thickness. I selected boned chicken thighs instead as they were pretty uniform in thickness and thinner than the breasts, saving time and energy by skipping the pounding altogether. I also increased the lime juice and cilantro, as I really wanted those to stand out. Cilantro Chicken would be great sliced and used for fajitas, as well. We will be making these many times this summer, that’s for sure!

Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 10-12
Ingredients
  • 5 pounds red potatoes, quartered but not peeled
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter, plus ¼ cup extra when baking
Instructions
  1. Put your quartered potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then continue boiling for another 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Drain and return to pot.
  2. Add to the potatoes the cream cheese, sour cream, garlic salt, sea salt, pepper, and butter. With a hand mixer, beat in the ingredients until potatoes reach desired consistency (lumpy or smooth). Transfer to a 2 Qt covered casserole dish. At this point, you can put the potatoes in the fridge for up to a week before baking.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Dot the top of the potatoes with pats of salted butter, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Cilantro Chicken
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 5 chicken thighs, boned
  • ⅓ cup lime juice
  • ½-1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic (I sadly had no fresh on hand & had to use that jarred stuff, so I'm not sure how many cloves it would be)
  • 1 Tablespoon local honey
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt blend
Instructions
  1. In a zip-top bag, combine the lime juice, garlic, honey, olive oil, and seasoned salt. Add the cilantro (more if you're a big fan of it, less if you're not) and mix it up. Drop the chicken thighs into the marinade and zip the bag closed. Squish the chicken around in the bag to coat all the pieces. Pop the bag in the fridge, rotating it periodically. You can marinate as little as 30 minutes, but I went with 24 hours for better flavor.
  2. When you're ready to cook, preheat your grill. Grill at around 350 degrees (medium-low heat) for 4-6 minutes per side (flipping only once), or until juices run clear and it's no longer pink inside the chicken.

 

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