Green Chile-Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes


This is one of those things that I’ve been thinking about for awhile, and it’s been on my list of recipes to create, so the other day, while my super-incredible Mexican meat loaf (that I was testing for a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article on fall picnics) was in the oven, I figured it was time. Plus, I happened to have the few ingredients that I needed to make this on hand — potatoes, goat cheese, green chiles — so I had no reason not to.

Other than the fact that this was my last can of green chiles. Sigh.

But I just couldn’t serve meat loaf without potatoes, now could I?

X wouldn’t know the difference, of course, if I’d just given him a pile of spinach (which I also did), but I would. It’s really just not done. Ever.

So in the spirit of being in the moment, living for today, and all of that, I forged ahead.

Naturally, I used fresh chevre from the cute goat cheese man, and if you don’t happen to have a cute goat cheese man in your neighborhood who you buy your cheese from each week, don’t despair. I feel safe in saying that even the store-bought fresh goat cheese will work here, too. We all must make sacrifices. I’m using canned chiles – and please, no more notes with details about the Hatch green chile festival this or that going on back home. I can’t take it anymore.

These potatoes are not really mashed — they’re just smashed a bit — so they still taste like biting into potatoes, not some whipped and pureed fluffy something-or-other. I don’t have anything against mashed potatoes, which they call puree de pommes de terre over here, but I’ll take lumpy over smooth any day. Guess that’s my grandmother Mary in me.

Green Chile-Goat Cheese Smashed Potatoes

3 pounds red-skinned potatoes, cut in 3-inch chunks
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 4.5 oz. can chopped green chiles
7 oz/200 grams fresh goat cheese
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

1. In a large, deep pot, put the potatoes and cover with water by 4-6 inches, and add the 1 teaspoon sea salt. Cover, and turn on high heat. When it boils, turn it down and set the timer for 10 minutes. When it goes off, see if the potatoes are ready by puncturing them with a fork – the potatoes should be soft, yet not mushy. If they’re ready, take them off the heat and drain them. If not, give them a few more minutes and keep testing until they’re done.

2. After you’ve drained the water off of the potatoes, add the 3 tablespoons of butter, and give it a stir. Here’s where the fun begins. With the hand potato masher (or just use your wooden spoon), give the taters a mash, so some of them are mashed and others are still in pieces. The idea is to be chunky and rustic — we’re not going for a smooth puree. Now, add the green chiles and the goat cheese and gently stir it in – be careful here, too, because it’s more fun to have the goat cheese in blobs and bits throughout than completely mixed through.