Monday, February 11, 2008

Skordalia, Opa!

This week I had some scary Skordalia. Normally I'm elated at the sight of this garlicky spread on a menu and when I ordered it at a Greek restaurant in Ybor City, Florida I was expecting a warm, pillowy mass of olive oil and pureed potatoes. Ah but no. What we received were cold, lumpy mashed potatoes that although laden with garlic, tasted very stale. My mom, who was my dining companion, didn't know what to think as she had never had Skordalia but I was rightfully bummed. So, to set everyone's Skordalia standards at an appropriately high level, I am passing on a recipe from Greek Chef Michael Psilakis who owns two Greek restaurants, Athenos and Kefi in NYC.

The key is to get the potatoes as smooth as possible, I find it's best done with a ricer or a hand cranked processor but if you have a light hand you can use an electric processor. Be warned, if you over process this it will turn into a gummy mess.


3 medium-size potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold, peeled
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small shallot, peeled
1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper

Boil potatoes until soft (about 30 minutes). Immediately mash potatoes finely or put through a ricer, and transfer to a bowl. In a food processor, combine 1/4 cup vinegar, garlic and shallot; purée. Using a spatula, mix vinegar mixture into potatoes, then slowly stream in 3 tablespoons olive oil, mixing until emulsified. Add more oil to make a smooth, soft purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep hot.

Serve with olive oil on top with warm pita bread. Enjoy!

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