In Idaho it's expected that potatoes play a starring role on the plate. Shore Lodge executive chef Eric Gruber created his signature mashed potatoes by combining whipped Idaho russets with rosemary and blue cheese, a combination he swears by.
McCall, ID (Vocus) October 25, 2010
If you're looking for a new spin on an old Thanksgiving dinner staple, then pick up the latest issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray. The November edition offers four new takes on the perennial holiday side dish -- mashed potatoes -- including one from The Narrows restaurant at Shore Lodge in McCall, Idaho.
The recipe is for Rosemary Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes and was developed by Shore Lodge and Whitetail Club executive chef Eric Gruber. His inspiration? "I love the taste of rosemary combined with blue cheese, but I hate the texture of rosemary," he explains, "so I ended up steeping the rosemary to get the essence without the texture." Although currently on the menu to commemorate the Rachael Ray accolade, the $4 side dish is generally reserved for specials rather than standard fare and accompanies an entrée like a New York steak.
For those looking to follow Chef Gruber's lead and spruce up their starches this Thanksgiving, he offers the following tips: "First and foremost I recommend cooking your potatoes whole and not dicing them up, because this will give you better, fluffier mashed potatoes. And make sure you cook the potatoes until they're tender throughout. We use 50-count Idaho Russet Burbank potatoes in the restaurant.
"Regarding rosemary, use 2 sprigs for 4-6 good-sized potatoes and put it in with the cold water at the beginning so it's there the entire time. You're infusing the rosemary flavor in the potatoes with the water, and the actual rosemary will get strained out when you strain out the water. In addition, make sure you wrap the rosemary in cheesecloth so it's easier to pull out. Otherwise the sprigs will fall off and float around in the water and you'll never get them all out -- you'll be picking the rosemary off the potatoes one little bit at a time."
The mashed potatoes aren't the only dish on Shore Lodge's menu that will have patrons salivating this Thanksgiving. This year Chef Gruber is serving up a special menu featuring such entrées as: sage-roasted, free-range turkey with sourdough bacon stuffing, sour-cream mashed potatoes, green beans with toasted macadamia nuts, orange cranberry compote, and whiskey gravy; olive-oil-poached Alaskan black cod with spaghetti squash, tomato, olives, capers, and a lobster-stock Riesling butter sauce; pan-seared duck breast and beluga lentils with pancetta, honey-glazed baby carrots, cranberry vinaigrette, and chili aioli; and American Kobe New York Steak with roasted fingerling potatoes, a medley of Brussels sprouts and wild mushrooms and root vegetables, and sun-dried-tomato demi-glace.
RECIPE FOR SHORE LODGE ROSEMARY BLUE CHEESE MASHED POTATOES
INGREDIENTS (for 12 servings)
6 whole, peeled Idaho Russet potatoes
1/8 lb. fresh rosemary
2 cups crème fraiche (substitute sour cream if unavailable)
1/8 cup blue cheese
3 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon white pepper
1. In a large stockpot, place whole, peeled Idaho Russet potatoes and cold water. Be sure not to cut up potatoes.
2. Place rosemary in cheesecloth and tie securely. Add to stockpot.
3. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender. Be sure not to overcook.
4. Drain water and discard rosemary.
5. Run potatoes through a food mill.
6. Place potatoes in a large bowl and add crème fraiche (substitute sour cream if not available). Mix by hand with wire whisk.
7. Add salt and pepper.
ABOUT CHEF GRUBER
Along with a lifetime of passion for cooking, Chef Eric Gruber brings more than two decades of culinary experience and knowledge to McCall, Idaho's Shore Lodge. A graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute who has worked at several 4-star, 4-diamond establishments, Chef Gruber has served as executive chef at Shore Lodge and Whitetail Club since September 2008. His philosophy of building menus around seasonal and regional ingredient-driven cuisine is showcased most notably at The Narrows, the resort's fine-dining restaurant and lounge. Locally sourced products like grass-fed lamb from Hailey, Idaho, with mountain huckleberries picked fresh in McCall are highlights of the menu.
The exceptional work of Chef Gruber and his kitchen and wait staff at Shore Lodge have been garnering increasing acclaim -- Big Sky Journal gave The Narrows a glowing review in its August issue and an upcoming edition of the National Culinary Review, the official magazine of the American Culinary Federation, is featuring a recipe from the resort's fine-dining establishment. In addition, Chef Gruber was recently named to the advisory board of BehindTheKnife.com, a website about the tools in chefs' arsenals and the stories behind them.
ABOUT SHORE LODGE
Established in 1948 and nestled on the sandy shores of beautiful, glacially carved Payette Lake, the iconic Shore Lodge is a quintessential mountain retreat. Having completed a major renovation in 2009, the property and its amenities are second to none and include Whitetail Club, an 18-hole, 7,200-yard, private golf course designed by Roger Packard and two-time U.S. Open winner Andy North. In addition, Shore Lodge is nearby three major river systems and the lower 48's finest and most plentiful natural hot springs. Plus the resort is only 10 minutes from Brundage Mountain, which Ski Magazine says has "the best powder in North America" and which provides lift-assisted access to more than 20 miles of mountain bike trails. Visit http://www.shorelodgemccall.com for more information.
ABOUT RACHAEL RAY
Rachael Ray is an American television personality, celebrity chef and author. She hosts the syndicated talk and lifestyle program Rachael Ray and three Food Network series -- 30 Minute Meals, Rachael Ray's Tasty Travels and $40 a Day. Ray writes cookbooks based on the 30 Minute Meals concept and launched a monthly magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, in 2006. A Reader's Digest Association publication, Every Day with Rachael Ray is among the top 50 magazines in the United States based on circulation, which currently exceeds more than 1.76 million readers. Visit http://www.rachaelray.com and http://www.rachaelraymag.com for more information.
Jocelyn Kidd, Shore Lodge, (208) 630-0216
Tony Harrison, Stoltz Marketing Group, (208) 880-9814