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Jalapeno Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Whipped or mashed potatoes made with fat free half & half, spectacular cheddar and a hint of mild jalapeno flavor.

2 pounds Russet or Yukon potatoes
1 tsp kosher salt
1-2 jalapenos
8 TBS (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup Fat Free Half & Half
1 cup grated Murray Bridge Aussie Jack or aged Cheddar, or your favorite cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
sea salt and white pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with Kosher salt and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Split jalapeños, remove seeds and white membranes and drop in boiling water with potatoes; blanching about 90 seconds. Remove and cool.

Cover potatoes and simmer, cooking until the potato falls easily from the fork when deeply pierced. Drain and rinse pot and potatoes in hot water – place pot back onto warm stove to dry.

While the potatoes cook, warm the fat free half & half in a second saucepan and soften the butter to room temperature. Wearing gloves, skin jalapenos, mashing with the side of a fork and chopping to a paste. Grate the cheese and rest at room temperature.

Mash or whip the hot potatoes, slowly stirring in the milk and butter mixture as needed. Add about 1/2 tsp of the jalapeno paste and the grated cheese. Taste and adjust with salt, pepper and jalapeno as desired. The potatoes should not be hot, but carry a mild jalapeno flavor.

Just before serving, gently sprinkle with chopped chives. Serves 4-6
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