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Old 03-09-2008, 06:56 PM   #1
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Cream Cheese Subtlety

I'm a new-ish home cook (started about 9 months ago), and I'm getting much better. I'm starting to throw things together that I feel will taste good. This generally goes well, except for today. The idea was to make a mushroom, onion, spinach, and baked potato mash bound together with cream cheese.

Well, with 2 reasonable sized potatoes, I used an entire block (1/2 lb) of cream cheese. The result was...un-cheerful. My father advised my to use only about a tablespoon of cream cheese.

My goal with the dish was to bring out the flavour of the cheese as a subtle undertone, and to really taste the onion/potato/mushroom thing. I don't think 1 tablespoon of cheese would have been enough.

So the questions are:

how much cheese would have been OK?
Should I have done away with the spinach, which was just boiled in a bit of water with some onion?

I'm also really not into using measurements while I cook. I don't like using x amount of anything. But I feel that this is one of those times where a bit of measurement would go a long way :-)

Mike

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Old 03-09-2008, 07:00 PM   #2
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I think the problem is the choice of cream cheese. To me that isn't a flavor that goes with potato, onion and garlic..

I think perhaps using a boursin herbed soft cheese might be a better way to go.
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:22 PM   #3
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A lot depends on how much potato was involved. If you were making two potatoes for you and hubby, an ounce or two of cheese would have added a nice flavor. I agree with Jeff. Use a cheese with more flavor, such as an herbed goat cheese or Boursin.
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crono760 View Post
I'm a new-ish home cook (started about 9 months ago), and I'm getting much better. I'm starting to throw things together that I feel will taste good. This generally goes well, except for today. The idea was to make a mushroom, onion, spinach, and baked potato mash bound together with cream cheese.

Well, with 2 reasonable sized potatoes, I used an entire block (1/2 lb) of cream cheese. The result was...un-cheerful. My father advised my to use only about a tablespoon of cream cheese.

My goal with the dish was to bring out the flavour of the cheese as a subtle undertone, and to really taste the onion/potato/mushroom thing. I don't think 1 tablespoon of cheese would have been enough.

So the questions are:

how much cheese would have been OK?
Should I have done away with the spinach, which was just boiled in a bit of water with some onion?

I'm also really not into using measurements while I cook. I don't like using x amount of anything. But I feel that this is one of those times where a bit of measurement would go a long way :-)

Mike
Welcome to DC, Mike. I like your combo & would keep the spinach. Perhaps use the same amount of cream cheese & dilute it a bit mixing it with a little milk to make it creamier. You could add a pinch of nutmeg or a dash of paprika (s&p), to bring out the flavors. Just a thought. Here are a couple of ideas with bleu cheese etc.

Twice Baked Potatoes
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:31 PM   #5
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Well, crono - in what way was your dish "un-cheerful"?

Was the texture not what you thought it would be - or was it the flavor?
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crono760 View Post
I'm a new-ish home cook (started about 9 months ago), and I'm getting much better. I'm starting to throw things together that I feel will taste good. This generally goes well, except for today. The idea was to make a mushroom, onion, spinach, and baked potato mash bound together with cream cheese.

Well, with 2 reasonable sized potatoes, I used an entire block (1/2 lb) of cream cheese. The result was...un-cheerful. My father advised my to use only about a tablespoon of cream cheese.

My goal with the dish was to bring out the flavour of the cheese as a subtle undertone, and to really taste the onion/potato/mushroom thing. I don't think 1 tablespoon of cheese would have been enough.

So the questions are:

how much cheese would have been OK?
Should I have done away with the spinach, which was just boiled in a bit of water with some onion?

I'm also really not into using measurements while I cook. I don't like using x amount of anything. But I feel that this is one of those times where a bit of measurement would go a long way :-)

Mike
HI MIKE,
I`m at a loss to know what you were trying to create.

There is a dish called Pommes a la florentine in which the cooked, boiled, peeled and sliced potatoes are layered with spinach that has been cooked and drained and mixed with a cream sauce (flavoured with freshly grated nutmeg) in a greased ovenproof dish and, finishing with a layer of potatoes, topped with grated parmesan is baked. This dish is utterly delightful but contains no mushrooms!

I suspect you had too many ingredients. Throwing ingredients together will not always work. Onions/leeks in a cream sauce with mushrooms will work with very well with chicken when served with rice.

Drained, and it must be very well drained, spinach mixed with butter, freshly grated parmesan, (not cottage cheese/ricotta - unless you get the proportions right) freshly grated nutmeg and a "LITTLE" ricotta and the pulp of the potato, put back into the potato, and seasoned to taste will work and tastes fantastic. In other words, mushrooms and spinach do not always mix.

Use one or the other. It is not necessary to use both spinach and mushrooms to create a great potato dish.

Hope this helps,
Archiduc
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