Growing up in Southern Vermont in the 70s and 80s cheese meant just one thing, glorious Vermont Cheddar. Long before the artisanal cheese making boom that has swept the country over the past 15-20 years, Vermont's cheddar tradition even then was well established. "Imported" cheeses whether from other regions of the US, or from other countries were something I rarely encountered as a kid.
At that point in my life an exotic or "fancy" cheese was usually one of two things, either a crock of "WisPride" or a small tub of "Boursin" spreadable cheeses. As my rotund frame at the time could attest, I loved these cheese products more than air itself, and could often be found huddled in a corner eating them by the spoonful mumbling to myself in my own private cheese loving language. My sister also apparently grew up with a love of Boursin (though I suspect that her relationship with the stuff was healthier than mine), because when visiting recently she brought a few tubs of the stuff along with some fresh baguettes, crackers and cruditè to be enjoyed as a pre-dinner nosh.
Upon her departure I found one of the tubs of cheese still in my fridge (be still my beating heart….), and while my first instinct was to grab a spoon and have my way with it, upon reflection I decided to come up with this dish so that I could share the love a little. Nice to see that all my years of cheese addiction therapy are finally paying off, yes?
Cheers – Steve
- 4 medium sized russet potatoes, rinsed, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup Boursin cheese
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- minced chives or thinly sliced scallions for garnish
- Place the potatoes in a pot of well salted water and set over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so that the water just gently boils and cook until the potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the potato chunks.
- When cooked through, drain the potatoes through a colander, then return them to the empty pan and set it over low heat. Stir the potatoes for about 2 minutes to evaporate some of their excess moisture, then smash them with a potato masher, or blend them with a hand-held mixer.
- Add the butter and mix to incorporate, then the milk, and finally the Boursin. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired. Place in a warmed serving bowl and top with a pat of butter and some chives or scallions.