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Smokey Blue Smashed Potatoes

Beecher's Smokey Blue Smashed Potatoes

Kurt Beecher Dammeier
The yams add great color and flavor to traditional mashed potatoes, and the earthy Smokey Blue cheese delivers bite. The key is to not overstir the mixture, keeping it rustic and slightly chunky so the ribbon of yam is visible running through it. Serve with tenderloin, roasted broccoli, or turkey meatloaf.


  • 1 small yam peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper divided
  • 4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes about 2 pounds
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 ounces ½ cup Beecher’s Flagship cheese (or another semi-hard cheese such as cheddar or Gruyère), grated
  • 2 ounces ½ cup Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue cheese, crumbled
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme


  • Heat the oven to 400°F. Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat for 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, toss together the yam, olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Pour mixture onto the hot baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the yam is brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven, transfer to a medium bowl, and mash the yam. Set aside.
  • While the yam is roasting, remove half or all of the peel from the potatoes (leaving some of the peel on adds texture and color to the dish). Cut potatoes into 2-inch pieces. Put potatoes in a large pot, and cover with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil, and boil for 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are just cooked through.
  • In a small pot, heat milk over low heat until it just starts to simmer.
  • Strain potatoes, and return to the pot. Add the butter, remaining salt and pepper, both cheeses, garlic powder, thyme, and milk. With a potato masher, gently mash the potato mixture (the potatoes should be slightly chunky).
  • Add the roasted yams, and gently fold them in with the masher or a spatula. Do not fully incorporate the yams, leaving spikes of color throughout the potatoes. Serve warm.

Kristine Jannuzzi

Food and travel writer Kristine Jannuzzi (aka @nyccheesechick) fell for formaggio the first time she tasted Pecorino Toscano in Florence some 20 years ago. She has been a frequent Culture contributor since 2013, and her work has also been published in La Cucina Italiana, Italy Magazine, and British Heritage Travel, among others. A bilingual dual American and Italian citizen, Kristine currently hosts private cheese tastings and visits to cheesemakers in Tuscany.

Photographer Michael Harlan Turkell

Michael Harlan Turkell, a once aspiring chef, now photographer, captures the inner workings of kitchens. As former photo editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan, his recurring BACK OF THE HOUSE series appeared in the magazines from 2006 – 2011. Michael’s been nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award in Visual Storytelling, included in 25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers V2, (PowerHouse Books), received a Photo District News Photo Annual Award, and has had his photos printed in an array of publications, and cookbooks. Learn more about Michael at http://harlanturk.com/