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Arugula Mashed Potatoes with Bacon Bread Crumbs

Posted: Friday, Jan. 25, 2013

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Chef Troy Gagliardo

Chef Troy Gagliardo is a self-taught chef that has parlayed his years of kitchen experience into many other culinary ventures. Including designing and developing his all-grilled restaurant concepts, a proprietary spice line, cook books, commercials, food styling, cooking/restaurant columns, endorsements, cooking classes, and live appearances. Troy has been voted as one of the Charlotte’s Top Five Chefs two years in a row by Creative Loafing readers and competed in the Iron Fork competition both years. Chef Troy has appeared in two national commercials with NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and joined him for a media tour day just days before Dale Jr. won his second Daytona 500 to start the 2014 NASCAR season.For the past seven years, Chef Troy has appeared each week on Charlotte's morning show WCCB News Rising, cooking his way through "Troy’s Everyday Eats". Filmed live each week at the WCCB Charlotte studios, Chef Troy teaches his unique style of food with a simple approach directed toward the home-cook/viewer.His feature on Rising began in August of 2007, and since has become the most anticipated part of the show. During that time Troy has prepare over one thousand of his creative original recipes live on-air and has made several cooking appearances on the night time show, WCCB News Edge. Chef Troy teamed up with The Fresh Market as a sponsor for “Troy’s Everyday Eats" in April of 2011. Troy shops each week at The Fresh Market for the ingredients used on the show, he says, "The Fresh Market sponsorship is something I have pursued for a long time. I love shopping at their markets because everything is always so fresh. They have a large variety of organic and sustainable food options. As a consumer and chef, I couldn't ask for anything more". Warren publishing recently signed Chef Troy to publish his new cookbook entitled Pseudo Southern-a playful twist on the art of southern cooking, which has been endorsed by Top Chef Alum and best-selling author Fabio Viviani and also star of “A Chef’s Life” Vivian Howard. Fabio said of Pseudo Southern, "Southern food is my second home. It's as close to my heart like Italy is, and that is why I love Troy's recipes so much. They remind me of the childhood I would have had if I was born in the south”. Vivian had this to say, “Troy’s take on southern food is just left of center, fun, and refreshing. His recipes are approachable that even the most jaded cook will be intrigued to try.” Chef Troy is also a free-lance food writer for the Charlotte Observer and Examiner.com and lives in Mooresville, NC with his wife Tracy, of twenty-three years, and their two daughters, Ally and Isabella. He can be seen every Tuesday morning from 7-9 am on WCCB News Rising.

Oh the lowly spud; never the star always the supporting side. However with a little attention and detail the common spud can be elevated to new heights. Kick up normal everyday mashed potatoes with peppery arugula and bring a little texture to the party with toasted bacon bread crumbs.

Follow then few simple ideas for great successful homemade mashed potatoes every time. Set out your butter, heavy cream and sour cream to warm up to room temperature. Cook potatoes just until fork tender and remove from the water immediately. Drain but don’t rinse and place back in the pot used to cook the potatoes.

Add your ingredients and any other flavoring you’d like and mash together by hand with a potato masher. Plate and top with the bread breads and serve. It’s as simple as that.

Arugula Mashed Potatoes with Bacon Bread Crumbs

• 2 1/2 Pounds-Russet Potatoes-peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
• 4 Tablespoons-Unsalted Butter-soften at room temperature
• ½ Cup-Heavy Whipping Cream-room temperature
• ¼ Cup-Sour Cream
• 2 Teaspoons-Kosher Salt-plus extra to season breadcrumbs
• ½ Teaspoon-Black Pepper- plus extra to season breadcrumbs
• 2 Cups-Arugula-rough chopped
• ½ Pound Bacon-sliced into thin strips, cooked, drained (reserve drippings)
• 1 ½ Cups-Panko Breadcrumbs

Directions

1. Chop bacon into small pieces and warm a sauté pan over medium heat.
2. Add panko, bacon and about 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings.
3. Toast stirring frequently until golden brown, remove from pan and set aside.
4. Place potatoes in a stock pot and cover with hot water.
5. Bring to a boil, cook for 30-45 minutes or until a knife inserted slides off easily.
6. Potatoes should still hold shape but will mash with a little pressure, drain potatoes.
7. Place drained potatoes and butter in a large mixing bowl.
8. Add heavy cream, sour cream, slat/pepper and arugula.
9. Using a potato masher begin smashing until all are incorporated.
10. Place potatoes on a serving plate garnish with bacon breadcrumbs and serve.

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