3 tablespoons butter
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold or new potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cups milk
8 ounces Queso Fresco, crumbled, divided use
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Caramelized Onions, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, separating it into rings, until it begins to turn light brown. Reduce the heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the excess liquid evaporates and the onions begin to turn dark brown and caramelize. Set aside.
In the meanwhile, wash the potatoes. Place them in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover the potatoes by 1 inch. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and place pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the potatoes for 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Preheat the oven to 350F. When the potatoes are cooked, pour them into a colander to drain. When cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skins. Return the potatoes to the pan and place them in the oven uncovered, to dry out, for 5 minutes. Butter an ovenproof casserole dish.
Heat the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove the potatoes from the oven and place in a large mixing bowl. Whip the potatoes with an electric mixer until smooth. Alternatively, pass them through a potato ricer or a food mill fitted with the fine disk. Add the milk and continue whipping the potatoes with the mixer or by hand. Gradually add 6 ounces of the Queso Fresco to the potatoes, while continuing to whip them. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Pour the potatoes into the casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining 2 ounces of Queso Fresco over the potatoes. Cover with the caramelized onions. (The potatoes may be set aside at this point and later reheated for 45 minutes.) If continuing with the recipe, place the casserole directly in the oven and heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the cheese melts and browns.
Serve hot from the casserole dish.
Posted: 9/23/2009 3:25:20 PM