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In the past few days, I don’t know if you can tell, but my year-long travel-ban situation (recap: sick soupy Dumpling has been losing his juice) has advanced to some sorta voluntary house-arrest, and besides spending all my time migrating him in between the bed and the bathroom, I’m also doing everything I can to not make it too obvious, that I’m trying to live out of a single potato.

And now I’m doing it again.  Guess I gave up.

But really though, am I the only one fascinated?  I mean, what’s the one thing most feared, about an aioli or butter sauce?  No, not that it’ll grow you an extra thigh, which it will and that’s that.  But it’s actually, with radical willingness, that both itself and your heart, it’ll sadly break (so true, Yoda.  so true).  Which is what makes this recipe, a hybrid between mashed potato and butter aioli, so superbly amateur-friendly.  We all know how the line between a “side-dish” and a “condiment” goes increasingly blurry for the most creamy and buttery “mashed potato” of its kind.  So why not smudge the line even further?  A smooth and silky butter aioli infused with Dijon mustard and fried capers, but with finely mashed potato as its solemn foundation.  The starch acts as a buffer, a liaison let’s just say, between the good butter that wants you to be showered with compliment, and the bad butter that just wants your world to separate.  And in the end, you’ll have a rich and indulging swirl that’s all the flavourful, and (sorta) (almost) (don’t tell me otherwise) half the calories.

Be warned that this is the kind of thing, an inconvenient happiness, that plays too well with others.  Before you even realize, it’s already got its paws on all your favourite proteins (meant to be healthy) and veggies (meant to be healthier), which will no long be enough without it.  One miserable night during my lock-down, a pan-fried piece of frozen salmon had never tasted so far far away from reality.

So is it mashed potato?  Or is it a sauce?  Who cares?  It’s the best two worlds.


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Makes: about 1 1/4 cup

* This recipe was inspired after I heard someone mentioning “potato aioli” on TV…  How do you credit that?

** Now, I know there’re people out there who are really specific about the word “aïoli” (extra virgin olive oil and all…).  So, fine.  I soiled your word.  Now how about a cookie?



  • 2 tbsp (32 grams) capers, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) cooked yukon gold potato
  • 1 1/2 tbsp (30 grams) Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 8 tbsp (113 grams) unsalted butter, soften, cut into small cubes
  • Sea salt to season


  1. TO FRY THE CAPERS: Combine capers with about 2 tbsp of olive oil in a small pot over medium heat. Fry the capers for a few minutes until shrivelled up and crispy (it may splatter a bit at the end). Drain then set aside.
  2. TO MAKE THE AIOLI: Pass the cooked potato through a ricer, to get it as finely mashed as you can (if you don't have a ricer, crush/rub it between your fingers to make sure there's no lumps), then transfer to a small pot. Add Dijon mustard, egg yolk and grated garlic, and whisk with a fork until evenly whipped.
  3. Hold the pot close to a medium-low flame to keep warm (but not enough to cook the ingredient), then add a couple cubes of unsalted butter, whisking until melted and incorporated before adding the next. If the butter has trouble melting, just bring the pot closer to the flame to warm up. Continue until all the butter's been incorporated. If you want to be really anal for that tongue-wrapping silkiness, pass the sauce through a fine sieve. Last, add the fried capers and season with sea salt as needed.
  4. You can make the aioli before hand, and again, hold it close to open flame (whisking constantly) to warm up before serving. It goes superbly with grilled fish, roasted chicken or roasted vegetables.

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  • Belinda@themoonblushbaker

    January 10, 2015 at 11:26 PM Reply

    My heart is with you and your poor Dumpling. I hope you are taking care of yourself too Mandy! This reminded me of the bread sauce served at Christmas however this is better. You are coaxing me into using my Christmas money to buy a new pair of sweat pants because I am skipping the dippers and eating it straight!

  • Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

    January 10, 2015 at 11:28 PM Reply

    Whether it is a sauce or side dish it is going to be smothered on everything in sight! Most likely eaten with just a spoon. Either way it is going to be delicious and I’ll be excited about my third thigh! haha

  • June Burns

    January 11, 2015 at 1:13 AM Reply

    That is some fancy aioli! Never knew you could use mashed potatoes in there.

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    January 11, 2015 at 1:53 AM Reply

    This is kind of insane. I swear if you opened a restaurant that served all the recipes you post here it would be this amazing mashup between wd-50, Mission Chinese, and Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen and Bar. And i mean that as the highest compliment possible.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    January 11, 2015 at 3:20 AM Reply

    Holy smokes!! You are a freaking genius! Love, love, love this!

  • Millie | Add A Little

    January 11, 2015 at 4:05 AM Reply

    Insanity! I love this Mandy! happy weekend!

  • Thalia @ butter and brioche

    January 11, 2015 at 12:24 PM Reply

    I could probably eat this aioli by the spoonful.. it looks so delicious and dangerous too.

  • Laurie

    January 11, 2015 at 3:46 PM Reply

    Omg – Aioli – one of my favorite things, ever! We first had it in France, probably 20 years ago when we ordered fish soup. We had no idea what we were in for. We watched another couple get served and they we glopping the aioli on slices of baguette and dipping it in the fish soup like hungry animals. When we got ours we understood! So delicious! I love the idea of using the potato. Who doesn’t like a potato??

    Sorry Dumpling is doing poorly. I often think about you all and hope for the best. I know the doggie thing is heartbreaking. There’s no way around it. Just gotta look at the the good times and showing of love especially when it is taxing for everyone.

    Laurie XXOO

  • Jasmin

    January 12, 2015 at 12:34 AM Reply

    I love this bold combination… Definitely going to try it!

  • tunie

    January 12, 2015 at 8:36 AM Reply

    Hmm…I may be able to tweak this into a warming soup…thanks! And lots of love to Dumpling…

  • charlotte

    January 12, 2015 at 8:53 PM Reply

    I’ve wondered what this could be like, Aoli and mashed potatoes, but I thought it was criminal, like against the the law and you done went and did it, omg this will be Soooooo in my dinner plate..thank you Lady thank you, you Are a genius, pure genius.

  • Linda | Brunch with Joy

    January 13, 2015 at 2:30 AM Reply

    Oh Mandy, sorry to hear about dumpling. Sometimes I wish all dogs can live forever…. And this mashed potato is insanely droolworthy. I love capers and fried capers sound like a real deal. Hope you take a good care of yourself, too!

  • Teresa Ames

    January 21, 2015 at 12:59 PM Reply

    Until recently I had been to busy, I’m a nurse, to enjoy my passion, cooking. Trying new things and enjoying the different. I stumbled across your blog and I’m glad I did. Your food is warm and intriguing. You are funny. So best of life good food and laughter. Thank you. Teresa

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