"If you are grateful for everything, then whatever you have is enough."-unknown
Thanksgiving is just a couple days away. Do you have your entire menu already planned? Well, if it isn't too late, may I recommend these potatoes? They are unbelievably good, ridiculously luxurious and all together worthy of any celebration. These are not boring, pedestrian mashed potatoes, these are pull out all the stops potatoes. They are inspired by the potatoes my good friend Suzi used to make with the added touch of a little bit of parsnip and with all the ingredients measured out for consistent results every time. They will be great on Thanksgiving, with your favorite roast chicken, meatloaf or as a pillow for a savory stew to be ladled on top of. I don't completely peel my potatoes, preferring the rustic look of the peel dotted throughout, but feel free to peel if that's your preference. These mashed potatoes are chunky and full of texture, which I love, but if you prefer a more smooth potato, use a ricer instead of a mixer to mash potatoes and then stir in other ingredients by hand once potatoes are riced to desired consistency.
Unbelievably Good Mashed Potatoes-serves about 10
2 parsnips, peeled, halved length-wise and cut into 2 inch sections cross-wise
2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 1/2 pounds red or gold skinned potatoes (Yukon Gold are my favorite, but gold-fleshed red-skinned potatoes are really great, too), peeled or not, cut into chunks
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cup half-n-half warmed, plus additional for thinning
1/4 cups sour cream
2 Tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 teaspoons each kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons minced fresh chives
1. In a large pot place potato, garlic and parsnip chunks, a generous amount of salt and enough water just to cover. Bring a to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, until tender. Drain completely.
2. Place potato-parsnip-garlic mixture into a bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment.on low speed. Stir potatoes until they are broken apart (the idea isn't to mash them into a cohesive mass of potatoes here. They should appear fluffy in texture). Increase speed to medium for 1o seconds. Reduce speed to low.
3. Combine melted butter and half and half . With mixer on low speed, pour into potato mixture along with sour cream and cream cheese. mix on low speed for 30-60 seconds.
4. By hand with a wooden spoon or large spatula, mix in chives, salt and pepper. You should be able to taste the salt without thinking the potatoes are actually salty. Make sense? Adjust seasoning gradually to taste.
5. Thin potato mixture with additional half-n-half until desired thickness is reached.
6. Place potatoes into serving dish and sprinkle with additional chives, if desired.
Wishing you a very happy and tasty Thanksgiving. May you have plenty to be grateful for this Thanksgiving holiday and every day. ♥
“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.” -A.A. Milne
I have been binge-watching Chef's Table on Netflix. It's fascinating to me from a food standpoint, but even more so from a cultural and human spirit standpoint. It has me completely mesmerized. If you haven't watched it, I highly recommend it. Each story is beautiful and inspiring in its own right. The cinematography is stunning. Some of the cooking featured is so earthy and relatively basic, but so inspired as if a spiritual practice. I don't have the means to begin to communicate how it touches me to see these stories and the creativity in action. Though I think these words from Howard Thurman sum up what this series portrays so beautifully- "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
So feeling somewhat inspired (though inadequately skilled by comparison) and having some humble potatoes on hand, I decided to just wing an idea and see what happened. This rustic recipe is the result. It's super easy, really tasty and fun. These potatoes would be a great accompaniment to roasted and grilled meats any time of the year.
Salt Roasted Potaotes with Rosemary- serves 4-6
6-8 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, scrubbed and patted almost dry (leave some moisture)
4-6 sprigs fresh rosemary
2-3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon. approximately, mixed fresh herbs (I used thyme, rosemary, chives and Italian Parsley), minced
10" cast iron skillet
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Pour a 1/2" layer of kosher salt evenly over the bottom of the skillet.
3. Pierce the potatoes in 2 or 3 places with sharp knife then place the slightly damp potatoes in the skillet and roll in the salt.
4. Scatter the rosemary sprigs on top of the potatoes.
5. Place skillet in oven and roast potatoes for 45-60 minutes, until potatoes are pierced easily with a thin sharp knife. (the house will smell heavenly as the potatoes cook).
6. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Using a clean kitchen towel or oven mitts, remove potatoes from skillet and brush salt off. Again, using a towel to protect your hands, break the potatoes in half by hand and place in serving dish.
7. Drizzle the potatoes with melted butter; sprinkle with herbs. Serve immediately.
Watch them disappear! ♥