Here’s the thing about Thanksgiving. It’s one of those holidays that tend to be steeped in tradition and the same foods year after year. In many cases you only eat/make these foods once a year which is part of what makes them so special. This delicious holiday repetition presents a problem. Over the years, I have shared all of my traditional Thanksgiving contributions. (If you’re curious – I’ve set up links to them all at the bottom.)
So today I have decided to share some tips on mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are not food reserved just for the holidays – at least not in my house. However, they are the foundation of a Thanksgiving plate. (Literally, my husband will cover his plate with mashed potatoes and put everything else on top of them!)
People make mashed potatoes in many, many ways. I even make them in different ways depending on the flavor and style I’m going for. At Thanksgiving, I’m going for creamy and fluffy. Here are my tried & true potato tips:
1. Use Yukon Gold potatoes: they consistently make the fluffiest mashed potatoes
2. Don’t skimp on the butter but go easy on the milk. Let’s say I’m making a 2lb bag of mashed potatoes. I will use two sticks of softened butter. Plop them in the bowl and dump the hot, drained potatoes on top of the butter to melt it. I will then add milk in little bits as I am mashing the potatoes – that way I can control the consistency. How much milk? I never measure but I promise I never add more than 1/4 cup at a time.
3. Use a hand mixer. WHA?!? I can hear some of you screaming in protest. I agree, hand mashed potatoes lend a lovely rustic touch. A potato ricer can indeed produce a delicious side dish. But when it comes to Thanksgiving and the hectic, crowded kitchen it brings I want something fast and guaranteed to give me some fluffy spuds. The hand mixer never lets me down.
4. Seasonings. Here’s where things get interesting. Most times I am just a salt & pepper girl with the occasional dash of garlic powder. Other times I’ll sneak in a generous dollop of sour cream or goat cheese. Mmmmmm… and while digging around my recipe files, I came across this idea from Cooking Light. If I don’t try this on Thanksgiving, I can promise you I will be trying it out on my dinner table soon:
Buttermilk-Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
1 1/2 lbs potatoes
1/2 cup skim milk
2 TB butter
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1. Peel and chop your potatoes, place them in a large pot just covered with water. Bring to a boil and boil for 15-20 minutes – until fork tender. Drain and place in a large bowl.
2. Combine milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on high 2 minutes or until butter melts. Add this milk mixture to potatoes. Mash (or mix with a hand mixer!) to desired consistency. Stir in buttermilk and remaining ingredients.
- Double Layer Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Squares
- Pecan Pie Squares
- Corn Bread & Sausage Dressing
- Using leftovers for turkey soup and/or white chili
Have fun with your menu planning!