Roasted Sweet and White Potato Medley

roasted potato2If I could pick my one favorite way to serve potatoes, it’s roasted.  Rosemary, oregano, garlicky olive oil infused.  Crispy salty edges and buttery soft inside.  Most recipes prepare roasted potatoes diced or cut in small wedges and I’ve made them in that way endless times.  It’s almost an automatic side when I think of any roasted meats….lamb, okay, roasted potatoes…roasted chicken, most definitely….roasted salmon, yep….roasted Italian sausages, of course who doesn’t love sausages with roasted potatoes and peppers, ….roasted Turkey, hmmm….Tday is coming up……and even with bbq ribs and as side for brunch! Continue reading “Roasted Sweet and White Potato Medley”

Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Lemon Thyme Butter

You have to serve mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving.  There are all sorts of ways to prepare potatoes but on this turkey day, gravy poured over mashed potatoes is a must.  I know, I’ve tried in years past to serve au gratin, roasted, stuffed….and I see it in my family’s eyes, as they glance across the table searching for the mashed potatoes.  And even if the gravy is only poured over the turkey and stuffing, those creamy mountains of potatoes are still missed.

I’m more a purist in my mashed potatoes.  There are endless recipes out there with an assortment of add-ins to choose from… flavored butters, a drizzle of pesto, a small amount of fresh herbs, a soft, gentle cheese, caramelized shallots or bits of roasted garlic.  But please, not all at once!

The choice of potato for mashing is a matter of preference too.  I like Yukon gold for its buttery flavor.  It is less starchy and holds up to boiling better without absorbing a lot of water.  I find that Russets really fall apart when boiled making for oober creamy mashed potatoes and red skinned hold their shape for a fairly chunky mash.  And speaking of skin…leaving it on or off is the next question.  I prefer to peel my potatoes when serving with tender turkey but leave it on for a rustic dish when being served with steak or grilled meats.  And, if you want to surprise your guests with some WOW color, check out Sports Glutton for some purple potatoes!

Adding milk or cream?  I like organic cream; it gives the mash a rich creamy feel and taste.  Whole organic milk , 2% or buttermilk can be used but in my opinion non fat is definitely a no-no!  I have used a small amount of turkey stock to cut back on the cream in the past but regardless of what is used, warming it slightly is better than shocking the potatoes with a cold liquid. And start out adding the cream in slowly as you can always add more to get it to the right consistency.

Lots of organic butter, sour cream in some recipes, Kosher salt and white pepper, not black, unless you like specks of black pepper through your mash.  Taste as you go to season to your liking.

Lastly, what to use to mash.  A ricer is “known” to be the preferred choice, but if you’ve ever used one, it’s a lot of work especially with a big pot of potatoes!  I like to use a simple potato masher giving me the control of mashing to my desired creaminess.  Just be aware that over mashing or using a mixer could cause the potatoes to become gummy and heavy.

Mashed potatoes can be made up to 2 hours ahead and left at room temperature or if you prefer to make them the day before, gently reheat them in a large pan adding milk to adjust the consistency.

Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic and Lemon Thyme Butter

Makes 10 servings

Recipe adapted from

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter, room temperature

4 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced

1 tablespoon minced lemon peel (yellow part only)

4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups organic cream, gently heated

1 roasted garlic bulb

Kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Mix butter, thyme, and lemon in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. (Butter can be made 3 days ahead or made a week ahead and frozen.  Wrap tightly and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.)

Place potatoes in large pot. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring to boil. Cover partially and cook until potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Return potatoes and roasted garlic (squeezed from cloves) to same pot and mash.  Stir warmed cream slowly into the potatoes, continuing to gently mash.  Set aside 2 tablespoons thyme-lemon butter to top later.  Mix in remaining butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer mashed potatoes to large warmed bowl. Top with 2 tablespoons butter and serve.

These mashed potatoes are part of my Thanksgiving Countdown.  If you’d like to share your favorite appetizer potatoe dish for Thanksgiving, please use Linky Tools below.

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Corned Beef Hash

There may be only two or three people in my home on a daily basis, but I always seem to cook for a crowd!  Anyone stopping in can always find a meal or two ready to go and my son seems to enjoy being able to slip into the kitchen at all hours of the day….and night… and find himself a home cooked meal.  I also like having leftovers, not about eating the same dish over and over, but for taking those leftovers and creating new meals.  No one tires of having leftovers when they become fun new dishes!

In honor of St. Patty’s day I made the classic corned beef, cabbage and potatoes dinner.  And, of course, enough to feed my neighborhood!  A Reuben Sandwich is the first I make with the leftovers; rye bread Panini pressed with melting swiss cheese, heaps of corned beef, sauerkraut and a nice smear of Thousand Island dressing.  Always a favorite and always a once a year treat for me!  A Reuben pizza is a cool spin using a homemade pizza crust that I tossed in some rye seeds and topped the pizza with the makings of the sandwich using the Thousand Island dressing drizzled on the top! 

 Lastly, but just as good and tasty, is Corned Beef Hash.  Top the hash with a poached or fried egg and it becomes a wonderful breakfast/brunch.  Leave off the egg, serve with a salad and dinner is ready!

 Corned Beef Hash

 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus

1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1 small finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

About 5 cups leftover Corned Beef and Cabbage, chopped or diced small *

2 cups leftover potatoes, diced small *

1 leftover ear of corn, kernels cut off (optional)

2 teaspoons herbs de Provence

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 *  Amounts will truly vary – these are leftovers, use whatever is leftover adjusting the ratios to your preference!  Shown above does not include cabbage!

 Heat a large skillet with olive oil.  Sauté the pepper and onion until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the skillet and, if necessary, add additional oil.  Heat well and toss in the potatoes to brown up a bit, about 5 minutes.  I find that the potatoes will brown better when the peppers and onions are removed.  Once the potatoes have a nice crisp, toss back in the peppers and onion, add the garlic, corned beef, cabbage, corn and herbs de Provence.  Stir well and allow to sauté a few minutes before turning over to ensure a nice browning, about another 5- 10 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle in fresh parsley.  Serve immediately.

Roasted Red, White & Blue Potatoes with Pancetta & Gremolata

Gremolata is a finely mix of fresh parsley, garlic and lemon zest.  I use this mixture to freshen up the taste of grilled chicken, steak or fish.  I got the idea to top my roasted potatoes with the gremolata as I saw in the July 2010 issue of Bon Appetit a recipe using rosemary, pancetta and lemon in a creamy potato salad.  I found a small bag of mini mixed potatoes and decided this would be a perfect complement to my Bourbon BBQ Ribs

Roasted Red, White & Blue Potatoes with Pancetta & Gremolata

2 lbs assorted red, white & blue mini potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup thickly sliced pancetta
Small bunch of Italian parsley, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 organic lemon, zested

Preheat oven to 420 degrees.  Combine potatoes and olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out on a large baking sheet.  Place pancetta on the sheet as well.  Roast for approximately 20 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.  Remove pancetta and coarsely chop.

Add pancetta to the mixture of parsley, garlic and lemon zest.  Plate the potatoes and sprinkle the gremolata mixture on the hot potatoes.  The heat from the potatoes will intensify the flavor and smell of the gremolata.  Serves 4.