Well folks it’s November 1st. For those of us who live in the United States this means that Thanksgiving is only 23 days away! Just like last year, and the year before, I will be posting recipes that can be made for Thanksgiving day. This year I have a couple of side dishes in mind and a different turkey recipe than last year’s Pomegranate & Port Glazed Turkey! So let’s begin with Purée also known as Mashed Potatoes!
During the time that I lived with my grandmother Maman Fakhri, one of the vegetables that was on heavy rotation for dinner was potato. Some times they were fried and other times they were mashed. I have always loved mashed potatoes, specifically, my grandmother’s Purée.
The first time I made mashed potatoes I used a recipe that I had found which called for a package of Garlic and Herbs spread, butter, and cream cheese. While the two types of cheese added good flavor to the potatoes, I found it to be really heavy, not to mention very high in fat. So I asked my mom for grandma’s recipe and I find it to be the perfect. It’s not heavy, it’s easy to make, and the potatoes speak for themselves.
There are a few important tricks that I also have learned along the way about making the perfect mashed potatoes:
1. baking, instead of boiling, the potatoes adds a whole new level of deliciousness to them
2. the milk should be warm when added to the potatoes
3. butter should be at room temperature and added as the finishing touch
This recipe is for 4 servings. Increase the amount of ingredients as needed when preparing for more people.
2 lb potatoes
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
salt & pepper
Wash and scrub potatoes clean. Then completely dry.
At this point you can boil your potatoes in water until cooked. Or you can bake them. I highly recommend that you try this method at least once! I first learned about the difference in flavor between baking and boiling potatoes while interning at a restaurant seven years ago. Pierce potatoes to releases steam so that they won’t burst in the oven. Bake potatoes in 425 oven for 1 hour or until the skin is crisp but the flesh is tender. Potatoes can be baked in pan or directly on the oven rack. If placed in a pan make sure to turn them once during the cooking time.
Once fully cooked, cut potatoes in half and scoop out the flesh. This should be extremely quick as the skin will easily come apart, just be careful not to burn your fingers. It’s best to mash potatoes while they are still hot.
Using a food mill or potato ricer is the best way to mash potatoes. It’s best to not use a food processor or blender to mash potatoes as it’ll change the texture of it. Most importantly, the hotter the potatoes, the faster and easier is the process.
Add riced potatoes and work the purée until milk and potatoes are blended and the potatoes are nice and smooth.
Add butter to finish and once again mix well. Serve immediately.
If you are making your potatoes ahead of time, rice potatoes and cover them until just before they should be served. Place potatoes in a pot and warm them through. Add warm milk, season with salt and pepper. Lastly, finish with butter.
Thanksgiving Recipes from 2009 & 2010
Brussels Sprouts Persian Style
Beet & Pomegranate Salad
Butternut Squash & Prune Khoresht
How to Brine Turkey
Pomegranate & Port Glazed Turkey
How to Make Turkey Stock