Updating the classics
Tweak tradition by adding flavor boosts to side dishes
Everyone's favorite: Not really, but it's a Thanksgiving classic. Adding sweet onion and dried mushrooms to the milk and letting it steep will yield a richer flavor. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
Note: You can peel the potatoes if you wish; I enjoy the look and flavor of the skins.
6 or 8 sprigs fresh sage
1 or 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 ½ pounds (about 6 medium) Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 ½ pounds (about 3 medium) russet baking potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 2-inch chunks
4 to 6 large cloves garlic, peeled, roughly chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup each: skim milk, half-and-half
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
Freshly ground pepper
1. Separate sage and rosemary leaves from stems. Slice leaves finely; set aside. Tie stems together with kitchen string.
2. Put potatoes, garlic and herb stems into a large pot. Add cold water to cover by 1 inch. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Heat to a boil; simmer gently with lid slightly askew. Cook, checking potatoes occasionally with a knife, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well. Discard herb stems.
3. Return the potatoes and garlic to the pot. Make a well in the center; pour in the milk and half-and-half. Set the heat to medium. When the milk starts to boil, reduce the heat to low; start mashing vigorously using a potato masher. Add about three-fourths of the soft butter; continue mashing until the mixture is fairly smooth. Season to taste, usually about 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Remove from heat.
4. Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in small, nonstick skillet. Add herb leaves; saute until crisped, about 1 minute. Pile hot potatoes into a heated serving dish. Spoon sage butter over potatoes.
Per serving (for 10 servings): 226 calories, 11 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 29 mg cholesterol, 28 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 437 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.
Double-baked sweets with curried marshmallows
Prep: 30 minutes