Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Recipe Tuesday - Thanksgiving Edition

For this weeks Thanksgiving recipes, I'm going to give my side dish recipes. We usually serve cheesy garlic mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, green salad, cranberry sauce, rolls or biscuits, and stuffing. I use the box stuff for the stuffing, and bagged salad for the salad, the rolls would be regular yeast rolls and the biscuits are just the standard bisquick recipe. Ben likes to make the cranberry sauce from scratch with fresh cranberries. Here I'll be sharing the recipe for the garlic mashed potatoes, and the method for the roasted carrots and other root veggies.

Roasted Carrots (and any other root veggie you'd like)

Scrub and peel the carrots, cut into pieces an inch long or so (if you're using baby carrots, you can skip these steps), toss with olive oil and kosher salt, and spread on a pan covered in foil. Roast in a 400 degree oven for half an hour to an hour. A fork should go in with little resistance when they're finished. You can do this with veggies that aren't root vegetables too, like broccoli, and asparagus. They cook a lot faster than carrots do, so don't mix them together on the pan, since the green things need to come out much sooner.

Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

8 Medium Potatoes (Yukon Gold are great, Russets will work, any potato will do, some just mash better than others)
8 Cloves of Garlic
1 Stick of Butter
Liquid, you can use cream, milk, chicken stock, whatever you have on hand.
A handful of cheese. I use whatever cheese is around. Sharp cheddar is ideal. I'd guess the amount to be a 1-2 cups.
Optional Add-ins: Chopped cooked bacon, chopped green onion or chives, other kinds of cheese

Peel the potatoes and quarter them. Wash them and put them in a large pot of cold water, making sure the water covers them by at least an inch. Peel the garlic and cut off the little hard bit at the bottom of the clove. Throw the garlic into the water with the potatoes. Bring them to a boil, turn the heat down to simmer, and simmer them until they are fork tender. I usually simmer them for twenty minutes.

Drain the whole pot in a colander, so you don't lose the garlic. Put everything back into the pot and set the pot back on the burner that's been turned off. The leftover heat will evaporate some of the moisture. Add the butter, cut into pieces if you like, and mash everything together. Add the liquid as needed while you mash. At Thanksgiving, I usually have lots of stock around, so I use that to help counteract all the fat in the butter and the cheese. If you want to live on the edge, by all means, use the cream.

Add the cheese and any optional add ins and fold it all into the potatoes. Scrape this into a casserole dish. I like to make these the day before, since they're way better after the garlic flavor has really gotten all through the potatoes. I just top with a sprinkling of cheese and then warm them up in the oven.

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