Herb-Scented Mashed Potatoes

These wonderful, creamy and fluffy mashed potatoes had a subtle flavor from cream steeped with rosemary, sage, and garlic. My son made them as part of our Thanksgiving feast this year. I loved the contrasting texture of the crispy top layer.

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Justin Chapple. I modified the proportions and broiled the potatoes in a 9-inch cast iron skillet.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 T heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 T whole milk
  • 4 ounces (8 T, one stick) unsalted butter, plus 1 T melted butter for brushing
  • one 4 to 6-inch rosemary sprig
  • 1 4 to 6-inch sage sprig
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces (I used Maine Cold River Gold potatoes)
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk and one stick of butter with the rosemary, sage and garlic and bring just to a simmer.
  2. Remove from the heat and let steep for 15 minutes, then discard the rosemary, sage and garlic.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Drain well, then pass the potatoes through a ricer into the pot.
  5. Fold in the cream mixture and season generously with salt and pepper.
  6. Light the broiler and position the rack 8 inches from the heat.
  7. Scrape the potatoes into a 9-inch round flameproof pan or baking dish (2 inches deep) and, using a spoon, decoratively swirl the top. (I used a cast iron skillet.)
  8. Gently brush with melted butter.
  9. Broil for about 8 minutes, until the top is browned in spots. Serve hot.

Note: If doubling the recipe, place the riced potatoes into a 12-inch round flameproof pan such as a cast iron skillet.

Mashed Cauliflower with Gruyère

This is a great, quick, and simple vegetarian dish which could easily be used as a substitute for mashed potatoes. Broccoli would be a tasty alternative for the cauliflower.

I served it as a side dish with pork tenderloin with mustard-wine sauce along with sautéed kale.

This recipe is from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food by Mark Bittman. The consistency can easily be altered to personal preference. Delicious!

  • coarse salt
  • 1 large or 1-2 small heads of cauliflower, cored, trimmed, and separated into florets (I used 1 1/2 heads)
  • 1 cup milk, plus more if needed (I used 1 percent)
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 2 cups grated white melting cheese such as Gruyère, cheddar, of Asiago
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • chopped parsley leaves for garnish, if desired
  1. Fill a large pot with water, put it on to boil, and salt it.
  2. Boil the cauliflower until very tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Drain, reserving about one cup of the cooking water. Wipe the pot dry.
  4. Put the milk, butter, and cheese in the pot over medium-low heat.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the nutmeg. Cook, stirring occasionally to keep the mixture from sticking, until the cheese and butter start to melt, 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cauliflower and mash with a potato masher; stir well to combine. The mixture should be the consistency you like in mashed potatoes. If it’s not creamy enough, add a little of the cauliflower cooking water or more milk until it is.
  7. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish, and serve.

Classic Applesauce

Every autumn I used to make a roasted applesauce.  I liked it because it was different.  My husband says that I am the only one who liked it…. so, I made this classic applesauce instead.  I will admit that everyone loved it!

The recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food.

Yield: about 4 cups

  • 4 to 5 pounds apples such as McIntosh, Gala, Empire, and/or Braeburn
  • freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon (Meyer lemon juice also works well)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • large pinch coarse salt, or more, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling, if desired
  1. Peel, core, and slice the apples. Place in a large pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Bring the sliced apples, lemon juice, and water to a boil over high.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer until apples are very soft and falling apart, 25-30+ minutes.
  4. Mash with a potato masher or pulse in a food processor until smooth with small chunks remaining.
  5. Add salt and cinnamon. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  6. Let cool, then transfer applesauce to airtight containers.  (I use recycled jars.)
  7. Refrigerate, up to 5 days, or freeze, up to 2 months. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon, if desired.

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