Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes

This recipe originally comes from Bon Appetit, and was in their special Thanksgiving Issue from 2014. A classic issue, if there ever was one. It also had the Spatch-cocked Turkey recipe.

4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 2” pieces
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more
1½ cups whole milk
3 sprigs thyme (optional)
2 bay leaves
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper


Place potatoes in a large pot and pour in cold water to cover by 1”. Add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are very tender but not saturated or crumbly, 20–25 minutes (boiling will lead to waterlogged pieces).

Drain potatoes, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid if making potatoes ahead. Return potatoes to pot and set over low heat. Gently stir until dry, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, heat milk, thyme sprigs, if desired, bay leaves, and ¾ cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat.

Pass hot potatoes through a ricer into a large bowl (if allowed to cool, the potatoes will become gummy).

Remove herbs from warm milk mixture; discard. Gradually add milk mixture to potatoes, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon until combined and smooth; season with salt and pepper. Serve mashed potatoes with a few pats of butter on top.

Hasselback Potatoes

The name of this potato comes from the Stockholm restaurant where it was first served: Hasselbacken. I used a giant russet potato, but I think this might be better with a Yukon Gold or other medium-sized thin-skinned potato.

Tip for cutting: Lay two wood-handled spatulas/spoons on either side of the potato, and slice the potato crosswise at 1/8″ intervals, cutting to within 1/4″ of the bottom.

4 medium potatoes, scrubbed; leave skin on
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 Tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Scrub potatoes, then cut as shown above in the photo, making sure not to cut through the bottom of the potato, as it will fan out a bit as it bakes.

Combine olive oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, smoked paprika and parmesan cheese in a small bowl. Mix well. Lay the potatoes on a baking sheet (can line with foil, if desired). Spoon some of the mixture over the top of the potato, then carefully insert pinches of the mixture in between the slits of the potatoes. Rub the outside with any leftover mixture, or if needed, a bit more olive oil.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the inside is cooked through and the outside of the potato is a bit crispy. If olive oil pools in the pan, it’s possible to baste the potatoes with this one time, to assist in crisping. Garnish with additional parmesan and chopped chives.

Note: the giant russets took forever to cook, nearly 90 minutes, and the flavor is earthy (not buttery like the Yukons), so I won’t use them again.

Twice-Cooked, Once-Forked Roasted Potatoes

Weird title, but I can’t remember what Bon Appetit’s title is, but it does have “forked” in it somewhere.  You can see the fork tines, above, which helps create this wonderfully crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside texture.  I followed their recipe for the most part, except I added some rosemary leaves to the potatoes when I put them in the oven.  We had potatoes with rosemary in Italy one Christmas, so I have added it ever since to my roasting potatoes.

We had these last night for our Christmas Dinner (a bit early, as we are going traveling for the holidays) and we both agreed they were good enough to put into rotation in our regular meals.  They didn’t take that much work either.  Mine were done in about 45 minutes.  Try to time them so you can serve them hot, without having covered them with any tin foil, as I think that would make the outsides soft.  It’s the texture that is so wonderful.

Twice-Cooked, Once-Forked Roasted Potatoes, adapted from Bon Appetit

6 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes (1 1/2″–2″-diameter), peeled  [NOTE: I couldn’t remember which kind of potatoes to buy, so I ended up buying red (boiling) potatoes; they worked out just fine)
1 tablespoon salt plus more [They call for kosher, but Trader Joe’s has been out for a while, so I used my sea salt grinder.]
1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 425°. Working in 2 batches ( about 5 potatoes each batch), cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet [Note: I put a rack on my baking sheet and put the potatoes on there]. When cool enough to handle, firmly scrape the tines of a fork up and down potatoes, creating a rough, grooved surface.

Pour oil onto another rimmed baking sheet; bake (to heat oil) for 5 minutes. Add potatoes; turn to coat. At this point, if you are using fresh rosemary, sprinkle about 1-2 Tablespoons leaves over all, sloshing the rosemary around with the potatoes and olive oil–that amount is about one 9″ twig, if you are cutting it off your landscaping plants out front.  Season with 1 tablespoon salt [I used a few grinds of the salt grinder]. Roast, turning 3 times during cooking and occasionally basting with oil, until browned and tender, 60–70 minutes.