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Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Image Credit: .nate

Now I know you want to get to the Turkey, but that should still be defrosting.  So to start our sprint toward Thanksgiving dinner is that most illustrious of side dishes, Mashed Potatoes.

There are few sides as versatile as Mashed Potatoes.  They go with Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas dinner, Easter, and well, pretty much any meal in between.  I’ve even thrown them next to eggs and bacon for breakfast a time or two.

There are a few secrets to making mashed potatoes perfectly.  Fluffiness and flavor are extremely important, and following the steps below you’ll be able to maximize both.

Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 1 lb melted Butter
  • 5 cloves Fresh Garlic, diced
  • 3 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C.)
  2. Peel and slice potatoes into one inch cubes.  It’s alright if you leave the skins on some, but not all the potatoes.
  3. Place two inches of water in a large pot, and set in a steamer tray, or metal colander.
  4. Put potatoes into the colander and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of Salt and 1/4 lb Butter.
  5. Steam Potatoes for 20 min or until tender.
  6. Remove from heat and wash the Potatoes under a faucet with warm water.
  7. Replace over heat and steam for another 10 minutes.
  8. Run cooked Potatoes through a Potato Ricer or Food Mill into a large bowl.
  9. Fold in Garlic, Butter, remaining Salt, and Pepper.
  10. Place in oven for 15 minutes or until top of potatoes brown lightly.
  11. Serve and delight in the Garlicy Buttery goodness.

Like I said.  It’s important to follow these steps to get the fluffiest potatoes possible.  Some people will add Milk to potatoes for some reason.  I’ve found it unnecessary to do so if you make them following these directions.

I hope you enjoy them.

Featured Image Credit:  jhenryrose

Five Things You’ll Need To Make The Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner

Image Credit: chuckwaters83

So, you’ve already hit the grocery store.  You’ve got your ingredients ready and the Turkey is starting to thaw.  You’re set for the perfect Thanksgiving Dinner.

But are you?

There are always a few things we forget when preparing for Thanksgiving.  Here’s a short list of some things you probably need.  Things that I know I’ve forgotten in the past.

  1. A Turkey Baster.  It seems like a “duh” item, but I know I’ve found myself at a loss when the turkey starts to look dry.  Luckily I now have several keeping place in my tool drawer.  Of course if I’m at the grocery, I may pick up another, because you just never know.
  2. A Large Roaster.  You can buy the flimsy aluminum Turkey Pans from any grocery store, but you should spring for a real Roasting Pan.  First, it’s great for more than just your Turkey.  Secondly it’s a lot better to work with than those flimsy pans, especially when moving in and out of the oven.  Finally, you won’t accidentally poke holes in it when you’re basting your Turkey thus spilling all your gravy into the oven and causing a smoke screen from your dining room.
  3. A Potato Ricer.  This is one of those items you never knew you needed until you have one.  If you want great fluffy mashed potatoes, there’s nothing better than a decent potato ricer.  You’ll see what I mean when you read about the Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes I’ll be posting shortly.
  4. A Cooking Thermometer.  The last thing you want to give your family and friends on Thanksgiving is food poisoning, and I find those little red nubs about as reliable as 1985 Yugo.  So do it right and get a real thermometer.  Turkey should be cooked to 180°F (83°C) at the thigh and 165°F (79°C) in the center of the stuffing.
  5. Flour Sack Towels.  These things are great for using around the kitchen and the dining room.  In a pinch they’ll work as place mats, napkins, and even a table-cloth (if you have a small table.)  They’re also great for covering your food and keeping it warm.  Try moistening one, microwave it, and then wrap it around your rolls, they’ll keep moist and warm while you’re serving.
So, there you go, a few items you might have forgotten, or never knew you needed.  Now, get ready for the rest of your Thanksgiving recipes.  I’m sure you’re going to love them.

Featured Image Credit:  Rick Scully

Thanksgiving Check List

Groceries

Image Credit: yee.leng

It’s almost that time of year again.  The time where gluttony and excess is not only acceptable, but it’s offensive if you don’t overdo it a bit.

Yes, it’s almost Thanksgiving that time of year when you get together with family, eat lots of food, and, if your family is anything like mine, get into arguments that have no real purpose but to let off steam about some bullshit that doesn’t really matter.

So, in preparation for the annual gorge-fest, you’ll need to go to the grocery store and stock up.  Here’s what I’ll be making, and what I’ll need to stock for each individual item.

Turkey

  • The turkey itself obviously.  You normally want at least 1 1/2 lbs per person, depending on how many leftovers you want.  If you’re in my kitchen, 2 lbs per person is a minimum.
  • Beer
  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Chili Powder
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Chicken Broth
  • A large covered oval roaster

Stuffing

Potatoes

  •  Potatoes, Yukon Golds are best for mashed potatoes, so get them if you can.
  • Butter
  • Garlic, fresh garlic
  • A potato masher
  • A large pot
  • Water

Green Bean Casserole

Cranberries

  • They come in a can in my house, so just get that

Pumpkin Pie

  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Pumpkin (you can get the canned, or make your own.)
  • Whipped Cream
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Eggs
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Pie Plates

So that’s what goes on my table, and that’s only for my girlfriend and I.  In the future, I’ll probably be cooking for more people, and thus will have to add more sides and more pies.  But for this year, that’s enough.

I’ll be posting the recipes I use over the next week.  I hope they lend you some inspiration in your Thanksgiving preparations.

Featured Image Credit:  martha_chapa95

Brandied Bread Pudding

Brandied Bread Pudding

Image Credit: davitydave

When I was young the idea of Bread Pudding disturbed me.  You have bread, which is good, and then you have pudding, which is good.  The combination of the two, however, was just wrong in my mind.

Of course now I understand how wrong I was regarding this delectable dessert.  Taking two good things and combining them usually turns out well, and Bread Pudding is no exception to this rule.

Brandied Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 slices of day-old Bread
  • 4 Eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 cup Brandy (I use either Applejack or Kirschwasser)
  • 3/4 cups White Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp melted Butter
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Raisins or Dried Cranberries (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Candied Orange or Candied Apple slices (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C.)
  2. In an 8 in square baking dish drizzle 1/2 cup Brandy.
  3. Break bread into small pieces and put into baking dish.
  4. Drizzle top with melted butter and other 1/2 cup of Brandy.
  5. Sprinkle with Raisins, Apple, Orange, and/or Cranberries.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine Eggs, Milk, Sugar, Cinnamon, and Vanilla.  Beat thoroughly.
  7. Pour liquid mixture over the bread.
  8. With a fork, push liquid into the bread ensuring full coverage and that the bread is soaking up mixture.
  9. Cook for 45 minutes or until top springs back quickly when lightly tapped.
  10. Slice, serve with Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, or by itself, and enjoy.

So, there you have it.  I usually make my own bread to go with this recipe.  That way I can combine a few more flavors in.  It’s great with Pumpkin Bread this time of year.

Featured Image Credit:  DeathByBokeh

Beer Potatoes

Potatoes

Image Credit: Chiot's Run

I’ve published a lot of main courses using beer.  That makes sense when you think about it.  You can do a lot to a chicken or some steak that add flavor but really don’t change the basic outcome.

But what about side dishes?

Yes, there are plenty of sides you can make with beer as well.  Here’s one I’ve been working on for a bit.

Beer Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs Potatoes, cubed (I’ve been using Russets)
  • 1 Green Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Yellow Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Orange or Red Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1 lb shredded Mexican Cheese Blend (You can also just use shredded Cheddar)
  • 1 cup Butter (sliced into Tablespoon slices)
  • 1/4 cup Lemon Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 cloves Garlic diced
  • 3 bottles or cans (12 fl oz) Beer (I like Six Rivers Chili Pepper Spicy Ale for this)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C.)
  2. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 in pan with Aluminum Foil.
  3. Spread half the Butter, Garlic, Lemon Pepper, Chili Powder, and Italian Seasoning across the bottom.
  4. Spread half the Potatoes, Peppers, and Onion into the pan.
  5. Cover with the remaining half of the ingredients from step 3.
  6. Drop in the remaining ingredients from step 4.
  7. Slowly pour in the Beer until the just the tops of the vegetables are sticking out.
  8. Cover the pan with Aluminum Foil, ensuring you have as tight a seal as possible on all sides.
  9. Cook for 1:30 or until Potatoes are tender.
  10. Remove from pan and cover with Cheese.
  11. Serve and enjoy.

Granted this is one of those side dishes that will take almost as long (or longer) to make than most main courses, it’s still quite brilliant.  The blend of the spices, cheese, flavors from the beer make for a great taste.  I hope you like it.

Featured Image Credit:  Amarand Agasi