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The impossibly creamy texture of these mashed potatoes is a credit to choosing the right guy for the job: the German Butterball. (We tested 10 contenders—it was the butteriest in flavor, and fluffiest when mashed.) Plus, roasting them first helps concentrate their flavor. On the continuum from slightly textured to exquisitely satiny spuds, use a potato masher (rustic, but fine!), ricer (nicer!), or food mill fitted with the finest disk (woooow!). A smoky breadcrumb and-potato-chip topping, inspired by the flavors of patatas bravas, brings something new to the table. See all of the Absolutely, Positively Perfect Thanksgiving recipes here.
- 4 lb. German Butterball or Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed
- 1 head of garlic, divided
- 2 tsp. black peppercorns, lightly crushed
- 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter
- 4 cups (or more) whole milk
- 1 Tbsp. (or more) kosher salt
- 2 ½"-thick slices country-style bread, torn into 1" pieces
- 2 cups kettle-style potato chips (such as Cape Cod)
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
- 1 tsp. hot smoked Spanish paprika
Preheat oven to 400°. If using German Butterballs, place potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet or in a cast-iron skillet and roast, turning halfway through, until very tender (a paring knife inserted into the center should meet with no resistance), 45–50 minutes.
If using Yukon Golds, place on a rimmed baking sheet or in a large baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Roast until very tender, 80–95 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove 4 garlic cloves from garlic head and set aside for the topping. Cut remaining head of garlicin half crosswise and place in a medium saucepan with thyme, peppercorns, butter, 4 cups milk, and 1 Tbsp. salt.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove wide strips of zest from half of lemon and add to pot; set lemon aside for the topping. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Immediately remove from heat, cover, and let sit at least 30 minutes.
When potatoes are done, use a paring knife to remove skins (it’s important to do this while they are very hot; hold them in a kitchen towel to protect your hands), then pass them through a ricer or food mill fitted with the fine disk into a large pot (or simply mash them in the pot with a potato masher).
Return garlic mixture to a simmer, then pour through a fine-mesh sieve into pot with potatoes; discard solids. Set potato mixture over medium heat and whisk until liquid is incorporated and potatoes are very smooth and bubbling. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
Do Ahead: Potatoes can be made 2 days ahead. Transfer to an airtight container and let cool. Cover and chill. Reheat over medium, whisking constantly and loosening with more milk if needed.
Pulse reserved 4 garlic cloves in a food processor until finely chopped, about 15 seconds. Add bread and potato chips and process in long pulses until coarse crumbs form, about 1 minute.
Heat butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium until foaming. Add breadcrumb mixture and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until mixture is coated in butter and fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer skillet to oven; bake, tossing every 5 minutes, until crumbs and chips are evenly dark golden brown, 15–20 minutes.
Meanwhile, finely grate remaining lemon zest from reserved lemon into a small bowl. Add thyme leaves and paprika and toss to combine.
Remove crumb mixture from oven and immediately toss in thyme mixture. Let topping cool in pan, then add parsley.
To serve, transfer mashed potatoes to a large bowl and sprinkle topping over.
Do Ahead: Topping (without parsley) can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
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- 3 cups prepared hot mashed potatoes
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/3 cups (2.8 oz.) French's® Original Crispy Fried Onions
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (and any other holiday centered around food). Gathering all your loved ones around a table for some delicious food is great, but the preparation can be a little overwhelming. The key is definitely proper planning and prepping as much as you can ahead of time. To help all of you out, I put together a short list of some of my favorite recipes as well as helpful tips to make your life a little easier.
Spiced and Glazed Roast Turkey
Obviously the first recipe has to be the turkey. We’re used to seeing a whole roasted turkey glistening and perfectly browned, but how often does it actually turn out like that? If you’re not the most experienced at roasting a whole turkey, it can be much easier to break down the turkey first. It takes a lot less time to roast and is less likely to overcook and end up dry.
When cooking a turkey, lots of recipes will say it has to be cooked to a temperature of 165 F. That’s the temperature it needs to hit to be done, but not the temperature at which you should pull it out of the oven. I suggest pulling it out when it’s somewhere between 150 and 155. Once out of the oven, it will continue to cook inside and rise in temp before it starts to cool down, so it should hit 165 while resting. If you leave it in the oven until it reaches 165 then you’ll end up with an overcooked turkey.
My other tip for cooking turkey is to brown the skin first. Many recipes have you cook the turkey at one temp and then turn it up at the end to get the skin brown and crispy. However, that can often cause you to overcook the turkey. I like to start at a high temp to brown the skin, then turn it down to give me more control over hitting the proper temp.
Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Cinnamon
No Thanksgiving meal is complete without some cranberry sauce. Instead of plopping some out of a can, make this citrusy, wintery version instead!
Gluten Free Cornbread Stuffing
Stuffing is maybe my favorite Thanksgiving dish, and cornbread stuffing is my favorite kind! The sweetness of the cornbread provides a great balance to the savory herbs and spices. Starting with a homemade cornbread is definitely the best (and healthiest) way to go.
Make the cornbread a day or two ahead and then leave the cubes out to dry overnight before making the stuffing.
6. Thanksgiving Cauliflower
I found this recipe while scrolling through Facebook (when I should’ve been doing my homework) and I thought it looked absolutely delicious and innovative. Lately, cauliflower has been getting a lot of love from the foodie community, whether it's cauliflower pizza, cauliflower gnocchi, cauliflower rice, the list goes on. So, why not a Thanksgiving turkey-turned-cauliflower with a vegetarian gravy? I was salivating just watching this and am ready to try it.
One week from the big day.
An incredible variety of produce is headed to the Ashland Thanksgiving Farmer’s Market, Saturday November 23rd, 9am-1pm @ the Ashland Middle School.
You can definitely get all your sides covered with the vegetables we will bring.
We also want to let our CSA members know what will be in the share so they can plan ahead. Remember, if you are in the CSA you need to let us know if you will be picking up the Monday before or the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. You should have received and email with a form, if not, email [email protected]
5-6lbs Butternut (a really big one or two medium)
2 lbs Sweet Potatoes
1/3-1/2 lb lettuce mix
1/4 lb pea tendrils or 1/3 lb slightly spicy salad mix
1 bunch kale
1 pint shallots/garlic
1/2 lb spinach
10 lbs mix and match: carrots, beets, purple top turnips, hakurei turnips, leeks, celeriac, parsnips, red onions, yellow onions, rutabaga, napa cabbage, savoy cabbage, white potatoes, red potatoes, acorn squash, more butternut and sweet potatoes
For those of you without a share, we will have all of this plus a few extras at the Ashland Thanksgiving Market on Saturday at the Ashland Middle School from 9am-1pm. ALL of these items will last until Thanksgiving, but if you want to wait, you can shop at the farm stand from 12-6pm on Monday, November 25th.
And, extra special thanks to Bob Durling Photography for these AMAZING photos that make our produce look like art.
Placing the grill’s vent above the potatoes helps draw smoke up and around them as they cook. The potatoes go perfectly with Cipolline Onions with Caraway Butter Sauce.
Why choose between boiled or fried? The key to these pierogies is doing both. The egg in the dough and dusting of cornstarch mean they get crisp in the pan, while boiling alone renders them chewy. If you want to have a pierogi party, check out three other fillings for Beef, Onion, and Cheddar Pierogies, Bacon, Mushroom, and Spinach Pierogies, and Cottage Cheese and Blueberry Pierogies.
Thanksgiving Part 2
We had a record breaking Thanksgiving market on Saturday, thanks to all who attended.
I had the great idea of posting something on social media every day of November to highlight what we are thankful for. Gratitude keeps me sane. Especially during this year of losing our land, struggling to find a place to farm, wondering if the last ten years was even worth it, wondering if small scale farming is actually accomplishing what I set out to do. Or did I just make myself so busy and tired that I couldn’t do anything else meaningful . . . like so busy that I couldn’t get around to my great idea about daily gratitude posts . . .
Regardless of the challenges we face, which are real and significant, we are so very, very lucky.
· We have excellent friends and family who have supported us and tolerated our perpetually dirty hands, boots and cars, held our baby, cared for our baby, lent a hand in the fields, given us loans and tolerated raw vegetables as gifts for years on end.
· We have an excellent crew. We work with smart, passionate and kind people who bring their best to work, even when its boiling hot, or bitter cold, wet or otherwise uncomfortable. They even bring their best when the work is frustrating, when we are doing something lame because of a mistake I made.
· We have a great group of work-for-shares who help in the field, help with photos, help with recipes, help at the stand. Trading vegetables for help is one of the most satisfying exchanges we make.
· Our customers are excellent. We are constantly amazed by your exemplary behavior in the stand. You are kind to us and each other, you are patient, understanding and excited about the food we grow. We could not exist without you, and just thinking about you all now makes me second guess my second guessing my life choices of the last ten years.
· We get to eat really well.
· We have health insurance (which we would not have if it weren’t for MassHeath and ConnectorCare, so we are grateful for everyone who worked to have affordable health care in our state – our small business would not exist without it).
· We have a home, access to water, electricity, heat and the internet.
· We are not oppressed, afraid of violence, or otherwise marginalized because of our race/ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation.
We do not face immediate and dramatic ramifications of human-caused climate change or other ecological man-made disasters.
· We have each other.
We will have more updates about next year in a email to the whole list in the beginning of December, but we do have a temporary lease on a few parcels of land for next year, and will be offering CSA shares, in addition to participating in the Ashland Farmers Market, while continuing to look for our forever farm.
We have some special treats for sale on Monday. We visited a friend who grows certified organic fruit in Boxborough (yes, for real, the unicorn does exist). It is very, very, very hard to grow fruit organically in our climate. Ed, the farmer, is a very special individual and we were lucky enough to get two bushels of superb fruit.
The apple on the left is Grimes Gold, a “tart citrusy crisp dense firm fruit is excellent for both dessert and cooking: wonderful spicy fresh eating, pies, applesauce and cider.”
The apple on the right is Winecrisp, a new cultivar. “[It] is a modern disease-resistant variety developed by the Universities of Prudue, Rutgers and Illinois and introduced in the 1990s. Flavor, as well as disease-resistance, was clearly a goal in the development of WineCrisp. As the name suggests, this is a crisp apple with a fruity flavor.
Ed’s farm is aptly named Long Run Farm, since you’ve got to be in it for the long run to make investing in fruit, especially organically managed fruit, worth it. We are very lucky to have a small portion of is absolutely precious harvest to offer.
We’ve also got IPM Heirloom Cranberries, grown by our friend Will at his farm, Old Earth Orchard. Although we are usually skeptical of the IPM description because it is so vague, (as long as you identify a pest before you spray it you are considered to be on the “IPM spectrum”). But, he is our friend, and we have worked together in the past and I trust his judgement. He has two varieties to offer, Howes, which are great keepers and make great relish and Early Black which makes excellent sauce.
5-6lbs of butternut (2 medium, 1 large)
2 lbs sweet potatoes
1 bag lettuce mix
1 bag spinach
1 bag pea tendrils or mustard greens
1 pint shallots/garlic
10lbs mix and match: carrots, beets, parsnip, turnips (hakurei and purple top), rutabaga, celeriac, cabbage, onions, acorn squash, potatoes, more butternut and sweet potatoes, watermelon and daikon radish.
And now, Jess’s Recipes!!
This is it people! THIS is what we’ve been training for – THANKSGIVING. That beautiful holiday that combines thankfulness and the most delicious foods. Whether you’re picking up your share before or after Thanksgiving, these recipes will help you celebrate the bounty of this harvest season.
These delectable little toasts would make the perfect Thanksgiving appetizer or live it up and have them for breakfast. Toasts spread with creamy mascarpone cheese, topped with seasoned squash (you could absolutely use your leftover mashed squash here) and caramelized onions and a drizzle of maple syrup.
ROASTED CABBAGE WITH WALNUTS AND PARMESAN
I’m the first to be skeptical of a cooked cabbage but click on the link and look at these beauties and see if you can resist them. I know I can’t! crispy wedges drizzled with a lemony vinaigrette and dusted with parmesan cheese.
HASSELBACK BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH SAGE BUTTER AND PROSCIUTTO BREADCRUMBS
These gorgeous hasselback squashes are surprisingly easy but you can definitely pretend that they were as complicated to make as they look to get out of doing the dishes. I won’t tell.
I don’t know if I can ever eat mashed potatoes again without Crispety Cruncheties.
Gorgeous whole-roasted kohlrabi with feta cheese and jalapenos – talk about a flavor explosion!
I love this recipe for using up whatever root veggies I have left on hand. Parsnips, kohlrabi, celery root, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, you name it and you can use it in this recipe. Coarsely mashed with a bacon vinaigrette with just a touch of sweetness. So good!
This one is great for a mixed crowd that may not go for straight-up pureed turnips. Mix them with potatoes and add some crispy sautéed shallots on top and the whole extended family will be asking for seconds!
What’s the most loved part of Thanksgiving dinner? The stuffing of course! This one has sausage, leeks, butternut squash and kale – it’s practically a meal on its own!
Last but not least – don’t forget the pie! Yes, you can do Thanksgiving dinner all the way from appetizers to dessert with your CSA haul. I love how this pie uses regular and mini marshmallows for the topping. If you have a food torch you can use it to make extra crispy bits on the top if you prefer your marshmallows well done.
Notes about this recipe+ View Larger photo: Alex Lau
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Tips for Making the Best Mashers
It’s important that you salt the water the potatoes cook in. This flavors the potatoes themselves and prevents you from having to add in lots of salt later on.
Heavy cream will make for the creamiest mashed potatoes, but whole milk or half and half will also work. Don’t use anything with less fat than whole milk, otherwise your potatoes won’t be as flavorful or creamy.
I prefer using unsalted butter in my homemade mashed potatoes because I like to know exactly how much salt is in them. If you’re using salted butter, give your potatoes a taste before adding extra salt — you don’t want them to turn out too salty!