How to Make the Creamiest Dreamiest Mashed Potatoes

Secrets to Making the Creamiest, Dreamiest, Most Delicious Garlic Mashed Potatoes | Cooking for Keeps #thanksgiving #sides #mashepotatoes

Mashed potatoes are often the overlooked middle child of the Thanksgiving table. While you may preach that everyone gets the same amount of love, and equal attention is paid to all three children, really the middle child always gets the short end of the stick – or so I’ve heard. On Thanksgiving, after you’ve lovingly prepared Grandma’s dressing and taken the time to make green bean casserole from scratch, the potatoes are oftentimes a dish that get completely overlooked or haphazardly put together minutes before turkey time.

Secrets to Making the Creamiest, Dreamiest, Most Delicious Garlic Mashed Potatoes | Cooking for Keeps #thanksgiving #sides #mashepotatoes

They happen to be one of the simplest additions to the lineup of food on the big day, BUT they’re also one of the easiest sides to screw up. There can be lumps. The starchy flesh can turn gummy in an instant. They can be grainy. And worst of all, they can be completely and utterly flavorless.

Over the years I’ve humbly mastered the mashed potato process, and I think I have few key tips that will ensure that you too, can become a pro at whipping up the perfect mashed potato. Thus ensuring equal love to all sides.

Secrets to Making the Creamiest, Dreamiest, Most Delicious Garlic Mashed Potatoes | Cooking for Keeps #thanksgiving #sides #mashepotatoes

Here are my steps to the perfect mashed potato.

Step 1. Season your cooking liquid! I find that this one of the most important steps, because potatoes naturally have no seasoning or taste, you want to be able to flavor the potatoes in each step. Salting the cooking liquid ensures that ample flavor is infused into the actual potato itself.

Step 2. Use a ricer. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for purchasing this guy years ago, it’s been a total lifesaver and produces silky smooth mashed potatoes every single time.

Step 3. Rice potatoes when they are still hot.

Secrets to Making the Creamiest, Dreamiest, Most Delicious Garlic Mashed Potatoes | Cooking for Keeps #thanksgiving #sides #mashepotatoes

Step 4. Add hot liquid to the hot mashed potatoes. Adding cold cream, milk or butter will actually cool the potatoes down, which will in turn risk a lumpy mash.

Step 5. Infuse the cooking liquid. If you have say, a garlic flavor like in this recipe, but don’t want the actual texture of garlic in the final result, adding it directly to the liquid (i.e. the butter, milk or cream) to let it steep will transfer to the potatoes when you add the liquid.

Step 6. Lots and lots of butter. Ok it’s no secret that butter makes everything better, and while I normally wouldn’t advise you to throw THS much butter into a dish, it’s Thanksgiving. I give you permission to consume as much butter as your little heart desires.

Secrets to Making the Creamiest, Dreamiest, Most Delicious Garlic Mashed Potatoes | Cooking for Keeps #thanksgiving #sides #mashepotatoes
Step 8. Work quickly and do not over-mash! This is as important as any other step, working quickly, again, facilitates in a lump-free end result, but it also keeps the potatoes from becoming gummy, something I know first-hand.

I know it may seem like an obnoxiously long list of steps, but they’re all insanely easy to follow, and I can assure you, it will put perfect mashed potatoes are your table in less than 30 minutes. Of course you can also make them ahead of time, and re-heat them later, which I’d actually suggest for Thanksgiving Day. Just gently reheat them on the stove, or if there’s more heating real estate in the oven, transfer the potatoes to an oven-safe dish and let them warm up in there.

Secrets to Making the Creamiest, Dreamiest, Most Delicious Garlic Mashed Potatoes | Cooking for Keeps #thanksgiving #sides #mashepotatoes

Because I didn’t actually make these on Thanksgiving, it was just Kevin and I inhaling these, so this recipe isn’t going to feed a group of 10+ people, I’d say this is more geared towards four people, but it’s easily doubled or tripled if you have a large Thanksgiving crowd.

If I don’t talk to you before the big day, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I wish for you a lot of laughs, family-bonding time and of course a ridiculous amount of delicious food.

Secrets to Making the Creamiest, Dreamiest, Most Delicious Garlic Mashed Potatoes | Cooking for Keeps #thanksgiving #sides #mashepotatoes Read more»

Wild Rice Stuffing with Turkey Italian Sausage, Cranberries and Hazelnuts

Italian Sausage, Cranberry and Wild Rice Stuffing | Cooking for Keeps #thanksgiving #sides #stuffing

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, I’m sitting here becoming conscious of the fact that I’ve hardly posted any Thanksgiving related recipes. Sure there’s been this festive little number, and this refreshing, fall-worthy salad, but other than that – nada. I was hesitant to go forward with sharing the few recipes I have stored away as we’re teetering so close to the big day, because if America is anything remotely like me, they’ve already planned their menus days ago. BUT because I do love Thanksgiving and because I know there are thousands of procrastinators out there, I’ll be sharing a few recipe ideas with you over the next week.

Since the blogosphere is completely saturated with traditional Thanksgiving recipes, I thought I’d go off the beaten path a little bit, and down a healthier, more nutritious route. So today I’m partnering up with Grains Food Foundation to bring you my healthier spin on a classic stuffing – Wild Rice Stuffing with Turkey Italian Sausage, Cranberries and Hazelnuts.

Italian Sausage, Cranberry and Wild Rice Stuffing | Cooking for Keeps #thanksgiving #sides #stuffing

Stuffing has always been one of my favorite components of the Thanksgiving spread, and typically each year, we have my Grandmother’s version, what we call “dressing”, which is a simple makeup of dried white sandwich bread, raw celery, onion, poultry seasoning, egg and copious amounts of butter and chicken stock. It’s a rather wet, casserole version of stuffing that I adore, but not everyone in the family embraces it as much as my Mother and I do. Because half of our family prefers a more traditional version, we also have a stuffing tailored more towards my Dad and brother. Their preferred stuffing is a drier, more crumbly variation made up of rustic ciabatta and cornbread and then chocked full of Italian sausage, cranberries and fresh sage.

While today’s stuffing encompasses the Italian Sausage, cranberries from our dry variation, and the onion and celery from the wet variation, the health factor is taken up a few notches with the addition of whole-grain bread crumbs and nutty wild rice. With today’s society so focused on staying lean, those that are “watching their weight” often forget that grains are an essential part of our diets. Our bodies need them to survive, and just because we’re in the midst of the holidays, doesn’t mean you have to skimp on getting your fair share.

Italian Sausage, Cranberry and Wild Rice Stuffing | Cooking for Keeps #thanksgiving #sides #stuffing

What I love most about this dish? Only the stove is required, leaving you plenty of room in the oven for birds, green bean casserole and some of these puff pastry sausage rolls (trust me you need these in your life). It’s also something that can be prepared the day before, or even a few days ahead, stored in the fridge and then reheated on the stove quickly before dinner.

The nutty wild rice, toasted bread crumbs, cranberries and turkey sausage all pair wonderfully together, giving this side dish the perfect counterbalance of sweet, salty and savory. Plus, it’s pretty gorgeous too…

Italian Sausage, Cranberry and Wild Rice Stuffing | Cooking for Keeps #thanksgiving #sides #stuffing Read more»

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