Thursday, November 21, 2013

Not Your Grandma's Mashed Potatoes

Yes, I am reinventing my Grandmother's tried and true mashed potato recipe.  Much like her, it has no flares.  It is simple, beautiful and always a crowd pleaser.  However, I thought why not try to embellish and "modernize" our family favorite (next to pumpkin pie) Thanksgiving side.

The smell of mashed potatoes during the holidays always takes me back to the many memories in my Grandmother's kitchen.  So much so that when Bath & Body Works released a candle that was buttered mashed potato scented my sister and I stood there in the store and inhaled the aroma for at least five minutes (or more).  We reminisced about our lovely "Gram" and how her house always smelled of the creamy buttery goodness.  To this day we still make her version(ish) every holiday season.

This year as I put a new twist on her mashed potato recipe I'm praying she's not rolling over in her grave and that she actually thinks is a great idea.  As I have admitted before I have an insane love for butter and I'm positive I get it from my her.  While I don't use it as a dip for my pretzels (yes she did this AND still had birdie legs) I do love to cook with it and I'm not afraid to use a whole stick, or more, in a recipe.

Will this be our new version of her recipe?  Who knows.  What I do know is that I am forever thankful for my Grandma.  For her love, kindness, and giving me a never ending passion for butter.

Roasted Garlic Browned Butter Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes

6-8 medium yellow potatoes, pealed and cut into large cubes
3-4 large parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks butter
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 bulb roasted garlic
1/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the potatoes and parsnips into a large pot.  Fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes and parsnips.  Boil on high heat until tender.  Strain the water and return the potatoes and parsnips back into the pot.  

While the potatoes and parsnips are boiling, melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low heat.  Stir continually.  The butter will first melt, then foam and finally brown.  Make sure to pay close attention as it is easy for the butter to go from brown to burnt quickly.  The process takes about 7-10 minutes.  Once the butter has browned remove the pan from the heat.  Add the 1 tablespoon of thyme and the roasted garlic.  Give it a quick stir just to combine the flavors.  Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cooked potatoes and parsnips.  Add the browned butter mixture and beat well to combine.  Add the milk and beat until desired smoothness is reached.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon the mashed potatoes and parsnips into a serving dish and garnish with the remaining 1 teaspoon of thyme.  Serve immediately.  

 Makes 8-10 our family, it only makes about 4 servings.