Fresh looks at potatoes for Turkey Day sides

Published 2:03 am Saturday, November 14, 2015

The next two weeks I will focus on some good sides for that turkey or ham. The vegetables are the best at the Thanksgiving meal and since my husband is an avid gardener we tend to eat mostly vegetables anyway. His butterbeans are the best, and they are my favorite bean. But I digress. This week I have found some delicious potato recipes to brighten up your feast. Everyone pretty much has a potato dish (usually sweet potatoes with marshmallows) but this is not for us. Simple dishes like a potato gratin hits the spot. Creamy potatoes with greens kicks the potatoes up a bit and can be done ahead. So think outside the box and try these new sides.


Taken from December 2015/January 2016 Fine Cooking Magazine

Potato, Fennel, and Leek Gratin

Serves 10-12

3 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened

2 ½ lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick (about 7 cups)

2 ½ cups heavy cream

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp. fennel seeds, lightly crushed

3 large leeks, white and pale-green parts only, trimmed, halved, and sliced crosswise ½ inch thick

1 ½ to 1 ¾ lb. fennel bulbs, trimmed, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced (about 5 cups)

8 oz. Gruyère, grated (about 2 cups)

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 10×15-inch (4 quart) baking dish with 1 Tbs. of butter.

Put the potatoes, cream, garlic, 1 ½ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper in an 8-quart pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a fork, about eight minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 Tbs. butter in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the fennel seeds and stir just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the leeks and fennel, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook stirring occasionally, until just tender 8-10 minutes.

Gently mix the leeks and fennel with the potatoes. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, evening out the vegetables. Top with the cheese, and bake until the cheese is deep golden brown, the cream has thickened, and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 35-40 minutes. (If the top is becoming too brown before the vegetables are done, cover the gratin loosely with foil.) Let cook for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.


This recipe taken from the November issue of ‘Southern Living’ shows how you can prepare this dish two weeks ahead.

Mashed Potatoes with Greens

Serves 8-10

½ cup butter, softened and divided

6 cups shredded kale, chard, cabbage, or other leafy greens

½ cup thinly sliced green onions, white and light green parts only

½ cup reduced sodium chicken broth

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 lb. russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 cup milk

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add kale and green onions; stir to coat. Add broth, cover and cook, stirring often, 10 minutes or until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl; cover to keep warm.

Bring potatoes, 1 Tbsp. salt, and water to a boil in stockpot over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 20 minutes or just until potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes, and let stand 3 minutes or until dry. Return to stockpot. Mash with a potato masher until smooth; stir in cream cheese and 4 Tbsp. butter. Fold in kale mixture.

Microwave the milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup on HIGH 1-2 minutes or until warm. Stir ½ cup warm milk into potato mixture. Add up to ½ cup more milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time, and stir until mixture thickens. (Mixture will firm up as it chills. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer mixture to a greased (with butter) 2 ½ qt. gratin dish or baking dish. Dot with remaining 2 Tbsp. butter. Cover dish tightly with plastic wrap, and then with aluminum foil. Chill 8 hours to 5 days, or freeze up to two weeks.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove plastic wrap and foil, and bake 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve warm.