Thanksgiving: Chive & Parsley Mashed Potatoes
Our traditional Thanksgiving (and any holiday) mashed potatoes are my sister’s secret recipe, which I adore and which we never make the same way twice. For some reason, this year, I decided we should try something new. And then I did it all wrong. Boo! I think my rationale was to add some color to the mean – I thought green potatoes would spice things up a bit. And it would have worked find if I’d gone with my instinct instead of actually trying to follow the darned recipe…
The potatoes were beautiful; the herbs smelled amazing; the butter was enticing; and I had exactly the right amount of milk in a container labeled with chalkboard contact paper (such a geek…).
Here’s the first place where I should have gone with instinct. The recipe says mix this stuff, blend it, and then strain out all the good parts. That’s just dumb – but for some reason, unlike every other recipe I follow, I decided to go with it.
Look at all the beautiful herby goodness I strained out!
Although what’s left still looks pretty good…
Here’s the second place I should have gone with my instinct instead of the recipe. I have no idea what made me think that 1 1/2 sticks of butter was enough for mashed potatoes, however green they were supposed to be!
My camera refused to recognize that the potatoes had turned green. They were fine when it was green and potato side by side, but once they were all mixed together, the green was washed out. Trust me – they are green. But not that green – it would have been much more exciting if I’d left the herbs in.
To sum up: I should have remembered that more is always better with mashed potatoes, and used more butter and all the herbs. These ended up a bit dry. They come out fine as leftovers, though, because you can just add more butter. They also worked surprisingly well with cheap gravy. I wasn’t sure how the herbs would go, but it was just fine.
For chive and parsley oil
- 1 cup chopped fresh chives
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For mashed potatoes
- 5 lb yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Puree chives and parsley with oil and salt in a blender until smooth.
- Pour herb oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass measure, pressing on and discarding solids. (SKIP THIS STEP!)
- Peel and quarter potatoes.
- Cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inch in a s-quart heavy pot, then simmer, uncovered, until very tender, about 25 minutes.
- While potatoes are simmering, bring milk, butter, salt, and pepper just to a simmer, stirring until butter is melted.
- Drain potatoes in a colander and return to pot.
- Add hot milk mixture and mash with a potato masher until almost smooth, then stir in 4 tablespoons herb oil.
- If desired, serve potatoes drizzled with some of remaining oil.