You guys. These are the BEST mashed potatoes. I am thrilled to share them, crazy about them, and hope someone out there gets to try them.
But first a little back story:
After we had our twins, we decided to get our Thanksgiving meal from a good restaurant. It felt smart and easy and we all enjoyed the day and still cooked a few sides and apps. It was so good we did it again when they were 1. The next year, my sister passed away right before Thanksgiving, and in our grief, we got it again. The next year Covid still had us turned upside-down so we ordered it again, but a big hole was felt by my sister and me and my mom (even though she had still always made her stuffing because we can’t have Thanksgiving without it). We missed our traditions.
So this year we are finally taking it back, and it feels like we have emerged from some kind of tunnel and I can see the light.
So with that backstory, I was so exited to find some ways to update the classics on our families Thanksgiving menu. When I saw this post from Ali’s Kitchen it looked beautiful! She used scallions and cilantro, but I had so many herbs on my deck I decided to use a combination of scallions, thyme, parsley, and cilantro. Then I thought about the chicken that I made from Mimi Thorisson’s cookbook with creme fraiche, shallots, garlic and lots of herbs. Ali’s potatoes call for buttermilk but I thought they would be so good with creme fraiche.
I was right. Oh my gosh, the tang it gives the potatoes is almost like a hint of lemon. (Some lemon zest would be a fun addition to these flavors too).
So let’s talk mashed potatoes. My no-fail way to make them is always to peel and cube Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, and then put them in a pan with water, then put that over medium high heat and bring that to a boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a knife and they feel tender.
Once you have mashed the potatoes, stir in the butter, salt and pepper, and creme fraiche. I really can’t get over how good these are with this tangy, creamy addition.
To make the herby mixture, heat 3 T. oil in a pan, and add scallions, garlic and shallots. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the rest of the herbs, salt and red pepper flakes. (These are optional but I almost recommend serving kids some of the potatoes with out the herby mixture and letting the adults have it with the heat.) Keep in mind you can use any combination of your favorite herbs here, but this combination was really good.
I hope you get to try these they are swoon – worthy. And I hope your Thanksgiving is full of food, family and fun.
Happy Eating, xoxo Katie
Crème fraîche, Garlic & Herb Mashed Potatoes
5 lbs. Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 T. unsalted butter (add more to taste if preferred)
2 7-8 oz packages Crème fraîche
3 T. salt, divided + more to taste
milk, if needed for texture
For the Herby Garnish:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 scallions, thinly sliced, to yield a heaping half cup or so
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped thyme
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional but so good)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Place potatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt in a saucepan and cover with cold water.
Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Return the potatoes to the pan and sprinkle 2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp pepper over them and add 2 T. butter. Mash the potatoes, stirring to incorporate the butter and salt. When mashed, stir in the creme fraiche and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
To make herb topping, heat pan over medium heat with 3 T. olive oil. Add scallions, shallots, and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes, then add parsley, cilantro, and thyme. Add salt and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Cook for 2-3 minutes more until onions are browned a little and everything is fragrant.
When you are ready to serve, put hot potatoes in a bowl and swirl it around to create peaks and valleys. Spoon herby topping while it is warm all over. If needed, put tin foil over it until you are ready to serve.