Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving mash AND a Sunday Supper - Two-for-one Special!

 Today I'm giving a two-for-one special - a double whammy so to speak. I wanted to share my favorite new mashed "potato" recipe since some sort of mashed is a must have on Thanksgiving, and also get back in the swing of doing the Sunday Supper posts. So, I created a menu around the mashers than is easy, relatively quick and perfect for the Sunday Table.

 Mashing on the Light Side: These mashed potatoes are great because they're smooth and creamy like any cream and butter-filled version would be, but they are mush less heavy and starchy due to the addition of cauliflower. Cauliflower is in season throughout the winter, so great for mashing under the hearty stews and heavy meals we crave in colder weather. I don't love doing the cauliflower on its own because the water content is a little high and so it's kind of baby-foody, but mixed in a 1 to 1 ratio with potatoes it's perfect.

Bacon pieces on top make for an elegant presentation

I also add some garlic, thyme, bacon and goat cheese. These four wonderous ingredients round out the dish to make an awesome mash that can stand alone or accompany a more subtle main dish.

To go with my mashers I made some Toad in the Hole which is a relic of my childhood and so much yummier than it sounds. My mother, being Scottish and this being a British staple, would make this often on Sundays, much to our delight. It's essentially sausages cooked in a Yorkshire Pudding (Americans call this popover dough) crust.

Toad in the Hole!

For the veggie accompaniment we had an arugula and roasted squash salad, recipe thanks to Lindsey - which perfectly incorporated seasonal arugula and butternut squash into a salad that could easily stand on its own.

Any of these recipes could have been the highlight of the meal, but together they make a great feast that makes you forget that tomorrow is Monday and you'll have to go back to work!

Sunday Supper #2


Alelia's Creamy Bacon Mashers
serves 4-6

4 large Russet potatoes, in one inch pieces
1 small or 1/2 of a large head of cauliflower, roughly cut into large pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 strips bacon
1/2 - 3/4 cup goat cheese
1 Tbsp thyme
1 cup milk (any percent)
salt & pepper

- Combine the potatoes and cauliflower in a pot of water and boil until tender (about 10 - 15min)
- Meanwhile, cut the bacon into half inch pieces and fry in a pan until crispy, set aside.
- Drain potatoes and cauliflower, return to pot.
- Using a wand blender or beaters, blend the potatoes and cauliflower while adding the milk. When pretty much smooth, add the goat cheese and thyme and continue blending.
- Stir in the bacon bits, leaving some for garnishing on top if you desire.
- Salt & pepper to taste.

Toad in the Hole
serves 4 (with some leftovers for Monday!)

1 stick of butter

6 Good quality sausages (I like Italian, but any flavor will do)
1 cup of flour
1 1/4 cup of milk
3 large eggs
pinch of salt

springs of fresh rosemary, thyme or sage

- Heat oven to 475 degrees
- Mix together flour, milk, eggs and salt. Make sure to remove as many lumps as possible. Set aside.
- Place butter in a large, oven proof dish, let heat until fully melted and beginning to turn brown (don't let get too brown!!!)
- Add sausages carefully to the butter, they will sizzle and spit, so be careful. After a few seconds, turn the sausages to brown the other side. Return to the oven until light golden color - about 5-7 minutes.
- Carefully pour the batter atop the sausage and return to oven. DON'T open the oven for at least 20 minutes (Yorkshire Puddings can be finicky)!
- When the dough has risen around the sausages and is a deep golden color, it's ready.
-  Let rest 5 minutes before serving as it will be very hot.

Arugula, Squash and Goat Cheese Salad
serves 4-6

1 small butternut squash
l - 2 large bunches of arugula
2 oz of goat cheese
1 cup candied pecans
1 shallot
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
Salt & Pepper to taste

- Set oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half and deseed. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with oil. Roast for about 35 minutes, or until very tender.
- In a small saucepan, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and saute the shallots until translucent. Add the cider, vinegar and sugar and cook down to about half the original volume. Add salt & pepper to taste.
- In a large salad bowl, add the arugula, chunks of squash, crumbled goat cheese, and pecans.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss thoroughly.


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