Monday, November 30, 2009

Mashed Potatoes with Fontina and Italian Parsley

potatoes, originally uploaded by Kim De.

Please forgive the picture (and any for the days when I post about Thanksgiving food). It was obviously taken after the feeding frenzy.

This was one of the big hits of our meal. This year I decided I wanted to do "traditional" foods with an Italian flavor theme. Lots of research took place (my favorite part of the process) to find the correct components for the perfect balance of flavor and color (I know, I'm a geek!)

This first recipe came from the Epicurious website. It mixes traditional mashed potatoes with creamy fontina cheese and parsley. I didnt do much to change this, except making it a day in advance, reheating in the microwave, and not baking it (due to oven and time constraints)

Great potatoes! I think part of the reason is I do full-fat on the holidays, so this had half and half and butter in it. Yum! I know this could easily be lightened in varying degrees still with amazing results. The only definite change I would make is to boil the potatoes instead of baking them. The results are the same and boiling takes less time.

Mashed Potatoes with Fontina and Italian Parsley From Bon App├ętit

2 pounds medium-size russet potatoes
3/4 cup half and half
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 1/4 cups (packed) grated Fontina cheese (about 6 ounces)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using small knife, pierce potatoes in several places. Place potatoes on small baking sheet. Bake until tender when pierced with skewer, about 1 hour. Cool slightly.

Bring half and half to simmer in heavy small saucepan. Scrape potatoes from skin into large bowl. Using ricer, food mill or potato masher, mash potatoes. Mix in half and half. Add butter; stir vigorously until butter melts and potatoes are smooth. Stir in 2/3 of cheese and 3 tablespoons parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake potatoes until heated through and cheese melts, about 15 minutes.

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