I don’t like breakfast. Although I am a sucker for some fresh granola, come running down the stairs when I know my Mom is making waffles, and yes I will even slurp down a bowl of cereal, I don’t like breakfast because it has so many rules. Why can you have a danish but not a slice of pie? Why can you have steak and eggs but not a burger? The way I feel about breakfast is the same way I feel about the “Traditional Thanksgiving,” too many damn rules.
Sure, it’s nice to keep family recipes alive like Grandma’s Orange Jello Mold or customs like breaking the wishbone, but why do we feel tied to spending 4+ hours roasting a whole turkey or making a pecan pie when half the table doesn't like it?
With Mashed Potatoes as my favorite food, I knew that I had to break some rules to get this dish where I wanted it for Thanksgiving. Here’s a trick I picked up a few years ago- boil your potatoes in broth. This will infuse the potatoes with flavor right from the start. Next, after draining the potatoes, give them a quick dry fry to cook off the extra moisture they are holding- this also helps crisp up the skins. To keep those skins in the mix, I opted for a food processor over the traditional masher/ricer because the blades just integrate the skins better.
No rules are broken in the next phase- adding the milk mixture and butter. In fact, I would say the only rule you CANNOT break is “never forget the butter.” As my mother says, “butter makes the difference,” and these words have stayed with me my entire life.
Now to the final step in my recipe- the crispy topping. The only real complaint I’ve heard about mashed potatoes is: “the texture is so mushy.” I hear those complaints (I don’t agree with them, but I hear them), so to take these taters to the next level, we’re adding more texture. To do this I start with a basic parmesan chip, add seasoning, and combine with toasted bread crumbs- so basically a fancy cheez-it sprinkled on top.
I don’t always break the rules but when I do, it’s with purpose and passion. My Next Level Mashed Potatoes do not stand alone, they are joined by the rest of the SideChef Thanksgiving line up: Lauren’s Turkey with unbelievable gravy and Whitney’s zesty stuffing. Finish your meal with a slice of pumpkin pie filled with homemade pumpkin puree wrapped in a cookie crust.
So, do what you want and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise- but… don’t forget the butter.