With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I figured it's time to conquer some new fall recipes, beginning with phase one of course – mashed potatoes. Starting small is always the better method for me. Although I hope to be a legendary cook one day (in my own household at least), I'm realizing cooking is not one of my born talents. It will be a long while till I combat Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". I looked up an easy recipe, with lots of butter of course, which landed me with Paula Deen's Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- 3 medium baking potatoes peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon (or more) whole milk, at room temperature or warmed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium saucepan, cook the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan.
- Add the butter, sour cream and garlic. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or the back of a fork until the ingredients are blended. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the potatoes are the desired consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed.
I won't go on and on about all the steps and and things I could have done better. I will say though that I added more butter than what was called for. That surprised me; Paula's known for her extra buttery recipes. After adding a bit more garlic and just the right touch of salt and pepper, I dipped my spoon in and was delightfully surprised when I took the bite. I had done it! David liked them too, but he's – he always tells me that the food I make is delicious (except for that one time I made sweet potato chowder).
I served up the taters with another tasty dish: Smoked Sausage and Zucchini Skillet. Of course I substituted the tomatoes for mushrooms (if you didn't know already, David despises tomatoes) so I didn't get the sauce that Kristin talks about it having on her blog. I also couldn't find smoked sausage at Trader Joe's so I used Spicy Italian Sausage instead which was still absolutely delectable.
Side Note: If you have a cast iron skillet, there are a ton of easy recipes for dishes made all in that one pan. I stumbled upon a few links when I found this recipe on Pinterest. Here's a great one
Smoked Sausage and Zucchini Skillet
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 pound smoked sausage, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4 inch pieces
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (if desired)
- Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat.
- Melt butter in the pan, then add the diced onion; stir and cook until onions are soft.
- Mix in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds before adding the sliced smoked sausage.
- Cook until sausage is browned; about 7 minutes.
- Stir in the veggies and seasonings and cook another 7 minutes or until zucchini is tender (soft, but still has a bit of crunch to it).
- Serve on it's own or over a bed of steamed rice.
A small success in the kitchen is a huge advance to my cooking ego (which is dismally low). Every conquered recipe, however easy it might be, is a wonderful delight and gives me every reason to try another.
What are some of your favorite fall recipes? I'd love to hear them and maybe try a few out for size. It doesn't have to be a Thanksgiving dish, just anything you like to make when this time of year comes around.
Happy Fall Dining!