Roasted Garlic Butter

I am not here to dictate the best mashed potato recipe in the world or to review all the schools of thought about this precious dish. In fact, just the other day, my friends and I were discussing the importance of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. Specifically, if you are hosting Thanksgiving at your house and do not plan to serve mashed potatoes, we decided that the invitation (or e-vitation) must state: *Mashed Potatoes Not Included.* 

All I am here to talk to you about is BUTTER. No matter what recipe for this divine dish you call your own or are trying out this year, odds are, it contains butter. I respect the recipes that don’t include butter, for the record, but remain unconvinced that Thanksgiving is the day to try and lower calories.

I am simply here today  to plead the case for substituting in homemade roasted garlic butter for your o, run-of-the-mill butter this year. 

I love garlic. However, I believe that the sharp slap of raw garlic doesn’t always have a place in comfort foods. Mashed potatoes, being smack dab in the middle of this category, should do everything but kick the mouth. Is the phrase, “The mashed potatoes, studded with roasted garlic, hugged my mouth”, weird? When garlic is roasted, the almost spicy edge disappears and is replaced with a rich and complex sweetness while still being undeniably savory.

Make this butter today and let it pinch hit in the spud category tomorrow–AKA my new website tagline. 

INGREDIENTS (makes 1/2 cup or 1 stick butter)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 heads fresh garlic, tops cut off to expose garlic cloves
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

EXTRAS NEEDED:
Saran wrap
Aluminum foil

DIRECTIONS
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. On a large square of aluminum foil, place 1 head of garlic. The garlic head should have the top cut off just enough to expose the cloves, as shown in the picture. Drizzle olive oil over exposed cloves and bring up the corners of foil to create a pouch around the head of garlic. Repeat with the second head of garlic.
3. Place the foil pouches of garlic on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour.
4. After an hour, remove garlic from the oven and let cool. Garlic will be golden brown.

5. Once roasted garlic has completely cooled, use a fork to gently remove roasted cloves from their skins.
6. In a bowl, combine softened butter, roasted garlic cloves, and salt. Mix with a fork, smashing garlic cloves into butter, until fully incorporated.

7. Using a rubber spatula, turn out butter onto an outstretched piece of saran wrap. Roll the butter up in the saran wrap and once fully surrounded, use your hands to form the butter into a log or stick.
8. Let the butter set and infuse with flavor in the fridge for at least of couple of hours before using.

When I use the roasted garlic in my mashed potatoes, I always simmer it write into my milk mixture. But again, I know each and every one of you have YOUR way of making mashed potatoes so put it in your world how you see fit. My potatoes are smashed, studded with thyme, full of roasted garlic butter and cream, and topped with more roasted whole garlic cloves.

Please take critical note that this butter doesn’t stop at potatoes. On top of yeast rolls, melted over brussels sprouts, or place in pats on top of a casserole dish of dressing right before it finishes off in the oven. Enjoy and have a beautiful Thanksgiving!

Roasted Garlic Butter
Yields 1
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Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  2. 2 heads fresh garlic, tops cut off to expose garlic cloves
  3. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. On a large square of aluminum foil, place 1 head of garlic. The garlic head should have the top cut off just enough to expose the cloves, as shown in the picture. Drizzle olive oil over exposed cloves and bring up the corners of foil to create a pouch around the head of garlic. Repeat with the second head of garlic.
  3. Place the foil pouches of garlic on a baking sheet and roast for 1 hour.
  4. After an hour, remove garlic from the oven and let cool. Garlic will be golden brown.Once roasted garlic has completely cooled, use a fork to gently remove roasted cloves from their skins.
  5. In a bowl, combine softened butter, roasted garlic cloves, and salt. Mix with a fork, smashing garlic cloves into butter, until fully incorporated.Using a rubber spatula, turn out butter onto an outstretched piece of saran wrap. Roll the butter up in the saran wrap and once fully surrounded, use your hands to form the butter into a log or stick.
  6. Let the butter set and infuse with flavor in the fridge for at least of couple of hours before using.
You will need
  1. Saran wrap
  2. Aluminum foil
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Classic Stuffing in Cast Iron

One more day! I cannot find one thing not perfect about the concept of stuffing. It’s bread that’s been doused in butter and rich stock, then tossed with softened vegetables and fresh herbs, then baked until crispy all over. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–I am a Thanksgiving purist. You can keep your andouille sausage and dried fruits out of my stuffing, thank you very much. I define classic stuffing as if the Stove Top box were to magically turn into fresh versions of those ingredients.

Now, for all you food nerds, yes yes yes–I know this is technically called “dressing” because I didn’t make it STUFFED inside of the bird but come on, the picture below is what people associate with the word stuffing. Don’t make me call my dish, dressing.

Okay, how is my recipe any better or any different? The portions of all of these classic ingredients are weighted in a way to result in an extremely moist stuffing and it’s cooked with a method that results in a stuffing with the most crispy edges possible. You don’t want to have a crispy edge that came from a dry piece of bread. If the bread loses its moisture completely in the baking process, it will just continue to harden and become the texture of a super hard crouton. No one wants to break a tooth on Thanksgiving because of the bad kind of “crispy.” Instead, think of the edges of a deep dish pizza–crispy, chewy, and moist, all at the same time. All the while, the center of our stuffing remains almost bread pudding-like.

In order to achieve this glorious contrast of textures, I make my stuffing in a cast iron skillet. It reaches an amazing high heat yet allows the food to cook evenly throughout because it holds such consistent temperature as it bakes and gets no hot or cold spots. And besides, nothing looks cooler when cooking than if its in a cast iron skillet. Of course, you can go sans cast iron and make this dish in a classic baking dish but I might give you a touch of side eye, if you do. Just kidding. Click through below for the full recipe! 

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Lemony Green Bean Salad with Crispy Shallots

I adore green bean casserole, very much, but that’s not the only place these lanky legumes have on the Thanksgiving table. I like to have some cool and crisp vegetables play a part in turkey day to offset the cream, meat, and carbs that tend to take center stage. This fresh green bean salad nods to it’s cream of mushroom laden cousin with crispy shallots but keeps it on the lighter side, simply topped with a fresh lemon vinaigrette.

The green beans themselves are barely cooked in boiling water so they are bright green and snap back at you when you eat them–because honestly, a smushed over-cooked green beans is the worst thing ever. Recipe is after the jump!

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