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
One Happy Place http://www.onehappyplace.com/

Baked Eggs with Garlic Mushrooms

What do you folks do for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning? I’ve been thinking about this one for quite some time. Breakfast is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the focus of a Thanksgiving day menu–I think we can all agree on that. However, it’s essential for proper stomach expansion and intake later in the day, to eat breakfast. That, by the way, is not a scientifically based fact but simply a fact-sounding statement inspired by my stomach and its vast experience.

For me, the strategy of “saving room up for later” always backfires and you’re simply too starving to eat a lot by the time the turkey and bevy of sides are out of the oven and on the table. There is also the reality and challenge that from sunrise on Thanksgiving Day, most every orifice in the kitchen is occupied with a dish in progress. 

This simple version of baked eggs (ouefs en cocotte in French, if you’re feeling fancy, which I’m not) takes less than 20 minutes of oven time and makes perfectly cooked eggs for everyone, all at the same time. If you’ve read my blog before, you know that my biggest abhorrence about eggs for guests is a recipe that causes you to basically be the omelet chef at the all-you-can-eat resort buffet with that enormous paper chef’s hat–cooking each egg pile to order, one at a time, for guests as they wait. Oh, and by the time each guest sits down, the person who just received their eggs previously is just about done eating–like playing a game of falling, eggy dominos.

This single-serve beauteous cast iron square pan was a gift but I highly recommend investing in a few for this dish and many other individual serving applications (*mind flashes with lasagna imagery*) This little guy is very similar to the one I used for this recipe.

Alternatively, in the notes of the recipe card, I have written an adjustment for folks who would rather use a large muffin tin that they have on hand or want to buy. It is a great alternative cooking vessel for baked eggs at a fraction of the cost of the cast iron pans.

This recipe is written for an individual portion and I find this to be the easiest way for you to make as many as you want for your guest pack, rather than trying to divide and multiply an arbitrary yield that I have decided on.

Baked Eggs with Garlic Mushrooms
Serves 1
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Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
20 min
Cook Time
12 min
Total Time
20 min
For the eggs
  1. 3 pasture-raised eggs
  2. 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  3. 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  4. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 1 teaspoon italian parsley, chopped, for garnish
  6. Kosher salt and ground black pepper, for finishing, to taste
  7. Single-serve cast iron pan, approximately 7" x 4"
For the mushrooms
  1. 3 white button mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp towel and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
  2. 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed or very finely minced
  3. 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  5. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the eggs
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. While the oven is pre-heating, place cast iron pan so that it heats up simultaneously.
  3. Once oven and pan are pre-heated (This should take approximately 5-8 minutes, depending on your oven), leaving the pan in the oven and pulling the oven rack out, put cream, butter, and kosher salt into the pan. Allow cream and butter to heat for 1-2 minutes or until melted.
  4. Use a fork to quickly combine hot cream and melted butter in pan before pouring three cracked eggs into the pan. I recommend cracking the three eggs into a cup and then pouring the eggs into the pan from your cup or glass.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes or until eggs are just set.
For the garlic mushrooms
  1. While the eggs are cooking, heat olive oil and butter in a non-stick skillet for 1 minute over medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and sauté for 5 minutes, on both sides, until golden brown.
  3. Adjust the heat to low and add the kosher salt and the crushed/finely minced garlic to the mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes, letting the garlic soften and absorb into the mushrooms, being careful not to let the garlic burn.
To finish dish
  1. Top baked eggs with garlicky mushrooms and chopped, fresh parsley.
  2. Sprinkle, to taste, with kosher salt and black pepper
Notes
  1. In order to make this recipe using a large muffin tin, simply adjust recipe to even distribute cream, butter, and kosher salt into three different wells. Then, place only one egg per muffin tin well. Adjust cooking time up to 5 minutes more, checking doneness every minute, since eggs will be in a smaller, higher space.
One Happy Place http://www.onehappyplace.com/
Feel free, also, to eat these eggs with copious amounts of toasted baguette. However, it would not be wise to get TOO full on Thanksgiving morning, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Crispiest Chicken in Mustard Cream Sauce

Be still my heart and soul. This meal. Without fail, I eat this dish at least once a week and I see no end in sight. This stove-to-oven method of cooking chicken thighs and legs makes the crispiest skin I’ve ever achieved sans fryer. It’s incredible to contrast the tenderness of the baked chicken with a skin that audibly cracks when cut because it’s fully rendered and cracker-crisp.

The sauce is truly life-changing. Tangy, garlicky, and just the right amount of creamy. I, personally, am not a pure cream sauce fan–you’ll never see me ordering the fettucine alfredo. For me, when something is just pure cream, it’s almost too rich. I need something to cut through the richness and bring a bright and sunny flavor to the mix. Brandy, wine, lemon, onion, garlic, two different mustards, chicken broth, and a touch of cream create something ever-so balanced and matched with just the right amount of contrast.

I have been making this chicken dish for going on about six months and every time I do, I get the measurements more spot on and the ingredients just that much more to my liking. I started making the sauce with only wine, then I added brandy, and the next week–lemon juice. Then, I used all three. One day I used just dijon mustard then another day, I threw whole grain mustard in the mix. It’s really a great thing that I love to eat, so much, because who else is going to fine-tune my recipes for me?

I included, below the recipe and method for this meal, all the variations that I have tried to date for your experimentation pleasure. I hope you adore this recipe as much as I do. It’s something special.

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