I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving! We had a delicious meal with an Italian bent, thanks to all of our friends’ cooking prowess. The menu included glazed ham, fresh cranberry sauce, roasted squash, brussel sprouts, asparagus with Frico, vegetable lasagna, and my contributions, sage stuffing and fennel mashed potatoes with rosemary. After we stuffed our bellies, we sipped on Rhys’ homemade Limoncello while the boys held an impromptu music session, with Adam on the guitar, Greg on the accordion (!), and Anthony spitting some freestyle rhymes. Big ups to Lauren for your famous pecan tarts! Thanks Kat…What a perfect night with great friends, food and conversation.
After much research, I think I decided on the perfect Thanksgiving sides. The sage stuffing is a gourmet and modern update on my all-time favorite… Stovetop. I made the buttermilk cornbread from scratch, as the recipe details. But I left out the chicken livers. Find the recipe from Epicurious here:
Usually my go-to Thanksgiving mashed potatoes are made with roasted garlic. This holiday, I went with my new obsession, roasted fennel. These mashed potatoes have so much flavor and richness… you can’t go wrong with rosemary, crème fraîche and a stick of butter! And they can be made ahead and reheated in the microwave for added convenience.
Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Fennel & Rosemary
2 large fresh fennel bulbs, trimmed, quartered through core, center core trimmed and discarded, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 medium onion, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
3 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp fine sea salt, divided
3 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 tblsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1. Preheat oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss fennel and onion with olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and fresh pepper and spread in a single layer. Roast until fennel and onion are very tender, tossing occasionally, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor and puree until almost smooth.
2. Cook potatoes in a large pot of salted water until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain well, cool slightly.
3. Melt butter with rosemary and remaining salt in a small sauce pan. Place potatoes in a large bowl with fennel puree, melted butter and crème fraîche…mash well. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with more olive oil. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Place in a microwave safe bowl and reheat on high for 4 minutes until heated through).