Thanksgiving is a mere days away now, and if you are like me, you probably know what you are making. But I am going to urge you to rethink your mashed potatoes — seriously.
For me, they tend to be almost an afterthought — the thing I make because I have to. But mashed potatoes? They really don’t need to be an afterthought. In fact, they can be truly spectacular without a lot of effort — like in this easy (yes, easy) Cheddar Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Apples dish. More on that in a second.
First, I need to tell you something. I’m going to be on television this week. See, recently, I was invited to a taping of The Chew.
And guess where I sat?
The tasting table.
It was amazing (that’s me on the far right in the red).
Have you heard of The Chew? It’s a daytime show on ABC with hosts Clinton Kelly, Michael Symon, Mario Batali, Carla Hall and Daphne Oz. They show’s main focus is food — with a little lifestyle content thrown in for good measure. I’ve been watching it for a while now, mostly because the hosts always seem like they are having so much fun.
There’s something contagious about an energy like that. Turns out … It’s all real too.
The cast and crew were obviously having such a good time together — they are all just so happy. Between takes, everyone (and I mean everyone) bopped to the music, chatted happily and snacked on no-longer-needed dishes — all while also working on getting things ready for the next scene. It makes me want to watch even more.
If you ever have the opportunity to go to a taping, I highly recommend it.
As for the tasting table? It was amazing to sit there. I was so close to all the action and got to chat a little with the hosts between segments. I also got to sample some of the dishes they made on the show. Look for me smiling, clapping and enjoying.
As part of this assignment, I was asked to transform a recipe a little into my own style. When I saw Nigella Lawson’s Cheddar Mashed Potatoes with Bacon and Apples on the list, it was a no-brainer. I mean cheddar! And bacon! And apples? Well, it still sounded awesome.
And it is — sweet, salty, rich, creamy potatoes. These are no afterthought and since they aren’t too complicated to make, they are totally doable for Thanksgiving too.
I altered the recipe in three ways: first, I changed the potato cooking method so that they would cook in a mere 15-20 minutes instead of the original 40 minutes. But cutting the potatoes into smaller pieces, they cook a lot faster — something I prefer when making a holiday dish. Also, that timing thing simplifies this recipe so it won’t make you pull your hair out while creating it. Second, I omitted the onions it called for, changed mild cheddar to extra sharp (a personal favorite) and added a little dry mustard to really bring out the flavor of the cheddar. And finally I cut down on the portions this makes to feed my family of four.
The Chew airs weekdays on ABC at 1 pm EST, 12 pm PST/CST. And be sure to tune in on Wednesday, November 21 — You can see me at the tasting table (I’m wearing red!). Also, I was asked to mention that The Chew is your home for holiday ideas … For more recipe and craft ideas check out ABC.com/thechew.
Visit BlogHer.com to find links to see what the other bloggers created.
- 2¼ lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 3 slices bacon
- 1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
- ½ cup milk
- 1¼ cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ tsp dry ground mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until just tender.
- Meanwhile, sauté the bacon until browned. Remove from the pan to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the chopped apples and cook, stirring occasionally until golden and tender.
- Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Add the milk and mash thoroughly.
- Return the pot to the burner over medium-low heat. Stir in half of the cheddar until smooth. Stir in the other half of the cheddar until smooth. Season with dry ground mustard, salt and pepper.
- To serve: Spoon the mashed potatoes into a serving dish and top with bacon and apples. Enjoy.
Disclosure: I was compensated for my time, supplies and creating this recipe and post. However, as always, all opinions are my own.