Bonnie Burroughs’s (Gladys) Mashed Potato Casserole 2.0
Where does this recipe come from? “I’m a huge fan of Melissa Clark, New York Times food writer, and saw this incredible hack a few years ago. I’ve done some little tweaks to it to make it my own.”
What do you like about this recipe? “It takes all the stress out of serving the absolutely indispensable mashed potatoes hot and creamy while you’re sweating over gravy and rolls and your husband is sitting on his ass instead of helping like he said he would [laughs]. The beauty is you can put it together two or three days ahead. This will be on my Thanksgiving menu forever and I almost always host.”
Any tips for nailing this recipe on the first try? “Pro tip for any mashed potatoes: After you drain them, throw them back in the pot, put it back on the stove and shake it around for 35-to-40 seconds to steam out some of the moisture — we want creamy, not watery!”
Could you substitute different cheeses? “Why not try finely grated cheddar with the bread crumbs — a little hint of mac and cheese on the potatoes?”
Any other tweaks one might be able to make if guests have dietary restrictions? “Absolutely! Substitute low-fat sour cream if desired, or gluten-free bread crumbs, or leave them off altogether and enjoy stress-free mashers with your turkey and gravy!”
14 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more butter to grease the pan
6 lbs. peeled Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into chunks
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt
1 ½ cups sour cream or whole milk yogurt
1 tsp. black pepper
6 Tbsp. finely chopped chives, optional
⅔ cup panko bread crumbs
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter.
2. Bring the potatoes, four quarts of water and two tablespoons of salt to a boil in a large pot. Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
3. Drain potatoes, then mash with 10 tablespoons of butter, sour cream or yogurt, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Mash in the chives if using. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Spread potatoes into the pan. Cover and refrigerate for up to three days.
4. Combine the remaining four tablespoons of butter, panko and cheese in a small bowl. Mix until it forms coarse crumbs. Refrigerate for up to three days.
5. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle crumbs over the top of the potato mixture and bake until golden and crisp, 30-to-40 minutes.
Dominic Zamprogna’s (Dante) Grandma’s Fried Olives
Where does this recipe come from? “Comes from Italy, obviously. Who else would fry olives? Recipes vary based on the region, so one could change this up according to preference. This is my grandmother’s from Ascoli Piceno. Hopefully my grandmother ain’t rolling in her grave for telling this!”
This is a staple of Zamprogna holiday feasts? “Yes, more of a Christmas tradition in our family, but my kids love them so much, we’re going to do some for Thanksgiving, too.”
Anything someone should know before they tackle this recipe? “These take awhile and are fairly labor-intensive, but they’re well worth it. Just keep an eye on those guests that eat them like popcorn!”
Green olives with the pimento inside (“Jumbo ones if you can. As many as you can eat! I usually buy two or three large jars.”)
150 grams (about 1¾ cups) Parmesan cheese
A few pounds of chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add chicken. When done (cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees; check after 10 minutes, then check every five after that), chop finely and put in a bowl.
2. Add cheese, lemon rind, salt and pepper to taste and some nutmeg to the bowl. Mix together.
3. Using a fork, pull the pimento out of the olive. Then, using a paring knife, spiral the olive carefully so as not to break it.
4. Clean your damn hands, then fit as much of that stuffing mixture into each olive as you can. You can make this part of the recipe in advance by freezing the olives after they’ve been stuffed.
5. Get three cereal bowls, one for flour, one for bread crumbs, and a third for the eggs, which should be beaten.
6. Coat olives first in egg, then in flour, then back to the egg and finally roll in bread crumbs. (My grandmother actually wrote this part down because it’s a little unconventional and makes a difference.)
7. Heat up oil in pan; I usually do medium-high.
8. Add olives to the oil, turning them so as not to burn them. Once they’re golden brown, remove.
9. Let them cool for a few minutes so you don’t burn your tongue, but these are good served hot. Buon appetito!