Rich, nutty brown butter and a hint of sage transform this classic comfort food into a savory holiday side dish your guests will be thankful for.
Thanksgiving is almost here and I’m counting down the hours til feasting time. But before we talk turkey, I’d like to get a little personal and say a few words about what this holiday is all about—being grateful.
I’m going to be honest, this year has not been my favorite. I have a laundry list of things that upset me or I think are unfair—TRUST—but if there is one thing I’ve learned, it is that in order to be happy, we cannot focus on these things. Setbacks, mistakes, and misfortunes in life are inevitable for EVERYONE. Instead of getting hung up on people, situations, and circumstances we can’t control or things we don’t have, we need to channel our energy into what we can control and celebrate what we do have.
My grandma Mim, who I’m sad to announce passed away last Friday, would always say, “It’s all about the attitude!” She had a very positive mindset, and although she didn’t have much, she was never poor in spirit. Her heart was only working at 25% the last fifteen years! That shows how big it was. She knew the key to happiness was to cherish all she had and those she loved and that’s only become more apparent with her passing. I am so thankful to have such an amazing example of generosity and gratitude in my life, and am inspired to lead a more gracious life.
So in her honor, here are a few things I am grateful for.
FOOD! Duh. I am grateful for food as a basic means of survival and the fact that I can afford to feed myself, but I am even more grateful for it as a form of artist expression. Food is my passion, my escape, my creative outlet. Next on the list is FAMILY. I am learning more and more how lucky I am to be a part of my family—a family that loves and supports and helps each other no matter what path we’re on or what side of the country we’re on. Next up, BAE. Thank you for supporting my dreams and truly believing in my abilities. Also for sharing your fur babes and your family and always reaching the coffee mugs from the top shelf. And last, but not least I am grateful for my STRUGGLES. Why? Because they teach me a lot about myself. They help me to learn and grow and transform into the person I want to be.
With that being said, can we cook already??
I know I’ve been a brown butter fiend, lately, but you just can’t go wrong with the deep, nutty flavor you get from browning butter. This is the first time I used it in mashed potatoes and I can’t go back to regular, now. I love the addition of sage in these potatoes, especially for Thanksgiving since there’s usually sage running through various other dishes like stuffing and the turkey.
If you’re a traditionalist, skip the sage. The brown butter alone will elevate your basic mash without adding any complex flavors. I made extra butter and brown bits to drizzle over each serving because more is more, but they really don’t need much as the brown butter lends a deeper, richer flavor than regular butter.
And although they definitely don’t need it, I think gravy would supplement the flavors really well, especially a nice sage gravy to keep the theme.
BROWN BUTTER SAGE MASHED POTATOES
- 2-3 lbs yukon gold potatoes
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream (or milk), warmed
- 1 cup butter
- 5-7 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- salt and pepper
Peel potatoes and roughly chop into cubes. Boil potatoes in super salty water until fork tender. Drain in a strainer and return to pot to dry out a little.
While potatoes are boiling, chop fresh sage leaves. Start to brown butter by melting it in a saucepan over med-low heat. Once melted, turn up heat to med-high. The butter will start to foam and turn from yellow to tan. Swirl the butter around in the pan watching carefully until brown bits start to form on the bottom of the pan, then toss in your sage leaves so they fry up a bit. When the butter starts to smell very nutty and fragrant, remove from heat and set aside. This will happen quickly, be careful not to burn your butter or it will turn bitter.
Put potatoes in a stand mixer along with 1/2 – 3/4 cup of the brown butter—I saved the rest for topping each serving. Warm the cream and add to bowl with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to mix until well combined and the consistency you want. Turn mixer to high at the very end for extra whipped potatoes.
If you don’t have a stand mixer, simply add ingredients to the pot and mash by hand until you reach your desired consistency.