When you use a can of tomato paste, do you grab a little spatula and scrap out the little bit stuck to the bottom?
When a box of cereal has about a half cup left in it, not even close enough for a full serving, do you throw the little bit left away or crumble it up and toss it in the cookie batter?
When you’re unwrapping that stick of butter to add to the cake you’re about to bake, do you throw away the wrapper or use the butter stuck to it to grease the pan?
These things, my friends, are all things that I do. I thank my mom for that. Frugality doesn’t run through my veins naturally. My personality is one that wants to move on to the next thing.
Somehow I think that the extra two minutes it takes to scrape out a can, put a half cup of cereal in a zip top bag or grease the pan by hand instead of with cooking spray will add up by the end of the day and I’ll have an extra hour in there somewhere.
My mom, on the other hand, used everything. And, since I learned to cook in her kitchen, even though I want to pour the mashed potatoes in the baking dish and then toss the pot in the sink to soak, I don’t.
Instead, I use a spatula to make sure I get every morsel of food out of my pots, cans and packages. Except today.
Today, I left some cheesey, caramelized onion mashed potatoes in my Dutch oven. On purpose.
The magazine says that this dish takes about 40 minutes to prepare, which is absolutely true, but not. I think that timing is a bit deceptive because one of the ingredients is caramelized onions. I think the magazine should have included the prep time for the onions since they are a process all by themselves. If you want a good method, you can find it here, from when I made Caramelized Onion Risotto. Just know that making the onions will add 30-40 minutes to the prep time. Luckily, it can be done in advance (as much as the day before).
With the onions out of the way, the majority of the prep time comes from peeling and boiling the potatoes. Once that’s done, it’s a simple matter to mash them, add the warm milk and buttermilk (I just heated mine in the microwave for a minute), and other ingredients.
The one thing that I noticed was that the potatoes ended up a bit runny with all the milk. I was silly and just poured the milks in instead of pouring a bit, stirring, then pouring more until I was happy with the consistency.
I baked my potatoes for 35 minutes, let them sit for a bit to set up and served them.
You’ll note that there isn’t any parsley in the dish. I decided to forego it because my daughter is a goob. She believes that parsley tastes bad and would have spent more time picking it out than eating. So, it was sprinkled on top, leaving her little corner of the dish bare.
The whole reason I didn’t use the spatula to get every bit of potatoes in the baking dish? It was so I could scrape the pot clean and eat the extra spoonful or two that was in there. Holy cow these are delicious. I mean crazy good. They were inhaled.
These are guaranteed to be on my Thanksgiving table.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I would add all the buttermilk and butter, then only add the milk if I needed it, and even then, add the milk at a quarter cup at a time to guarantee the consistency I want.
- 4 pounds baking potatoes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1¼ cups warm buttermilk
- ½ cup warm milk
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups freshly grated Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup chopped caramelized onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Peel potatoes; cut into 2-inch pieces. Bring potatoes, 2 tsp. salt, and water to cover to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; boil 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return potatoes to Dutch oven, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes or until potatoes are dry.
- Mash potatoes with a potato masher to desired consistency. Stir in warm buttermilk, warm milk, melted butter, pepper, and 1 tsp. salt, stirring just until blended.
- Stir in Gruyère cheese, caramelized onions, and parsley, and spoon the mixture into a lightly greased 2½-qt. baking dish or 8 (10-oz.) ramekins. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.
Ok, yes, it’s true. I say that this dish will replace my normal mashed potatoes, but I’m well aware that there will be a kitchen coup if I try. Hubby and Dudette love my potatoes. Do you swap out family favorites sometimes? Are you able to get away with it better than I can?