Thanksgiving is just one week away, and I’m just a few recipes away from sharing this year’s entire Thanksgiving menu. Today, the subject is mashed potatoes, but before we get to the spuds, I wanted to post my finalized menu for next week’s feast. Here it is:
So far this week, we covered the Deconstructed Green Bean Casserole, the Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Kale Ribbons (on OneGreenPlanet), and the Stuffed Seitan en Croute (on Vegan.com). And we’ve also discussed pumpkin cheesecake at length, although I’ve been inspired to make something new this year: pumpkin tiramisu (recipe coming soon).) Now on to the potatoes!
For years I was conflicted about when to prepare the mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. There’s always so much going on, but I always thought they had to be made at the last minute and I have a thing about leaving dirty pots and pans around when I’m serving a special meal. That’s why I’m glad I discovered that mashed potatoes will stay perfectly fluffy and wonderful when kept warm for a few hours in a slow cooker (on the Keep Warm setting). That way you can make them and wash up the pot while they keep warm and ready to serve.
Mashed potatoes are extremely versatile and can be embellished in a number of ways, by adding garlic or fresh herbs, or even wasabi or chipotle. There’s also the colcannon-type addition of cooked greens such as kale or chard. For Thanksgiving, I usually go for garlic mashers, but this year I’m trying something a little different. It’s a spin on “loaded” baked potatoes — but with mashed potatoes. I took the recipe for a test drive last weekend and it’s delicious. You can use your favorite vegan bacon, whether storebought or homemade (I’ve included a recipe for one made with cremini mushrooms), or omit the bacon altogether. I’ve also provided a “make ahead” option for the oven, although oven space can be a challenge on Thanksgiving, so you might want to consider keeping them warm in the slow cooker — or you could just do it the old fashioned way and make them at the last minute. After all, what’s one more dirty pot?
Loaded Mashed Potatoes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
Stovetop: Transfer the mushrooms to a lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until cooked and nicely browned.
Oven: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the mushroom slices in a single layer in an oiled baking dish and bake until nicely browned, turning once, 20 to 30 minutes.