Mashed potatoes are one of the most beloved items on the Thanksgiving table. While you might need to keep things classic at your traditional family Thanksgiving, it's fine to jazz things up a bit for Friendsgiving, when you're surrounded by your friends and not fussy aunts and uncles. These mashed potatoes take a little walk on the wild side and taste like a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips. And yes, that's a very good thing.
This side dish is actually inspired by one of my favorite foods from my Ukrainian heritage: varenyky. Better known by their Polish moniker, pierogi, varenyky are boiled dumplings commonly filled with mashed potatoes laced with fried onions, and served with more fried onions and sour cream on top. Truly, they're a carb-lover's dream. Varenyky are typically a weekend project for the whole family that culminates in a grand feast of stuffed pasta (followed shortly by nap time).
Smashed potatoes are cooked and mashed with their skins on, which dramatically cuts down their prep time. I use shallots instead of regular onions because they're a little sweeter. The sour cream lends the creamy taters richness as well as a signature tang that balances nicely with the sweet fried shallots.
The texture here is chunkier than that of classic mashed potatoes, which is perfect for catching all that turkey gravy you'll be pouring on. If you are unable to find small potatoes, use regular-sized, thin-skinned, waxy potatoes such as white potatoes or Yukon Golds. If you have some time to spare, soak the scrubbed and chopped potatoes in a pot of cold water for 30 to 60 minutes prior to cooking to draw out some of the excess starch — this results in a slightly creamier final texture. Be sure to pour off the soaking water and replace it with fresh when ready to cook.
Sour Cream Smashed Potatoes with Fried Shallots
Serves 6 to 8
fingerling or other small potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
medium shallots, thinly sliced into half-moons
full-fat sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the potatoes into a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Add 2 teaspoons salt, cover tightly with a lid, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer partially covered until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallots and fry until dark caramel brown, about 4 minutes; set aside. Combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until the butter is melted; set aside.
Drain the potatoes and transfer back to the pot. Lightly mash with a potato masher to break them up. Add the milk-butter mixture and sour cream. Continue mashing until everything comes together but some lumps of potato remain. Stir in the shallots with their oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reprinted with permission from Friendsgiving: Celebrate Your Family of Friendsby Alexandra Shytsman, copyright (c) 2017, William Morrow Cookbooks.