Tag Archives: potatoes

Loaded Sweet Potatoes

Preheat oven to 400°. Roast sweet potatoes on a small rimmed baking sheet until skins are browned and potatoes are tender all the way through, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and, using a heavy spatula or small pot lid, smash potatoes, then drizzle with 1 Tbsp. oil; season with salt. Continue to roast until flesh is lightly browned, 12–15 minutes longer.


Smashed Crispy Potatoes

Heat reserved bacon skillet over medium. If the pan isn’t fully coated with bacon fat, add a good drizzle of oil—you want to make sure that there’s enough fat in the pan at all times so that each potato gets a piece of the action. Arrange half of potatoes in a single layer in skillet. Season with salt and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown and crisp underneath, 6–7 minutes. Flip with a metal spatula, add 2 Tbsp. oil, and continue to cook on opposite side until golden brown and edges are crisp, 5–6 minutes more. Transfer to a platter. Heat remaining potatoes and 2 Tbsp. oil in skillet over medium. Season with salt and repeat browning and flipping process, adding more oil if the pan gets dry.


Why Casserole Your Sweet Potatoes When You Can Shingle Them?

The most divisive food decision at Thanksgiving isn’t white meat or dark meat, pecan or pumpkin, stuffing inside or outside the bird. It’s if your guests are Team Sweet Potato With That Marshmallow Topping Situation or well, not.

Here’s a couple things we should hopefully all agree on:

  • Sweet potatoes can skew sweet or savory.
  • When you put marshmallows on them, they are a dessert.
  • If you want to serve them as a side dish with the main course, consider a more savory approach.

Enter, shingled sweet potatoes with harissa. Putting taste aside for a second, this is a superior sweet potato aesthetic—layered discs of sweet potatoes nestled close together to create the perfect messy-chic arrangement. It looks like something that takes a long time to put together, even though the mandoline really does most of the heavy lifting. You peel the potatoes, slice on the mandoline, and then stack ‘em like coins on their side in concentric circles.

This particular recipe leans a bit spicy thanks to a mixture of harissa, olive oil, and white wine vinegar. And, the dukkah (a mixture of pistachios, sesame seeds, and fennel seeds) add a nice crunch. It’s simple, it’s flavorful, it works.

But, if you’re really feeling the Thanksgiving spirit, you could use this as a (very good, rigorously tested) template more than a must-follow. As in, shingle your sweet potatoes with whatever fat you like, plus any spice combination your heart desires—just make sure there’s enough oil to keep the potatoes from drying out in the oven. And, as the recipe instructs, check on them every 15 minutes to brush any accumulated oil in dish back onto the sweet potatoes.

When it all comes out looking toasty and impressive, you’ll forget there was ever any other way to cook them. And your guests? Well, they won’t even miss the marshmallows. Sorry, marshmallows.

Get the recipe:



Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Take One More Thing Off Your To-Cook List

Ring the alarm, I have a hot (potato) take! There’s no better way to screw up a perfectly good potato than to boil it and then pulverize it. Mashing it is simply the worst thing you can do. I don’t know about you, but every version of this dish I’ve ever eaten was either too gummy or too chunky, tasteless or under-seasoned—a solid C+ every time. Why have mush when you can have crispy-crunchy taters? Roasted potatoes and French fries exist, and thrive! I’m sure the mash method has “potential,” but rarely do I see any signs of it.

The one exception? Our new make-ahead mashed potatoes, the most perfectly light, velvety mashed potatoes on earth. Chris Morocco developed the recipe to solve every problem that typically befalls the steaming pile—and right in time for Thanksgiving too. But he also did one better by making it so you can cook them days in advance. The approach is simple, but employs a few key tricks that make all the difference, so sit up, and pay attention.

The first step is to cook the potatoes—we like yukon gold for their naturally buttery, creamy texture—skin-on in super salty water. Chris says the skins keep the potatoes from absorbing excess water, which is the enemy of a creamy mash, while allowing some of the saltiness to penetrate and give the tubers a jumpstart in flavor. He recommends tossing a solid handful of the Kosher stuff into a pot of cold water that just covers the whole potatoes by an inch, and then bring it to a boil so they all cook at the same rate.

Once they’re tender—after about 30-40 minutes—drain any excess water, and let the potatoes hang out in the hot pot (off the heat) until they’ve dried completely. Why? Same reason: Water activates the potatoes’ starch and that leads to gumminess we really don’t want.

make ahead mashed potatoes process 1

Photo by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Kalen Kaminski

This is Butter Insulation in action. Ricing potatoes is so easy that even Chris’s son, Alec, can can do it!

That’s also why Chris calls for a technique I like to call Butter Insulation. Essentially, the fat creates a barrier around the potato innards, so it won’t soak in any extra water from the dairy you’re about to add. All you have to do is put the unpeeled cooked tots and butter together in an old-school potato ricer, and push them through the perforated holes like its a giant garlic press. The whole vibe is a bit Play-Doh, but instead of a putty-like product, you get a cohesive mixture and the creamiest, fluffiest mash that’ll hold up way better to the abuse of reheating. (If you don’t have a ricer, you can also use a food mill fitted with a fine disk to the same effect.)

Now if you’ve been skimming along with us, time to perk up! The order you add the next ingredients is important: First butter, and then warmed cream and milk. Starches start to bind at cooler temps, so hot liquid means less ”stiff mass” and more melt-in-your-mouth heaven. You add the cool sour cream last for a little tang and extra creaminess, and then all you have to do is taste for seasoning, maybe eat a few spoonfuls for quality control, and chill it until Turkey Day.

make ahead mashed potatoes process 3

Photo by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Kalen Kaminski

A final stir in of sour cream makes things extra luxurious.

The day-of reheat is super straightforward: Stir the mash in a pot over medium-low heat with an additional ⅓ cup of milk and ⅓ cup of cream. If it looks liquidy, don’t worry! It will thicken into the perfect consistency as it stands in the serving bowl. Just make sure the mixture doesn’t boil, and stir often so the bottom of the pot doesn’t scorch.

Spooning this mixture straight from the pot into my mouth, I had to revise my feelings on the mash. Truth is, now I’m actually tempted to make a batch in place of their crispier cousins, served alongside cold-weather meals like braised short ribs, stews, and pork roasts. Done the right way, creamy, buttery mashed potatoes are a damn good way to use a potato—especially when all the work can be done in advance.

Get the recipe:



How to Cook With Sweet Potatoes


Sweet potatoes are available year-round, but the peak growing season runs from fall through early winter. Choose tubers with smooth skins, firm pointed ends, and no soft spots.


They may look tough, but sweet potatoes can bruise quite easily. Keep them in a cool, dry place and use within a week. If using unpeeled, just give them a scrub first.

Three Types to Know

Orange: Chances are when you think of sweet potatoes, you think of these. Use them for everything from marshmallow-topped casseroles to curries to oven fries.

Japanese: These white-fleshed sweet potatoes have reddish-purple skins and a chestnut-like flavor. Steam or bake whole to prevent them from drying out.

Purple: Purple inside and out, these spuds sport dense flesh that’s full of antioxidants. Roast, sauté, or fry them rather than boil to preserve their pretty color.


Follow This Game Plan for Foolproof Mashed Potatoes

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It’s time to master mashed potatoes

Three more Mondays till Thanksgiving. And I’ve already got mashed potatoes on my mind.

We can banter all we want in the coming weeks about the merits of parsnip confit (check out the new recipe) and BA’s famous shaved kale and Brussels salad, but I’ve always believed that the big meal is about nailing the basics. And there is no dish more essential, more satisfying than a large bowl of buttery, creamy mashed potatoes.

So let’s get to it.

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Photo by Alex Lau, Styling by Sue Li

  • First up, the potatoes. At Bon Appétit, we love Yukon Golds. They not only lend an attractive golden hue to the finished product, but they deliver a richness that russet potatoes simply do not.
  • Salt. When boiling your Yukons, be sure to add a generous amount of salt to the water. This will infuse your potatoes, all the way through, with flavor. If you don’t adequately salt your water, you’ll be futilely reaching for the shaker at the table.

  • Moisture—boo! After you drain your perfectly tender potatoes, return them to the still-hot pot. Shake them around to allow any excess moisture to steam off. You can even turn the stove on low to aid this process. Ultimately, you want creamy mashed potatoes, not watery ones.

make ahead mashed potatoes

Photo by Michael Graydon + Nikole Herriott, food styling by Rebecca Jurkevich, prop styling by Kalen Kaminski

  • Flavorings. Yeah, no. This magazine and others, over the years, has called for everything from roasted garlic to horseradish. We’ve asked you to infuse your milk or cream with fresh herbs. Which is fine, if you really want to. But perfect mashed potatoes don’t need anything more than butter, salt, and cream. (Emphasis on the butter in our extra-buttery mashed potatoes recipe.) There will be so many flavors and competing dishes on the Thanksgiving table, your mashed potatoes should serve as the bedrock for the entire menu. So keep them basic, in the best possible way.

  • Tools. Do you own a ricer or a food mill? You should. Both are old school and both get the job done. The former is like a giant garlic press, the latter like a hand-cranked food processor. (A food mill is pictured below!) Each produces miraculously fluffy and smooth mashed potatoes. Not a lump to be found.


Alex Lau

  • Moisture—yay! Chances are, if you’re the organized type, you mashed your potatoes ahead of time. Smart move. But when you gently reheat them just before sitting down at the table, you’re going to need to add some liquid to rehydrate them (they will have tightened up as they sat). So, either stir in some warmed milk and cream, or try adding some reserved potato water from the pot, all nice and salty and starchy. It does the trick.

  • Watch how it’s done. If you’re the type who’s a visual thinker, or you’ve just got five minutes to kill, or you just really like mashed potatoes, watch the always-charming Andy Baraghani make flawless, ultra-creamy mashed potatoes in the BA Test Kitchen. Then get in yours and do it yourself.


Now choose a mashed potato recipe:

Extra-Buttery Mashed Potatoes
Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Ultra-Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Mashed Baked Potatoes with Chives