Oh my goodness, it’s Thanksgivingtimes.
I love this time of year, because it gives a sense of legitimacy to my everyday food nerderie. I pore over recipes on the internet and dream up fantastical dinner party menus all the time, but this is the time of year where I actually get to put my obsession to good use. I love it.
That being said, when Missy Maki asked me to join up with other Oregon food bloggers to create the “ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving” menu for her radio show, I did not hesitate one bit. I was asked to contribute two recipes: one for a dessert, and one for a potato dish.
I’m working a lot these days (yay for work! boo on my shocking lack of free time!), so I decided to include one new recipe, and one recipe that I posted last year. For the dessert, I chose to include my recipe for Butternut Squash Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. It’s one of my all time favorite dessert recipes and I think it’s wonderfully appropriate for Thanksgiving. It’s a little outside of the box, so you might even score a few cool points if you make this cake as opposed to the traditional pumpkin pie.
Ok, now it’s officially time to talk potatoes. Specifically, mashed potatoes.
Here’s the thing: mashed potatoes are a hallowed and revered Thanksgiving tradition. My family is realllllllllly into mashed potatoes. At one particular Thanksgiving dinner years ago, my little sister ate so many mashed potatoes that she literally crawled away from the dinner table. (To ensure that she never forgets it, we always set the giant bowl of mashed potatoes directly on her plate at Thanksgiving. The joke will never get old, even though the famed potato incident took place 20 years ago.)
However, I will say, that after eating good old-fashioned mashed potatoes for the past 20-something years, I think it might be time for a change. I don’t want to rock the boat, but I will say that the addition of celery root and horseradish to mashed potatoes is really quite spectacular. The celery root adds a certain earthiness to the dish, and the horseradish adds just the right amount of punch. It’s a win-win situation.
Before I jump into the recipe, I will note that this is not a precise recipe, by any means. Essentially, I use equal parts potatoes and celery root, and then add various other goodies until I like the taste (i.e. sour cream, butter, salt, pepper, horseradish, etc.) It’s really quite simple. However, I do recommend that you cook the potatoes and celery root separately, as I’ve found that celery root takes quite a bit longer to cook. If you cook them together, the potatoes will begin to break down and dissolve into your cooking water, while you wait for the celery root to cook fully (and you don’t want that!).
Lastly, if you’re in the Portland area, be sure to tune into KPAM 860 on Sunday morning, November 18th, from 9am-11am, to hear your favorite Oregon food bloggers talk about our ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving Menu!
And Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!
POTATO AND CELERY ROOT MASH WITH HORSERADISH
Note: As I mentioned before, this recipe is a simple ratio: equal parts celery root and potatoes. Other than that, feel free to change and edit according to your personal tastes. I like my potato/celery root mash to be extra creamy and spicy so I tend to be heavy handed on the sour cream and horseradish. Also, this recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for large groups.
1 celery root (small-medium size)
4 russet potatoes
2 tablespoons sour cream (or Greek yorgurt)
1 tablespoon butter
1 heaping tablespoon prepared horseradish
Salt & pepper to taste
Optional ingredients: If you want to make it extra celery-y, feel free to use celery salt in the place of salt. I also like to pour a little chicken stock into my potato/celery root mash, as I think it makes them might tasty.
Using a sharp knife, peel the celery root and cut into 1/2″ cubes. Place in a pot and cover with water. Place on the stove over med-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow the celery root to cook until tender (could take up to 45 minutes).
After you get the celery root cooking, peel and chop the potatoes into 1/2″-1″ cubes. Place in a pot and cover with water and cook on the stovetop over med-high heat. Bring the potatoes to a boil and then reduce the heat slightly, allowing the potatoes to simmer until fork-tender. (About 20 minutes).
When the potatoes and celery root are fully cooked, drain the water out of each pot and combine the two root vegetables together into one large bowl or pot. Add in the sour cream (or Greek yogurt), horseradish, salt, pepper, and butter. Using a potato masher (or immersion blender or electric mixer), mash the vegetables and spices together, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve warm, with a grind of fresh pepper (or turkey gravy!).