Crème fraîche lends a tangy creaminess to this traditional holiday favorite, and the sweetness of the caramelized shallots adds additional depth.
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Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Reduce to medium low and add the shallots and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
Put the potatoes in an 8-quart pot and add enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Add 1/4 cup of salt. Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to medium low and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, return to the pot, and stir gently over low heat to dry them.
Dump the potatoes into a bowl and then pass through a ricer or food mill back into the pot. Whisk in the melted butter, creme fraiche, and milk, adding more milk as needed to reach your desired consistency.
Set aside 3 Tbs. of the shallots and stir the rest into the potatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl, top with the reserved shallots, and serve.
Make Ahead Tips
Caramelize the shallots up to 2 days ahead; store covered in the refrigerator. You can make the potatoes an hour ahead; put them in a heatproof bowl, cover with foil, and set over a saucepan of barely simmering water.
Not bad but nothing special. Shallots definitively taste better than regular onions! I would triple the amount of shallots.
After reading all the rave reviews (and loving both mashed potatoes and caramelized shallots), I was really looking forward to making this dish. I made it last night along with sausages and gravy. First of all, let me say that I like quite a lot of salt in my food and I'm not scared of large quantities of butter (when used for a treat and not everyday). Having said that, I found this dish to be too salty. I didn't have creme fraiche so I substituted sour cream and I didn't particularly enjoy the tanginess and creaminess it added to the dish. I also found the finished product was extremely rich thanks to the healthy! dose of butter in the recipe. It was all just too much for me! The shallots were a very nice addition, however they reduce so much that I didn't find that there were enough. My boyfriend quite enjoyed these potatoes, however, and I will make them again, but I will make the following adjustments according to my taste: I will use half the amount of salt, creme fraiche and butter; I will use a bit more milk and I will increase the amount of shallots (50-100% more). If they need more seasoning at the end, I figure I can always adjust at that point. Despite not loving them, I brought leftovers to work today along with some steamed broccoli and I found I enjoyed them more if I ate a mouthful of the two together (the broccoli helped to cut the richness). I shared a bite with a friend at work and he thought that they tasted more like a dip than mashed potatoes.
I didn't cut back on the salt, even though I was tempted. It turned out delicious.
Hands down, the BEST mashed potatoes I have ever made or had. This recipe was SUPERB and I will make it again. I did not have creme fresh, and based on the cost of it I substituted it with sour cream. I also do not like potato ricers, so I smushed the potatoes in the pot I cooked them in, added the wet ingredients and then used an immersion blender to finish the job. FANTASTIC!
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