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Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Shallots

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Serves eight.

Crème fraîche lends a tangy creaminess to this traditional holiday favorite, and the sweetness of the caramelized shallots adds additional depth.

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shallots
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup crème fraîche, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, heated; more as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper

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.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 570; Fat (g): fat g 38; Fat Calories (kcal): 340; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 22; Protein (g): protein g 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 53; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 650; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 85; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

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!

Served with: Maple roasted chicken and maple roasted carrots. The maple was very light on the baby carrots, in fact, my dinner guests mistook the carrots for brandied. But the congruency of flavors on the palate led us to really focus on the more subtle flavors of each dish: the moist chicken, the creamy almost tart potatoes, and the almost crispy carrots. YUM. The part that sent this over the top, at least for half the diners, was the accompanying gravy. The gravy was made using the pan drippings from the chicken, about 1/4 cup of homemade chicken broth, and a small amount of thickener. (I ran out of butter, so the "roux" was ice cold water and flour...bummer!) The gravy was slightly too sweet, so I added a tad of salt and it was a HUGE hit. Thanks fine cooking!

Definitely worth splurging on the calories for a special holiday treat. I did cut back a bit on the salt, but I didn't change anything else. They were fabulous!

These were delicious! My guests and kids loved them. Will definitely make again.

Good, but not great. Admittedly I only used half the butter and salt. I just could not bring myself to add 1/4 cup of salt to anything, and the butter seemed excessive on top of the creme fraiche and heavy cream.

Excellent--rave reviews for Thanksgiving dinner. I had to substitute cream cheese for the creme fraiche.

Outstanding. I made this recipe about 3 hours ahead of serving for Thanksgiving and kept it hot in our rice cooker on Keep Warm. They were even better when I took them out of the cooker than before I put them in. I made my own creme fraiche by putting a dollop of plain yogurt (live culture) in a cup of heavy cream and left it on the kitchen counter for 12 hours before going back into the fridge.

Outstanding...served it with lamb. This would go with anything, not over powering with an amazing taste!

Is the "1/4 Cup of salt" a mistake in the second paragraph? This recipe is a new favorite, however, they came out VERY salty the first time around.

This was the hands-down favorite dish at Thanksgiving dinner this year. Sumptuous, silky, sinful -- a real treat for mashed potato lovers.

Made these for Thanksgiving. Very good and everyone liked them. Couldn't find creme fraiche and had to substitute light cream.

Wow. This recipe is rich tasting but delicious. I made it with my Thanksgiving dinner and both my sister and her husband said they were the best potatoes they had ever tasted. When I first added the cream and butter to the potatoes, I panicked a bit because they looked almost like a soup, however they quickly thickened up to a creamy smooth consistency and were fantastic. I didn't have a potato ricer so I just mashed them and it seemed to be fine.

Wow. This recipe is rich tasting but delicious. I made it with my Thanksgiving dinner and both my sister and her husband said they were the best potatoes they had ever tasted. When I first added the cream and butter to the potatoes, I panicked a bit because they looked almost like a soup, however they quickly thickened up to a creamy smooth consistency and were fantastic. I didn't have a potato ricer so I just mashed them and it seemed to be fine.

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