She likes to bake. Actually, baking is the only thing she does. It's a passion.

Thanksgiving Side Dish Try Out #1

Posted: November 8th, 2009 | Author: bakezilla | Filed under: Bakezilla | 4 Comments »

As I mentioned previously, I am going to be making Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Because I’m not so much a cook as a baker, I’ve decided in the upcoming couple weeks, I’m going to try out side dishes to go with the meal until I find satisfactory starch-, green veggie-, cranberry- and stuffing-oriented dishes for the big day.  Today, I tried out Creamy Potatoes with Herbs from the Low-Fat Good Food Cookbook, located on the shelf of the family I babysit for.

To prep, scrub (peeling optional) 4 medium-sized potatoes, chop into big pieces, and boil until soft and drain.  While they’re boiling, preheat the oven to 350.  Mash the potatoes in a large bowl.  Then, with an electric mixer (amazing that I always find a way to use that mixer…), add in 6 ounces of Neufchatel cheese (found next to the cream cheese at the grocery store), 1/4 cup skim or lowfat milk, 1 egg, and about 1/2 tsp basil, thyme, and whatever other herbs you’d like (I added rosemary for good measure).  Mix well.  Then, stir in one diced green bell pepper.  Spread into a sprayed 8 or 9 inch square pan and bake for 30-35 minutes (amazing that I baked the potatoes…)

DSC00254The end result was okay but not amazing.  The herbs were lovely.  Really lovely.  The potatoes were a little dry.  I think part of the reason for this is that mashed potatoes, the famous American comfort food version, are usually made with lots of heavy cream and butter, and Neufchatel has about 16 grams less fat per ounce than butter, and 4 less than heavy cream.  Hence, while the potatoes aren’t bad, they’re not what one really craves from mashed potatoes, especially on a holiday.  And while in theory, the bell pepper should add some moisture, the contrast between the crunchiness of the bell pepper and the smoothness of the potatoes is kind of odd.

The verdict: these potatoes are an okay lower fat/calorie alternative for everyday, but not making it to the Thanksgiving table.  I’ll try out another starchy recipe, perhaps using fingerling potatoes, a new thing of mine.

Coming later this week:  Brussel’s sprouts and mushrooms in a white wine sauce.  Will I be able to help rid Brussel’s sprouts of their bad name, or contribute to the stereotypes?

4 Comments on “Thanksgiving Side Dish Try Out #1”

  1. 1 Johanna said at 9:34 pm on November 8th, 2009:

    I am SO excited to see what you do with Brussels Sprouts! I have never eaten them, and need to figure out what they’re all about. The only thing I’ve ever heard is fool-proof is roasting them with pieces of bacon. I’m excited to see them with a white wine sauce.

  2. 2 Ben said at 11:35 pm on November 8th, 2009:

    Is it possible that you’re being modest about your Creamy Potatoes? Bakezilla doesn’t sound like the type to say, “These are the best potatoes ever, and none of you will ever cook as well as I do.”

    So I think you need to run it by a completely unbiased third party. Just saying.

  3. 3 Alyssa said at 8:47 am on November 9th, 2009:

    This sounds like a great recipe, although I can see where the dry-ness might come in. Perhaps rather than using potatoes, you could use cauliflower puree. It tends to be a little lighter, and there is less starch to absorb the liquid.

  4. 4 Johanna said at 8:25 pm on November 11th, 2009:

    Somehow, I’m guessing that Ben isn’t a completely unbiased third party, although I like his style. ;)
    You and me, ‘Zilla. We’ll make some stuff, we’ll feed some folks, you can practice your T-day dishes, it’ll be a party. Bring Ben. Even if he is *shudder* a vegetarian. :)

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