Light and fluffy yet rich and creamy, with just a hint of garlic, thyme, and tangy sour cream: These spuds are the mashed potatoes of our dreams.
4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 2″ pieces
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more
1 1/4 cups whole milk
4 thyme sprigs
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more
1/2 cup sour cream
A potato ricer or food mill
Cover potatoes, garlic, and 1 Tbsp. salt with cold water in a large pot. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer (do not boil) until potatoes are very tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife but not falling apart, 20–25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat milk, thyme, and 3/4 cup butter in a small pot over medium, stirring, until butter is melted. Remove from heat; set aside.
Drain potatoes and garlic; return to pot. Toss over low heat until moisture evaporates, 1–2 minutes. Using potato ricer or food mill, immediately press potatoes and garlic into a large bowl (do not let cool).
Discard thyme from milk mixture and gradually stir into potatoes, reserving about 1/2 cup if you plan to make in advance (see Do Ahead). Season with 2 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Fold in sour cream and stir with a spoon until incorporated and very smooth (do not over mix or potatoes will become gummy). Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve topped with remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and more pepper.
Mashed potatoes can be made 2 hours ahead; cover and store at room temperature. Or chill, covered, up to 8 hours; reheat over medium with reserved 1/2 cup milk mixture.
This salad highlights the many green herbs that you can grow in your AeroGarden. This salad is a crunchy, flavor packed salad great for this upcoming Fall.
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds carrots, peeled, shaved lengthwise into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
1 bunch radishes (approximately 10 radishes), thinly sliced on a mandoline or with a sharp knife
4 cups (packed) mixed herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, dill, mint, tarragon, and/or basil
1/2 cup chopped chives
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add pumpkin seeds and cumin and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted and fragrant, 4–5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels, season with salt, and let cool.
Whisk lemon juice, honey, pepper, and 3/4 tsp. salt in a medium bowl until honey dissolves. Slowly whisk in remaining 3 Tbsp. oil until emulsified.
Toss carrots and radishes with dressing in a large bowl, then fold in herbs, chives, and half of the pumpkin seeds. Top salad with remaining pumpkin seeds. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Dressing can be made 5 days ahead. Chill in a resealable container.
Cooked, puréed zucchini adds rich, creamy body to this easy herbed soup.
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 zucchinis, chopped
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 – 1/2 cup basil leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a saucepan, heat the oil and onion over medium-high heat. When hot, add the zucchini and sauté until the vegetables are soft. Set aside and let cool for 5 minutes.
Place the zucchini and onion, bone broth, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Blend until combined. Add the olive oil and pulse until combined. Return the soup to the saucepan and reheat. Divide soup between two bowls and serve.
5 to 6 cups Chicken Stock or 5 to 6 cups purchased organic chicken broth
2 crustless slices fresh whole grain wheat bread, torn
4 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
Melt butter with oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, parsley, and sage; sauté until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add squash and coarse salt; sauté until squash softens and onions are golden, about 6 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add 5 cups stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until squash is very soft, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender, allowing some texture to remain. Return soup to pot. Thin with stock, if desired. Season with pepper and more salt, if desired. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and chill. Rewarm before serving.
Place bread in processor; blend until fine crumbs form but some slightly coarser crumbs remain. Cook butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and sage. Cook until crumbs are crisp, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand uncovered at room temperature.
1 1/4 cups hot Homemade Turkey Stock or canned turkey stock, plus 1/2 cup more if baking all of stuffing outside of turkey
See how to dry your AeroGarden Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme here:
In 12-inch, heavy skillet over moderate heat, heat butter until hot but not smoking. Stir in onion and celery, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. (Vegetables can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Reheat before continuing: In 12-inch, heavy skillet over moderately high heat, sauté, stirring often, until heated through, about 5 minutes.)
Transfer to large bowl and add stuffing cubes, parsley, celery salt, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir in 1 1/4 cups hot stock.
If using to stuff turkey: Use immediately to fill cavities and spread remainder in baking dish as directed in recipe .
If baking entire recipe as side dish: Preheat oven to 350°F and butter 3-quart casserole or 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Transfer stuffing to dish and drizzle with 1/2 cup hot stock. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until top is slightly crisp and golden, about 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.
Sausage and Sage Stuffing: In large, heavy skillet over moderate heat, sauté 1 pound bulk pork sausage, breaking up pieces with spoon, until meat shows no sign of pink, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to large bowl. Proceed with recipe, adding ingredients to bowl with sausage and substituting 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage for dried rosemary and sage.
Dried Apricot and Pecan Stuffing: Dried fruit are better than fresh in stuffing because the latter get soggy with long baking. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans on rimmed baking sheet and toast, stirring occasionally, until browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Cool and coarsely chop. In medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups diced dried apricots and hot water to cover. Soak until apricots plump, about 30 minutes, then drain well. Proceed with recipe, tossing apricots and pecans with other ingredients in large bowl.
•Warm, moist stuffing is an optimal environment for bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli to multiply, so it’s important to follow safe procedures. Be sure to make the stuffing at the last minute so it can go into the bird warm. This helps it move above the “danger zone” (the optimal temperature range for bacteria growth) more quickly during roasting. Stuffing baked outside of the turkey can be spread in the baking dish and refrigerated for a few hours while the turkey roasts, but it should be made on the same day as baking.
•Stuffing baked outside of the turkey won’t be soaked in the turkey’s juices, so extra stock is drizzled on top to keep it moist.
Rub first 6 ingredients in small bowl to crush herbs finely. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; store at room temperature. Stir in peel before using.
Rinse turkey inside and out (do not pat dry). Pull any fat pads from main cavity and neck cavity of turkey; wrap, chill, and reserve fat for roasting. Place turkey in roasting bag; sprinkle inside and out with herbed salt. Close bag. Place on baking sheet; refrigerate 18 to 24 hours.
Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 325°F. Rinse turkey inside and out; pat very dry. Stir chopped onion and next 5 ingredients in small bowl. Divide onion mixture between main and neck cavities. Fold neck skin under and secure with skewer. Tuck wing tips under. Tie legs together loosely. Place turkey on rack set in large roasting pan. Spread butter all over turkey. Place reserved fat pads and reserved neck, heart, and gizzard in pan; pour in 2 cups Golden Turkey Stock.
Roast turkey 45 minutes. Baste with pan juices. Continue to roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165°F to 170°F, basting every 45 minutes, adding stock or water to pan if dry, and tenting loosely with foil if browning too quickly, 3 to 3 1/2 hours longer. Transfer turkey to platter; tent very loosely with foil and let rest 30 to 45 minutes. Reserve roasting pan with juices for gravy.
Remove turkey neck, heart, and gizzard from roasting pan. Pull meat off neck; chop neck meat, heart, and gizzard and reserve for gravy, if desired. Pour pan juices into 8-cup measuring cup. Spoon off fat from surface, reserving 1/2 cup fat. Add enough turkey stock to degreased pan juices to measure 5 1/2 cups total.
Place roasting pan over 2 burners on medium heat. Add 1/2 cup reserved fat and shallots; sauté 1 minute. Whisk in flour. Cook until roux is light brown, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes. Whisk in wine, stock mixture, mustard, and fresh rosemary. Bring to boil, whisking to blend. Boil until gravy coats spoon, about 3 minutes. Add neck, heart, and gizzard, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.
Cactus fruits, also known as “prickly pears,” are any number of fruit nodules that grow wild on the nopales cactus in the deserts of Mexico and the southwestern United States. Although prickly pear juice is sold in bottles, nothing compares to the sweet taste of their fresh flesh and spitting out the numerous seeds. To peel the fruits: Hold them with a pair of thick leather or work gloves, cut off both ends, cut a slit down the length of the fruit, then remove the prickly skins with a pair of tongs. Although they come in a variety of flavors and colors, I find the ones with the bright pink flesh to be the most tasty and the drinks from them come out more festive looking, too.
Makes 2 servings
4 prickly pears, peeled
4 ounces tequila
1 1/2 ounces triple sec
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
Coarse-grained salt for rimming (optional)
Lime slices for garnish (optional)
Place the prickly pears in a blender and pulse until liquefied. Strain the juice into a small bowl (you should have about 1 cup of juice).
Fill a large cocktail shaker with ice, add the prickly pear juice, tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and sugar and shake vigorously.
Pour into glasses filled with ice, rimmed with salt or sugar, if you like. Garnish with lime slices.
For a fancy party cocktail, combine some chipotle chile powder with your coarse-grained salt before rimming the glasses. The smoky, spicy salt will make a nice complement to the sweet, fruity drink.
For your next summer BBQ change things up by adding a kick to your favorite corn bread. This simple recipe turns out great every-time and you can add your very own AeroGarden grown Cayenne peppers to make it unique.
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/4 cup (or more) buttermilk, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1 cup (about 4 ounces) lightly packed grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush cast-iron corn stick molds with vegetable oil and place in oven. Mix yellow cornmeal, unbleached flour, dark brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda and cayenne pepper in large bowl. Whisk 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, butter and egg in small bowl. Mix into dry ingredients. Stir in grated cheddar cheese. Add more buttermilk if necessary to thin to just pourable consistency. Fill corn stick molds with batter. Bake corn sticks until tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Using tip of small sharp knife, gently lift corn sticks from molds. Serve warm.
This fresh and spicy dip is great for any summertime BBQ or picnic. It’s simple, quick, and almost all the ingredients you can grow in your AeroGarden. So next time someone asks you to bring a side dish to their party, you don’t even need to think twice, this Texas Caviar will have everyone asking for more.
3 16-oz cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed of all juice
2 16-oz cans corn, drained
1 small jar chopped pimentos, juice included
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, green part only
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
3 fresh jalapeño chiles, chopped
1 cup diced cherry tomatos
2 cups vinaigrette
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic, pressed or minced
1 avocado, diced
In a large bowl, stir all ingredients very well. Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours, preferably overnight, in a sealed or covered container. Remember the longer it sits, the better it gets!
Serve with old-fashioned saltine crackers or with corn tortilla chips.
2 mixed medium and large tomatoes, preferably heirloom, cut into thin slices and/or wedges
8 ounces buffalo mozzarella or mozzarella, room temperature, torn into pieces
Coarsely ground black pepper
Small basil leaves and toasted country bread (for serving)
Toss cherry tomatoes with 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt.
Arrange tomato slices on a platter, slightly overlapping; season generously with salt. Arrange mozzarella over tomatoes; lightly season mozzarella with salt. Spoon cherry tomatoes over salad and drizzle with 6 Tbsp. oil; season with pepper. Let stand 30 minutes to let flavors meld and release juices from tomatoes and mozzarella.
Top salad with basil and additional salt and oil, if desired. Serve with bread alongside.