Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times to try out new recipes. But I don't want to do so of the big day, that is usually a bit risky. I make them ahead of time to see if they are good and also to review them for the site of course. The first thing up for review this year, is Giada's Baked Mashed Potatoes with Peas, Parmesan Cheese and Breadcrumbs. This recipe appeared on a new episode of Giada at Home. I have a guide to the Thanksgiving shows airing on Food Network.
Below you will find my notes from this recipe. For the full recipe, visit Food Network's website.
1. This recipe makes a lot of mashed potatoes. I wasn't ready to make that much commitment so I decided to make a half recipe.
2. She uses freshly grated Parmesan but you can use any of your favorite hard cheeses, like Asiago or Romano as well.
3. For the breadcrumbs, I used Japanese Panko bread crumbs. Their crunchy texture beats any other crumbs you can find.
4. You can make the mashed potatoes ahead of time with the cheese and then bake them right before the big meal.
I am usually not a big fan of cheesy potatoes. Don't get me wrong, I love cheese, probably the best food ever, but I never cared for it in potatoes all that much. But this dish was different. I like the use of mozzarella. It made them creamy without overwhelming the potatoes with cheese, like cheddar typically does. The crust on top was a nice textural difference to the creamy potatoes on the inside. They had a nice rich flavor, so you don't need a ton of them, having the recipe left our family with plenty to eat at a later time.