Thanksgiving is two weeks from today, and the time is quickly dwindling. If you have not yet started to plan your meal, now is the time.
Start looking through the weekly grocery ads – you know the ones that you get in the mail each week and toss in the trash or recycling bin without opening them. These flyers will help you to comparison shop from your home for Thanksgiving.
Many people have more than one grocery store near their homes, so shopping at various places to get the best deal is easier. Take for instance the Montrose area. The new Montrose HEB will open there on Wednesday, just in time for Thanksgiving shopping, but within a few miles from the new HEB are a Randall’s, Kroger and Whole Foods.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the cost of Thanksgiving dinner will increase this year by 13 percent, but do not let that get you down. It will still only cost about $5 per person to fix a traditional dinner at home. Compare that to the $30 minimum cost many Houston restaurants are charging for a meal on Thanksgiving.
Though the turkey is the most expensive item on the menu, you can cut corners by reducing the cost of your side dishes. Potatoes are a cost-effective alternative to some side dishes. While not as exciting as something like an oyster and sage dressing, they cost less and provide a comforting starch for the meal.
Flavorful mashed potatoes do not need expensive additions. The preparation method contributes to the flavor. This year, use a secret technique when preparing your potatoes. Instead of boiling the potatoes, roast them. Roasting caramelizes the natural sugars in the potatoes, enhancing the flavor.
The recipe below roasts the potatoes with onions and tosses both in melted butter with a bit of sugar before cooking. The butter and onions add flavor while the sugar encourages caramelization without making the dish overly sweet. You can also substitute 4 cloves of garlic for the onions, if you prefer. Roasting the garlic will mellow its potency.
Roasted Mashed Potatoes
- 2 lbs. russet potaotes, peeled and diced
- 1 lb. white onions, diced
- 1/2 cup melted, unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Toss the diced potatoes and onions with the melted butter and sugar.
- Roast the vegetables at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 50 minutes or until browned.
- Mash the potatoes and onions to the desired consistency with the chicken broth. Use less broth for fluffier potaotes and more for smoother potaotes.