Sweet and Savory Mashed Potatoes with Fried Onions
The Internet needs another recipe for mashed potatoes like it needs another recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies / another hole in the head.
Maybe right now we could all use another hole in the head.
Or just these mashed potatoes because they’re layered, sweet, and savory, and topped in a downright gratuitous amount of onion rings (yes, onion rings).
Cream, butter, salt, and pepper… this is a little prayer of gluttony and thanks to you.
What very important to know and respect is that under these mashed potatoes is a layer of buttery mashed sweet potatoes…. and over these mashed potatoes is a mountain of fresh fried onion rings.
Have we lost our mind? Or found it. (Found it.)
We’ve got our potatoes for mashing, melted butter and creams for richness, flour and spice for onion coating, and onions for frying.
Let’s make this masterpiece.
I like to boil potatoes for mashing.
Is there a case for roasting potatoes and then mashing them? Certainly possible.. but I like the extra moisture that boiling adds to the potatoes. I think this contributes to softness.
Peeled and diced into relatively even chunks. The uniformity will help them boil at the same rate and finish cooking at the same time.
Two pots. One for sweet potato chunks and one for russet potato chunks. We’re keeping separate church and state.
While the potatoes boiled away I whisked together melted butter, whole milk and heavy cream.
We’ll add this to our hot, cooked potatoes when we’re feeling rich.
Easing on down the road because nothing stops this train: an onion is sliced thin and tossed in buttermilk.
In a separate bowl I whisked together flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne in generous amounts.
From the buttermilk bath to a flour shower.
I let the dipped and coated onion rings rest on a wire baking rack while the oil heats.
Fry these! We’re going to fry these (and try not to eat them all before the potatoes are done).
Back to our potato business.
Each potato is drained and kept separate from one another.
Starting with the sweet potatoes, we’ll mash and add half of the cream and melted butter mixture.
Salt and pepper. Loads of salt and pepper… or to your taste.
I use a masher to keep my potatoes on the rustic side. Feel free to use a ricer if you prefer a perfectly smooth potato.
Into a big ol’ cast iron or casserole dish. Smoothed to finish.
The cooked russet potatoes get the same treatment.
A dose of milk and cream. More salt and pepper and a good mashin’.
Spread to top.
On with the onion rings. So many. Don’t be shy!
Now you can toast the dish under a broiler or you can use a kitchen torch to create toasty bits around the edges.
Keep warm in the oven and serve in generous portions with… probably with Thanksgiving dinner.
Feels right. Tastes right. Onion rings. How’s that for a mantra?
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- Canola or vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and 2 pinches of cayenne pepper
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch thick rings
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- Place two large pots of water on the stovetop. To one pot add the sweet potato chunks. To the other pot add the russet potato chunks. Set heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil until potatoes are completely softened through and meet no resistance when tested with a fork or knife. Drain into separate colanders.
- While the potatoes boil, in a small saucepan combine the milk, cream and butter. Heat over medium heat until until the mixture is warmed through and the butter is melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl (or the pot that you cooked the potatoes in), place the cooked and drained sweet potatoes. Add half of the warmed milk and butter mixture. Use a masher to mash and smooth the potato pieces. Add a good amount of salt and pepper, tasting the mixture until you reach your desired seasoning.
- Spread potatoes into a large (I used a 10-inch) cast iron skillet, or another large casserole dish. Spread onto an even layer.
- Return the russet potatoes to their pot (or a large bowl, if you life dirtying a lot of dishes). Add the remaining milk and butter mixture and mash to your desired consistency. Mashing the potatoes with a potato masher will leave a few lumps in the potatoes. That’s fine by me! If you want perfectly smooth potatoes, consider using a ricer. Season your russet potatoes to your desired seasoning and spread over the sweet potatoes in the cast iron or casserole dish.
- To make the fried onions, in a medium saucepan, heat about inches of oil. Add a fry thermometer, place the pan over medium heat and bring to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl toss together flour, salt, and pepper. In a medium bowl toss together onions and buttermilk.
- Transfer all of the buttermilk coated onion rings to the flour mixture. Toss until well coated.
- Carefully transfer some of the flour coated onions to the hot oil and try until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes. Remove to a rings when golden brown, bring the oil back up to temperature, and continue frying all of the onions.
- Pile the fried onions atop the potatoes in the skillet (or casserole dish). Serve warm, or if you’d like, toast under the broiler for a few minutes before serving.
- You can make and layer the potatoes ahead of time, cover and store in the refrigerator until mealtime. Heat, covered, in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes or until warmed through. Make the fried onions just before serving.