Today’s recipe is a great side for a crowd that is a step easier than mashed potatoes: Creamy Herb Potatoes. I’ve served this twice when I’ve had 8 people coming over for dinner and wanted a filling side that would be filling but not too much work for me. What I love about this dish is that it takes all the goodness of mashed potatoes but doesn’t make you waste any time pureeing everything to a smooth consistency.
So, these aren’t the best pictures, as I took them quite some time ago, after my first test run of the recipe. Upon the second run, it came out so well the whole dish was gobbled up before I could whip out the new camera!
Some main dishes that these creamy herb potatoes will complement well would be anything from a Roasted Leg of Lamb to a Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin. Add a quick side salad, and voila! – dinner for a crowd that allows you to play the host and not the caterer, enjoying everyone’s company because you’re ready to entertain and not crawl into bed for a nap (or a cry – if you’re like me and over-exertion or failure of a new recipe makes you think the world is falling apart).
8 large potatoes (I liked Russet better than Bon Appetit's recommended Yukon Gold)
3 cups half & half (substitute a mix of cream and milk, if like me you don't use half and half regularly)
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (plus more to taste if you'd like it saltier)
1/2 cup chopped chives (or sub in your fresh herb of choice if chives are out of season)
Peel & Chop the potatoes into 1/2 inch squares.
In a large dutch oven (or other large, heavy-bottomed pot) over medium-high heat, combine the potatoes, half & half, and butter.
Bring the pot to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low to continue cooking the potatoes at a simmer.
Give the pot a good stir every minute or so to keep the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Keep cooking until the potatoes are cooked through (no resistance in the middle when poked with a knife or fork - the sauce should be thick and creamy at the end). This time can range wildly depending on how large your potato chunks are, the type of potato the pot you use, and the amount of heat... But it's usually around 30 minutes. Maybe set the table and put together your salad while stirring occasionally?
Season the potatoes with the salt to taste.
Keep the pot warm and covered until ready to serve (I wouldn't recommend holding it like this more than 30 minutes).
Finish by transferring to a serving bowl (or I just love my beautiful dutch oven that lets me skip this step!), and top with the fresh herbs, stirring to combine.
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