Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Friendsgiving and Potato Gatto

Friends from my alma mater
On Saturday I made the trek back to my beautiful city of Boston to meet up with some friends from college and have a feast. It was a wonderful excuse to see some old friends, and to force myself back into the kitchen!

Preview of recipes to come
I made a few things (all of which I hope to blog about soon): Peppermint bark pretzels, Oreo truffles, and Potato Gatto.

This is Mark. He made an excellent chocolate eclaire
pie. Win.

One of the main events of the night was deep frying the turkey. My friend Shawna's boyfriend bought a kit and my friend Kate's boyfriend brought the turkey. It was definitely an interesting thing to watch.

There are many steps to deep frying a turkey. I don't know them, but I took many picture. See:

First, you must assemble a turkey retrieval device. This is if you forget to buy one in your turkey-frying preparation shopping. Shawna's boyfriend (whose name is Shawn, awesome) made one out of wire. This is so that you don't have to finagle the turkey out of a boiling pot of oil.

Then you submerge the turkey in the oil that has been heating on a little propane stove. Let it cook for a really long time (I think I remember 45 minutes per... something? Inch? Pound? Google it.) and check the internal temperature occasionally.


Enjoy: Crispy, delicious, perfect turkey. I've never had deep fried turkey before and it was really fantastic. So much flavor and the crispy skin was just the best. Well done to our excellent hosts for making such a gorgeous bird!

Here is a terrible picture of the rest of the AMAZING food. Seriously everyone really out-did themselves. I plan on making Kate's cranberry relish for my own Thanksgiving dinner (which I may also blog about?), Shawna's first attempt at green bean casserole was a win, and her roommate's stuffing had this savory/sweet thing going on with added cranberries that was just excellent. I was PAINFULLY full after all this. But also JOYFULLY full as well!

Just another preview of the oreo truffles... Will blog about these bad boys soon, they are so so good.

Today I will give you the recipe for Potato Gatto. I stumbled upon this recipe during my time at FamilyFun and have had it in my recipe book to try ever since. It's a great dish to bring to a potluck-type occasion--such as a Friendsgiving!--but also could be a filling meal. Also the fact you can make 90% of it ahead of time is great. I made mine the night before and baked it at the party.

Kick up your mashed potatoes. Try this out.

Potato Gatto
(Adapted from FamilyFun)
  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup warm milk
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 4 ounces sliced Genoa or other Italian-style salami and/or prosciutto, chopped
  • 6 slices of bacon, chopped

-Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with cold water covering them completely. Cover the pan and bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook the potatoes until they are tender when pierced with a knife, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain them and let them cool slightly.

-While potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon over medium-high heat in a skillet until desired done-ness. When bacon is almost cooked to your liking, add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook until bacon is crispy and onion is translucent.

-Generously butter a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the dish with the bread crumbs, turning it to spread the crumbs evenly.

-When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skins. Place the potatoes in a bowl and mash them until smooth. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the butter, the milk, 1 cup of the grated cheese, the egg, the nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Fold in the mozzarella, salami, and bacon/onion mixture.

-Heat the oven to 400º. Spread the mixture evenly in the dish, dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of grated cheese. (This dish can be prepared to this point and refrigerated for up to 24 hours)

-Bake the dish until the top is browned and the center is hot, 40 to 45 minutes (50 minutes if it was refrigerated). Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 10.

 Crispy, golden goodness.


  1. I've always wanted to try a deep-fried turkey!

  2. Yum! Those potatoes look awesome. I'm a big fan of adding meat to my vegetable side dishes :) And I'm so glad you're cooking again!

  3. So many leftovers! Much appreciated by the Wright-Smith-Taylor house.

  4. Hello:) A friend of Shawna's here! I saw this posted on Facebook and I'm a big fan of food blogs:) One thing, as someone who has a lot of experience with deep frying of turkeys, a key step, which people sometimes forget and which can have HORRIBLE consequences (like blowing things up and setting your house on fire - not that I'd know:), The turkey MUST be defrosted:) - Heather

  5. A man who can make chocolate eclair pie? Totally a keeper. I approve!