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What the Pilgrims missed

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It's tempting to stick with the tried and true, but if you get more creative this year, you may find that everyone from Grandma Rose to Cousin Chester will love the results. And you might even inspire them to finally tweak the recipe for that pie they've brought to every Thanksgiving for the past 20 years.

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Mashed Potatoes With Herbed Lemon Butter10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1-1/4 sticks), softened
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon minced lemon peel
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 pounds potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
1-1/2 cups half-and-half
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Mix butter, herbs, lemon zest, and juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Put potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook, partially covered, until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain. Return potatoes to the same pot.
In a small saucepan, heat half-and-half; stir into the potatoes.
Set aside 2 tablespoons of the herbed-lemon butter. Mix remaining butter into potatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer mashed potatoes to large bowl. Top with butter that was set aside, and serve.
Serves 10.
Curried Mashed Potatoes4 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small onions, chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons curry powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup heavy cream
About 1/2 cup coconut milk
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Put potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook, partially covered, until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the curry powder, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Pour in the cream and simmer until thick and reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
When potatoes are tender, drain, return them to the same pot, and put them back over the heat to dry. Mash the potatoes until smooth, and, over very low heat, stir in the curried onion mixture. Stir in the warmed coconut milk, and season potatoes with cayenne and salt. Garnish with cilantro.
Serves 10.
Mashed Potatoes With Prosciutto and Parmesan

3-1/4 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3-1/2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, finely chopped
3/4 cup whole milk
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Scallions, for garnish

Put potatoes and garlic in a large pot, cover with cold water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Cook, partially covered, until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; return potatoes and garlic to the same pot.
Meanwhile, melt 1/2 cup butter in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped prosciutto and cook about 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup milk to potatoes and garlic. Mash well, adding more milk if potatoes are dry. Mix in 3/4 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer potatoes to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese; garnish with chopped scallions.
Serves 8 to 10.

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