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Memorial Day Recipes

Karyn’s Pasta Salad with Sundried Tomatoes, Feta, and Basil

“ This recipe combines similar flavors, but it is a nice alternative if you don’t want sandwiches for your picnic. “ – Karyn Brooks

PRINT RECIPE Karyn’s Bowtie Pasta Salad with Sundried Tomatoes, Feta, and Basil (1)

8 oz farfalle (bowtie) or rotini pasta, cooked to package directions
3 oz sundried tomatoes, julienne cut (I like Mariani. They are simple sundried tomatoes with no added oil. They come in a plastic package usually located with other tomato products in the grocery store.)
1 cup packed fresh basil, chiffonade cut
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (also try this with the sundried tomato-basil feta)
2 oz fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
½ c light olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
½ c Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered (optional)

Toss first 6 ingredients together, adding Kalamatas at the end. This keeps well for three or four days in the refrigerator. If you are eating this after refrigeration, you made need to toss in a little more oil to revive. This salad is delicious hot or cold, and it is safer for picnics than mayonnaise-based pasta salads.

Chicken BBQ Sliders
Makes 24 sliders

PRINT RECIPE BBQ CHICKEN SLIDER

2 lbs rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

Combine the Chicken and BBQ Sauce in a medium saucepan. Heat to a slow simmer.

24 rolls or slider buns
Olive oil or butter

Preheat a grill pan or broiler on high heat. Brush each side of the buns with olive oil or butter. Grill or broil for about 1 – 2 minutes.

2 cups Jo Ann’s Slaw (recipe below)
Monterey Jack Cheese, sliced

To assemble:
Place cheese on bottom bun. Top with ¼ cup chicken and some slaw. Serve immediately.

Jo Ann’s Slaw Recipe

1 medium cabbage, shredded fine
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 cup sugar
1 cup white vinegar
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon salt


Put cabbage and onion in a large bowl; top with the sugar.
In a medium saucepan, combine vinegar, oil, mustard, celery seed, and salt. Bring to a boil. Pour hot mixture over cabbage and cool. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or up to 2 days.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart

PRINT RECIPE Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

2 Whole Vanilla Beans
1 teaspoon natural fruit pectin
¼ cup sugar
2 ½ cups whole milk
3 tablespoons milk powder
½ cup sugar
¼ cup Raw Honey
1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
2 egg yolks

Slice the vanilla beans in half and scrape the seeds from each half into a large saucepan. Add the beans, combine the pectin and ¼ cup sugar in a bowl and mix to combine.

Add the milk and milk powder to the saucepan. Add ½ cup sugar, the honey, cream and egg yolks. Add the pectin mixture. Cook over medium heat to a maximum of 185 degrees, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and cool in an ice bath until the mixture reaches 39 degrees.

Chill covered, for 12 hours. Strain the mixture and pour into an ice cream freezer container. Freeze using the manufacturer’s directions.

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Recipes from the Farmers Market

Zuppa Toscana   Serves 6, 50 min

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1 teaspoon olive oil

1 lb sausage, casings removed

1 medium onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 lb small red potatoes, washed and quartered

1 tablespoon all purpose seasoning ( Garlic Herb)

½ teaspoon salt

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups milk

Cracked black pepper

3 – 4 cups chopped kale or spinach

  1. Heat olive oil in large soup pot and cook sausage, breaking it apart as it cooks. (medium heat)
  2. To the pot, add onion, garlic, all the herbs and seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2 – 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the potatoes and cook with the onions and garlic for 2 more minutes.
  4. Pour in the broth and bring to a hard simmer (medium – high). Cook for 25 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  5. Stir in the milk and kale and cook for another 10 minutes (medium heat). If using spinach, cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste and serve.

Basil Pesto with Pecans

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1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup nuts: pecans
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in food processor. Process until it looks like very coarse meal and add oil gradually until smooth-ish.

Pesto Vinaigrette:

Perfect for a little different take on a caprese salad

2 T freshly-made pesto

2 T Champagne Vinegar

For the smoothest vinaigrette, process in a blender. Otherwise, whisk together and serve. Will stay fresh in the refrigerator for two weeks. Drizzle over a salad of mixed greens, fresh or sundried tomatoes, and a few balls of fresh mozzarella.

Shaved Radish, Carrot, Cucumber Salad with Tangerines and Microgreens
Recipe by Lindsey Johnson

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2 small carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced
2 large radishes, very thinly sliced
1/2 large cucumber, very thinly sliced
1 tangerine, peeled and thinly sliced
2 green onions, thinly sliced white and tender green parts
microgreens, about 1/4 cup

Arrange the sliced vegetables and tangerine on a serving platter.  Top with the green onions and microgreens.  Serve immediately with Orange and Honey Vinaigrette.


Orange and Honey Vinaigrette

1/3 c freshly squeezed orange or tangerine juice

¼ c olive oil

1 T honey

1 T Dijon mustard

3 T champagne vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients (or shake in a Mason jar) and drizzle over salad. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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Our Favorite Easter Dishes

Honey Glazed Carrots

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Salt
1 pound baby carrots
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add salt and then carrots and cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain the carrots and add back to pan with butter, honey and lemon juice. Cook until a glaze coats the carrots, 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

Simple Scalloped Potatoes

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1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for brushing
1/2 clove garlic
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 fresh bay leaves
1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese (about 2 ounces)

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Generously brush a large skillet with butter, then rub with the garlic. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the potatoes, sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste, then arrange the remaining potatoes on top. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Pour the broth and milk over the potatoes, then add the nutmeg and bay leaves; simmer 3 minutes.

Generously brush a shallow baking dish with butter and slide the potatoes into the dish; arrange with a fork, if desired. (If your skillet is ovenproof, you can skip this step and bake the potatoes right in the skillet.)

Dot the potatoes with the cut-up butter and sprinkle with the gruyere. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Discard the bay leaves.

Classic Deviled Eggs

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6 eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Smoked Spanish paprika, for garnish

Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with enough water that there’s 1 1/2 inches of water above the eggs. Heat on high until water begins to boil, then cover, turn the heat to low, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and leave covered for 14 minutes, then rinse under cold water continuously for 1 minute.

Crack egg shells and carefully peel under cool running water. Gently dry with paper towels. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks to a medium bowl, and placing the whites on a serving platter. Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper, and mix well.

Evenly disperse heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.

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Spring Panzanella Salad with Asparagus

Spring Panzanella Salad with Asparagus

6 servings

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For the croutons:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

6 cups day-old bread, crust removed, cubed

6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix the bread cubes with the garlic, olive oil, parmesan, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Toss to coat well. Transfer bread to a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake stirring once or twice, until the croutons are crisp and lightly colored on the outside but still soft within, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

For the vinaigrette:

Half a red onion, finely diced

2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar

Juice of half a lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  1. Mix the red onion with the vinegar and lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes before whisking in the remaining vinaigrette ingredients: olive oil and dijon. Set aside.

For the salad:

4 large leeks

2 teaspoons salt

1 pound asparagus

1 19-ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained or 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans

  1. Cut off dark green tops of leeks and trim root ends. Halve each leek lengthwise to within 2 inches of root end. Rinse well under cold running water to wash away sand.
  2. Cover leeks with cold water in a 12-inch heavy skillet. Add salt and simmer leeks, uncovered, until tender, 10 minutes.
  3. Without draining the cooking water (you will reuse it for the asparagus), transfer leeks to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then pat the leeks dry with paper towels.
  4. Break off tough ends of asparagus and cook it in the boiling water until crisp-tender, no more than three minutes if they’re pencil-thin, more if your asparagus is thicker. Transfer it to another bowl of ice water, drain and pat it dry.
  5. Cut the leeks and the asparagus each into one-inch segments–the leeks will be especially slippery and prone to separating; hold firm and use a sharp knife!
  6. Place pieces in a large bowl and mix in beans and cooled parmesan croutons. Pour vinaigrette over and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.
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The Wonderful Tatin

My favorite pan, the TATIN, awaits my attention. I have used it for the Apple Tart Tatin with apples and pears. It’s time for me to branch out into something savory. The Le Creuset Cookbook that accompanies the Tatin includes  recipe for a veggie tart. With all the attention on the Mediterranean diet, this will be my next adventure in the kitchen. The recipe follows:

Mediterranean Vegetable Tarte Tatin
 
Serves 8-10
Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Wait: 5 minutes
(Recipe is for a 12 inch pan)
Ingredients:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 red or orange peppers, seeded and cut lengthwise into 3/4 inch wide strips
1 lb courgettes, cut into 1/2 inch slices,  aka zucchini squash
1- 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1- 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
10-1/2 onions cherry tomatoes
1-1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1-1/2 tbsp fresh chopped majorum
Salt
Fresh ground black pepper

10-1/2 puff pastry
1/2 c feta or mozzarella

1. Heat oil in the Tatin  dish and then add the red onion, garlic and pepper. Fry gently on low heat. Add the courgettes and fry longer.
2. Add the red wine and sugar. Cook until the juices turn syrupy.
3. Remove from heat. Add the tomatoes, herbs and seasoning. Leave to cool.
4. Spread the dough in a circle of similar diameter to the the top of the dish. Place it over vegetables and tuck in the edges. Punch two or three holes in the pastry.
5. Bake in the center of the oven (400F.) for 20 to 25 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.
6.. Leave to cool in the dish for 5-10 minutes; then, separate the edges with a knife. Turn over on a large serving dish.
7. Dice the cheese and scatter over the top just before serving.

And as all good entree recipes suggest–add a green salad–and as I suggest a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio.

Happy, healthy eanting.
Jo An

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Southwest Cornbread Dressing

Southwest Cornbread Stuffing for 20

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8+ cornbread crumbled

6+ cups jalapeno cheddar sourdough (from Schmaltz) cubed

¾ c butter

8 stalks celery sliced thin

2 medium yellow onions diced

4-5 eggs

4 cups chicken broth

2+ cups milk or cream

½ – 1 t cayenne

Salt

Pepper

1 T rubbed sage

1 T dried parsley

1 T dried thyme

1 T dried oregano

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Sauté celery and onion until translucent. While this is cooking, toss cornbread and sourdough in a very large bowl. Combine eggs, chicken broth, cream and seasonings in a mixing bowl and blend together with a whisk. Pour egg mixture breads and toss together. The combination should be a little bit soupy but not overmixed.

Butter two 10-12 cup Bundt pans (traditional pan). Put half of the bread mixture in each, tamping down to ensure that there are no air bubbles.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until firm and browned.

 

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Cranberry Sauce with Balcones Texas Rumble Whiskey

Cranberry Sauce with Balcones Rumble Whiskey

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Serves 10                               

2 – 12 oz bags fresh Cranberries

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons Balcones Rumble Whiskey

1 teaspoon Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract

In a medium saucepan, add the cranberries, sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens a bit. Turn to low and add the whiskey and vanilla. Cook for  another minute , remove from the heat and serve warm.

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Our Favorite NEW Thanksgiving Side Dishes

We love trying a new recipe each year for Thanksgiving. These are two that we’ve discovered are a few of our family’s favorites, and now a tradition at our Thanksgiving gathering.

Sweet Potato with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

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Yield: 6 servings

6   medium      Sweet potatoes
1/3 cup            Butter
1/4 – 1/3 cup   Heavy whipping cream
1/2 – 1/3 cup   Delicae Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
2 – 4 Tbsp.      Brown sugar
Salt, to taste

Topping:

1/3 cup        Pecans, if desired
1 Tbsp.         Butter

Boil the sweet potatoes until tender and drain.

Mash potatoes until fluffy, with butter and cream.

Mix in Raspberry Chipotle Sauce and brown sugar.

If too stiff, add more cream.

Taste and add salt or more brown sugar to taste.

Keep warm.

Sauté pecans in butter over medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes.

Top potatoes with pecans before serving.

Winter Salad with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples, serves 8

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  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoons Taste Elevated Tangy Mustard Seeds
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar, honey or maple syrup
  • Pinch of red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons candied rosemary orange zest
  • 1 Tbs. sherry vinegar or Champagne Vinegar
  • 5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1 1/2 red apples, such as Fuji or Gala, cored and thinly sliced

Directions:

To make the salad, in a large bowl whisk both mustards, vinegar, brown sugar, pepper, the candied rosemary orange zest, vinegar, 5 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add the brussels sprouts, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are just tender and lightly browned, about 11 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the vinaigrette, add the walnuts and apples and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a platter and serve.

 

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Holiday Sides: Jo Ann’s Cornbread Dressing

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Cornbread:

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal 
3/4 cup all purpose flou
1 tsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
2 ½ tsp Baking powder
1 cup milk *
1 Egg
3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

*If using 1 cup buttermilk instead of milk:
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda

Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until incorporated. Bake in a greased 9 x 11″ pan at 350 for 25 min.

Dressing:
4 cups cornbread, crumbled
1 ½ cups of white bread, diced & then lightly toasted
1 cup or so of chopped celery
½ cup chopped onion
A couple chopped green onions
Good hunk of butter
Rubbed sage (Jo Ann: I never added sage to my dressing until after college. I tasted plain bread dressing and discovered I liked the sage, but not the dressing. I much prefer cornbread dressing.)
Salt & Pepper
Some chicken broth
2 eggs

Jo Ann: When I was young, we didn’t have turkey at Thanksgiving. Instead, my mom would roast a good hen until it was very tender. She would pull the meat off the bones and add it into the dressing. It was delicious!

Cook the celery and onion in butter until soft, and then add it to the breads. Add sage, seasonings, the eggs, and a couple cups of chicken broth. Mix well. Bake in a large casserole dish at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

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Cooking with Seasonal Produce: Bok Choy

Whether the weather in Central Texas is indicating it or not, the Fall season is officially here. It’s the season when we start thinking about pumpkins and heartier holiday dishes like chili, apple pie, and pot roast. We always look forward to this time of year. Our culinary artist within comes alive with the anticipation of creating new recipes and dishes and sharing them with our friends and family.

Have you ever thought about why some dishes are more popular during the current season? Why do we always have pumpkin pie in the Fall or tomato salad in Summer? It is because of the seasonality of produce. Eating vegetables and fruits that are “in season” have so many benefits:

  • You get a broader variety of foods in your diet.
  • You save money (seasonal produce is less expensive).
  • You get the best tasting, healthiest food available because they are picked when ripe and travel a shorter distance to get to you, the customer.
  • You end up supporting local, more sustainable farmers ( Downtown Waco Farmers Market ).

How do we know what is really “in season” in our area? The local farmers market is a great resource! The produce offered by these local farmers is all seasonal. We make a point to go every week and see what is available, and even chat with the vendors to see what they will have in the following weeks. (Another great resource: Seasonal Food Guide )

Last week we picked up some fresh Bok Choy from The Home Grown Farm. This Chinese vegetable, which is a cross between romaine lettuce and cabbage, is very versatile. Serve it raw in salads, add it to soup, or just saute and serve as a side dish, which is what we did! What’s great about Bok Choy is you can use the whole vegetable. Talk about getting your money’s worth.

Sauteed Bok Choy

Serves 4

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½ cup water
1 ½ teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons avocado or extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
1 lb. bok choy
pinch of coarse sea salt
Sesame Seeds, optional for garnish

PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Whisk water and tamari in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan over high heat.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and cook just until they begin to sizzle, tilting the pan so the aromatics and the oil get a little bath, all in all just about 30 seconds.
  4. Immediately add the greens along with pinch of salt to the pan and stir to coat greens with garlic and ginger.
  5. Add the reserved soy sauce mixture and cook just until the greens begin to wilt, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

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Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce

Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce

When we go out for brunch, it is very likely that we will order eggs benedict. The combination of a soft poached egg topped with a bright, creamy Hollandaise is the  quintessential “brunch” dish. Have you ever thought “why don’t I make this at home”? We think you should, especially because it’s probably easier than you think. This recipe for Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce is simple – the blender does the magic! The sauce can also be served over roasted vegetables, like asparagus, or poached fish, like salmon.

Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce Recipe

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Ingredients

3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

10 tablespoons unsalted butter (if using salted butter, skip the added salt)

  1. Melt the butter slowly in a small pot. Try not to let it boil – you want the moisture in the butter to remain there and not steam away.
  2. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne into your blender. Blend the egg yolk mixture at a medium to medium high speed until it lightens in color, about 20-30 seconds. The friction generated by the blender blades will heat the yolks a bit. The blending action will also introduce a little air into them, making your hollandaise a bit lighter.
  3. Once the yolks have lightened in color, turn the blender down to its lowest setting, and drizzle in the hot melted butter slowly, while the blender is going. Continue to buzz for another couple seconds after the butter is all incorporated.
  4. Turn off the blender and taste the sauce. It should be buttery, lemony and just lightly salty. If it is not salty or lemony enough, you can add a little lemon juice or salt to taste. If you want a thinner consistency, add a little warm water. Pulse briefly to incorporate the ingredients one more time.
  5. Store until needed in a warm spot, like on or next to the stovetop. Serve within an hour or so.
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Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Even a dish as simple as mashed potatoes has room for improvement. Here are the “10 Commandments of Mashed Potatoes” to guarantee perfect, fluffy mashed potatoes every time.

1. DO USE THE RIGHT POTATOES: Yukon golds or Russets
2. DO CUT YOUR POTATOES THE SAME SIZE: start them in cold water, and bring to a simmer until they are cooked through.
3. DO NOT ADD YOUR FLAVORINGS AT THE END: add garlic and herbs in the pot with the milk or cream
4. DO EMBRACE THE TANG FACTOR: add cream, buttermilk, crème fraîche.
5. DO NOT LOSE THE FLUFF: drain the potatoes and put them back in the pot without a lid after they have boiled. Cook them just for a couple minutes on medium-low, shaking the pot, until all the excess moisture is evaporated.
6. DO NOT ADD COLD LIQUID: Make sure the milk or cream you add to your potatoes is HOT.
7. DO NOT SKIMP ON THE SEASONING: Salt the water you are cooking your potatoes in.
8. DO USE A POTATO MASHER OR RICER.
9. DO NOT SERVE A NAKED MASH: top with butter, crispy shallots or chives.
10. DO WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE: peel & cut potatoes the day before, cover with water and keep in fridge. Assemble your milk/cream/butter mixture in a small saucepan and refrigerate that, too. That way, all you need to do on is boil, drain, and mash on the day of your holiday meal.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Makes 8 servings

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INGREDIENTS
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2″ pieces
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 2″ pieces
Kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter; plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
Special equipment: A potato ricer

PREPARATION
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by 2″. Generously season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 10–15 minutes. Drain and transfer potatoes to a baking sheet; let stand until dry, 10–15 minutes. Set pot aside.
Meanwhile, heat cream, milk, and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; season with salt and pepper.
Pass potatoes through ricer into reserved pot. Mix in warm milk mixture, then sour cream; season with salt. Serve topped with pepper and more butter.