This morning we were up bright and early cooking for tonight’s family celebration and preparing for Christmas morning. When my daughter asked me to throw out some ideas for new recipes, I led her to my closet of cookbooks and told her to take her pick. With good taste she chose recipe’s from Chef John Besh’s ‘My New Orleans’, and Chef Frank Stitt’s ‘Frank Stitt’s Southern Table.’ The Christmas Potatoes are decadent and perfect for a holiday side to my tenderloin, and the Asparagus, Spring Onion and Mushroom Gratin from Chef Stitt is stellar.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season! Merry Christmas!

Christmas Potatoes


5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 3-inch chunks
4 pinches Sea Salt
1 pound sliced bacon (Chef John Besh advises seeking out artisan made bacon)
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed
1/2 cup cheddar or gruyere cheese
1/2 cup minced chives
freshly ground pepper


Put the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat until tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon in 2 batches over moderate heat, turning once, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Drain the bacon on paper towels and coarsely chop it.
Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Shake the pot over moderately high heat for about 20 seconds to dry the potatoes. Pass the potatoes through a ricer into a large pot. Add the butter, cream, cheese, chives and bacon and stir well. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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