As soon as the Halloween costume comes off the heavy holiday frenzy begins. I feel like I am thinking of what to bring to Thanksgiving all year round but for most people the panic usually sets in November 1st. There are many different ways to cook a turkey, and the variations on side dishes are endless. Mashed potatoes are always a crowd pleaser and on Thanksgiving no one seems to think about the implications of consuming mass amounts of all things buttery and creamy. The addition of caramelized onions takes the potatoes to the next level. Be patient with the onions letting them sit low and slow in the pan. Trust me, it is well worth it and you are going to look like a Thanksgiving rockstar! In this version I made enough for 3-4 people feel free to increase the recipe for a crowd. I usually think one large potato per every two people. Then I would caramelize one onion for every 2-3 potatoes you use.
Try to find the largest saute pan you have. The more space the onions have the better they will caramelize. Heat the pan using a medium heat, melt the butter, then add the onion to the pan. Stir them around and make sure they are coated in the butter. Spread the onions evenly over the bottom of the pan. After ten minutes sprinkle the salt and sugar over the onions and give them a stir. Make sure you keep an eye on the pan. You may need to adjust the heat if you feel the onions are in danger of burning or drying out. You may add a TINY bit of water to the pan if you feel this is starting to happen.
The onions will take about 45 minutes to an hour to caramelize. Try to stir them only once in awhile. As the onions are past 30 minutes in the process you may need to scrape the brown bits from the pan every couple of minutes until the onions are fully cooked down and a golden brown color.
Peel the skin off of the potatoes with a vegetable peeler. Put them in a large pot and fill it with water. Make sure the potatoes are submerged. Then place it on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Let the potatoes boil until they are tender. This means you will be able to stick a fork through them!
Once they are tender then drain the potatoes and let them cook for about ten minutes.
In a large bowl combine the potatoes, butter, and heavy cream. With an electric hand mixer on medium speed, blend it all together. Once the potatoes start to get creamy add in the onions a little bit at a time, mixing with the hand mixer as you add them in.
Add the salt and pepper as well. If you feel as though the mixture is not creamy enough in texture add a little bit more heavy cream in (it is a holiday!). As the onions mix in the color will turn more yellow than white. If you may choose to not mix every piece of onion in all the way, some whole "ribbons" are okay.