Dreamy's Delights

It's all about the food!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

on March 5, 2014

This is one of those side dishes that sounds easy to make and IS if you think about what you’re doing. Believe it or not, it took me several years to find just the right way to make them. I tried roasting garlic and stirring it in, chopping garlic and stirring it in and then finally, ran across a recipe where you boil whole garlic cloves with the taters and then mash them in. Talk about a cross between an “AH HA!” and a “DOH!”

So the first step is to get some potatoes. Now that you’re standing in the store staring at the potatoes, you realize “Oh! There’s more than one kind of potato!” Most people are most familiar with the standard Russet potato. It’s got a slightly rough, brown skin and is used for things like baked potatoes all the time. However, you’ve also got red potatoes, white potatoes and gold potatoes. Each one has a slightly different flavor and texture. My personal favorite is a gold potato. It’s creamier like a red potato but not quite as soft. It’s got a thinner skin like a red which makes it perfect for leaving the skin on during mashing. Everyone has their own little preferences. My dad swears up and down that the only potato worth eating is a russet. I think he’s missing out lol. And in case you want to get really brave, you can also find purple potatoes and other “heirloom” varieties. Be prepared to shell out some big bucks but it’s fun sometimes.

Ok, so you’ve picked out your potatoes of whatever flavor. The next step is to prep them for cooking. If you’re using russet potatoes you want to peel them first. If you’re using red skin, white or gold potatoes you can leave the skins on. Just wash them really well then chop them into chunks and put them in a pot large enough so that you can cover them with liquid and they don’t boil over. Add several peeled cloves of garlic (about 1 large clove per pound of potatoes.)

This is where you can get creative. Nothing in the rules says you have to use water to boil your potatoes. I am currently boiling them in beef stock. I’ve also used bacon fat as part of my boiling liquid in the past too. You can add herbs to the water too. This is a chance to add some different flavors and play around with your food. And you can always stick with water if that’s what you have handy.

Once you have your potatoes, garlic and liquid in the pot, place it on the stove over medium high heat. Let it come to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart. I’m sure there’s some sort of time guideline out there but I just stick a fork in a chunk of potato. If the fork slides in easy, they’re done. If not, they boil a bit longer.

Once the tater chunks are tender, drain off the liquid. I just put a colander in the sink and pour everything out of the pot. Set the pot a cool burner or a trivet. The following is for about 3 pounds of poatoes:  Start with a 1/2 stick of butter and put it in the bottom of the pan. Then put the drained potatoes back into the pot. Grab some heavy cream and pour in about 1/2 cup. Use a potato masher to mash everything into a creamy consistency. Add a bit more butter and cream if you need to. Season with salt and pepper.

This is another area of personal preference. Jene prefers his potatoes super smooth and silky. I like mine a bit chunky. Do whatever you like to make them the way you want them. Taste test frequently as you go along so that you know they’re rich and buttery. Enjoy!

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