One of my favorite full-tilt-guilt meals is an all-carb carbtastic carbopalooza carb-o-rama-tic feast: super-cheesy mac ‘n cheese, savory dressing (as in, stuffing, not, like “Ranch”) and mashed potatoes. All homemade, of course. With a big glass of wine. Or a frosty margarita.
The origins of my carb-fever are for another post (or, another blog altogether), but I’m here today to spread the news about mashed potatoes. I’ve made ’em every way you can make ’em. Smashed, whipped, blended, forked, twice-baked. With cheese. With onions, leeks, chives, scallions. Herbs. Spices. Sour cream. Cream cheese. Bacon. Chicken broth. Vegetable broth. Mushroom broth. And an unfortunate encounter with grated ginger. (But we won’t go there.)
No, my pretties, you don’t need any of that. In fact (now, lean in close so I can whisper this) you don’t even need the garlic. But SoupAddict loves da garlic, so, SoupAddict is going to include da garlic.
One of the finds of the year for me was buttermilk mashed potatoes. I use buttermilk in my bread recipes all the time, so the fact that I didn’t think about it for taters is maddening. “How much more obvious do these things have to get?” SoupAddict wails, while trying to kick herself in the butt with her heel.
Leave it to the pros to think of these things. Once I heard how Zuni prepares their mashed potatoes, I figured I was done experimenting. And I was. Perfect mashed potatoes, every time. And so simple. You take boiled potatoes (golden-fleshed, like Yukons, are delicious, as are plain ole russets. Me, I like to use a combo; I’m difficult like that), and a helping of roasted garlic. Mash. Add equal parts of buttermilk, cream and butter. Stir until creamy. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve. And feel the love.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
|salt & pepper|
|2||lbs||potatoes, peeled (or not, whatevs), quartered or eighthed (cookin’ potatoes, makin’ up words)|
|1/4||cup||buttermilk (full fat, baby – these are celebration potatoes), room temperature|
|1/4||cup||heavy cream or half and half, warmed|
|1/4||cup||(1/2 stick) butter, melted|
|freshly ground black pepper|
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if roasting the garlic; otherwise, skip this step and the next two).
2. Roasting the garlic: cut the top portion off of each head (leave skin intact) – the tops of the cloves should be exposed. Place each clove on a square of foil. Drizzle olive oil over each head. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
3.Close the foil up over each head, like a Hershey’s Kiss. Place the foil packets in the oven for 35-40 minutes. If your house smells positively yummy, you’re doin’ it right. Remove packets from oven and allow to cool before unwrapping. While the garlic’s cookin’, move on to the potatoes.
4. Potatoes: Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Salt liberally and stir. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 15 minutes, or until a fork or knife easily pierces one of the chunks.
5. Mash the potatoes in a clean pot or bowl, using a masher or a ricer. Unwrap the garlic heads. Squeeze the head of roasted goodness into the mashed potatoes (or send them through the ricer). Don’t worry, the cloves will slip right out of their skins. [Plop!]
6. Stir in the buttermilk and mix well. Repeat with cream and then the butter. Add salt and stir. Taste. If you can’t tell there’s salt, add more. Then do the same with the pepper.