Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Infamous Mashed Taters

I call these "infamous" because you will become the thing of legend in your family when you serve them. Bring them to a potluck and you'll never be asked to bring anything but these again. You will be worshiped for your amazing potato skills.

One word of caution: treat these as a "special occasion food." Save them for holidays and such, because if you try to eat them more often than a few times a year you will fall over and die from clogged arteries. These are NOT healthy!

Infamous Mashed Taters

5lbs of Yukon Gold or other yellow potato
1/2 lb butter, cubed
Many, many cloves of minced garlic
8oz brick of cream cheese, cubed
Heavy cream
Salt and pepper

Equipment: large stock pot, old school potato masher

Prep the potatoes:
If you like texture in your mash, partially peel the potatoes. If you're a wuss and don't want any skins in your mash, peel them completely. You wuss.
Cut potatoes into relatively equal pieces and place in a large stock pot. Cover with cold water and add 2 tablespoons of salt.
Bring water to a boil and let it go until you can easily slide a fork into a potato piece.
Drain carefully.

Leave the potatoes in the stock pot and add the butter. Use the hand masher to smush everything up a bit; the butter will melt very quickly. Repeat the process with the cream cheese.
Next, slowly add the heavy cream a bit at a time, mash-mixing in between additions, until you reach a slightly thicker consistency than you'd like.

Now we will season!
I'm a huge fan of those big ol' jars of pre-minced garlic. Purists may laugh, but in hot dishes you really can't tell the difference. Start adding garlic to the potatoes. I use a tea spoon at a time right from the jar, mix-mashing and tasting between additions, until it's as garlicky as I want it to be. Do the same.
Next add salt and pepper. Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper is best, and I recommend you use those. Like the garlic, this is based on personal taste so work a bit at a time.

When your potatoes are garlicked, salted and peppered to your preferred levels, add any additional heavy cream to thin the mash out. Again, this is to your preference so add until it's how you like it!
Mix-mash until everything is as smooth or lumpy as you want it, and serve immediately.

I like lumps, I like skins, I like a LOT of garlic, and I love plenty of pepper.

One more thing.....if I hear about anyone using a hand mixer or a food mill or anything but an old school potato masher on these, I will remove my recipe from your possession. These are rustic, rich, indulgent mounds of love and they are not to be trifled with.

1 comment:

Beth said...

I *will* be trying these for Christmas dinner. My mother's mashed potatoes recipe (just potatoes, butter and milk) always seem to turn out a bit on the bland/dry side for me.