Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I’ve tried all Chris Kimball’s techniques; boiling with jackets on, jackets off, steaming, slicing, dicing, rinsing. But still, I hate to make mashed potatoes, which is why it’s been nearly 6 months since I’ve made them. However, I think today’s technique is one of the easiest. The potatoes are not boiled in water, but rather boiled in the same half-and-half normally added at the end of the process. It result in a flavorful mashed potato; even if the texture was still a little lumpy.

3 cloves of garlic per pound of potatoes; a nice balance.

I saw this on America’s Test Kitchen yesterday, and decided to make it because it called for Russet potatoes (my favorites based upon flavor). When searching the Cooks Illustrated website I found a wide variation in the amount of garlic. One recipe called for a garlic-to-potato (lb) ratio of 11-to-1, another recipes called for just 1.5-to-1. I settled for the modest 3-to-1 ratio that I saw on ATK earlier today. The Recipe is here.

Dice the potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes; rinse in colander until water runs clear. Saute 12 cloves of garlic and 1 teaspoon of sugar in 4 tablespoons of butter for 3 minutes. Add potatoes, 1-1/4 cup half-and-half, 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. Add another stick of butter and mash right in the dutch oven. Add up to 1/4 cup more half-and-half to obtain the desired texture.

The results: 3-1/2 stars. Nice flavor, very easy, but lumpy. Next time I’ll try to run it through my ricer for a more velvety texture.

Issues:

  1. Spanish has a special word dedicated to lumpy mashed potatoes; “Grumo”; a word that I have not heard since I bought my ricer. But today’s recipe calls for mashing the potatoes directly in the dutch oven. I had to dust the cob webs off my old potatoes masher. As you guessed; resulting in “Grumo”.
  2. At the end, my potatoes couldn’t tolerate any more liquid, so I omitted the final 1/4-cup of half-and-half.
  3. Instead of buying a separate quart of half-and-half,  I made my own using the ratio of 2 parts milk-to-1 part heavy cream. This saved a trip to the supermarket since I already had heavy cream in my ‘fridge.

Rating: 3-1/2 stars.
Cost: $2.
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Low.
Started: 6:00 PM.  Ready:  6:45 PM.

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