Monday, November 24, 2008

Mashed Potatoes

Recipe courtesy my mom, aunts, grandma and Michael Chiarello

2 pounds potatoes (anything but red)
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (or soy butter)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, or more to taste
Sea, Kosher or Grey Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I tend to use 1 stick and just the olive oil to make it just a bit more healthy)

Additions feel free to have both just one or none:
Remember there is such a thing as to much garlic.
1 tablespoon garlic paste or minced garlic or no garlic, completely up to you.

1-2 packages or Boursin Cheese

For the Garlic Paste:
1 pound whole garlic heads
1/2 cup pure olive oil
Gray sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To roast the garlic if you so desire:
Courtesy Michael Chiarello
Peel the outermost layers of skin off the heads of garlic. Cut off the top 1/3 of the heads to open the cloves. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic, cut sides up, and saute for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer pan to the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Pop garlic cloves from their skins and place cloves in a blender, along with any olive oil left in the pan. Puree until smooth; you should have a paste-like consistency.

For the potatoes: Cube the potatoes. Then put the potatoes in a large saucepan with salted cold water and place in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, add some more salt and then bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well, place potato cubes in a food mill, and grind to remove skins. I actually love to have skins in my potatoes so just use a hand or standing mixer or fork if you would like to keep the skins. Alternatively, smash the potatoes with a large fork or potato masher.You can also use use a hand mixer or standing mixer but you have to be really careful not to over mix, because you can end up with nasty, gloupy, gummy potatoes.

If you are going to add no or just minced garlic then just carefully fold into potatoes. If you are going to add the Borsin cheese just fold into potatoes and it will melt.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter stops foaming and turns a light brown. Add the garlic paste and cook quickly. Add the cream, season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and fold in potatoes with a wooded spoon or large whisk. Add the remaining butter by tablespoons, stirring after each addition. Stir in the extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

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