Thursday, June 27, 2013

Garlic Mashed Potatoes (and How to Peel Garlic)

Well, I had to do something with all the potato bits I just chopped!  Since they were all different sizes and would cook at different rates, mashed seemed to make the most sense.

Mashed potatoes have a bad reputation for being full of fat and butter.  For fun, I read Paula Deen's recipe.  Ultimately, I went with a mutated version of Alton Brown's, using regular milk instead of cream and less of it than he did.  The parmesan replaces the butter and added salt, plus helps to thicken the potatoes.  I think the real difference between his recipe and the others is simmering the garlic in the milk before adding it to the potatoes.  You get a garlic-infused liquid that distributes the flavor more evenly than just using minced garlic.

Having been raised on mashed potatoes out of the box, I prefer whipped to a lumpy mash.  I also go old-school and use the hand electric beater.  That and portions too small for the stand mixer are really the only reasons I keep it.  I also have a hand-crank mixer that was Grandma Sophie's.  It works great for pancake and waffle batters, but I mostly keep it for sentimental reasons.

I've been looking for more sources of dietary iron, and didn't realize that potato skins have quite a lot of it.  So the other potato I put in here, not the one that was chopped up for the previous post, got to stay dressed.

*1-1/2 lb russet potatoes, peeled (or not)
*3 cloves garlic
*2/3 C milk
*1/4 C parmesan
*dash of pepper
*dash of paprika

1.  Dice potatoes into even-sized pieces and place in a medium saucepan.  Add water to cover.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, and cook at a low boil until fork-tender.

2.  To peel garlic: Slice of the bottom end, where you pulled it off the head.  Turn a chef's knife on its side, place over clove, and give it a sharp whack.  The clove will smash slightly, just enough to change its shape and let off some oils.  The skin should slip right off.  For this recipe, it's ok to smash the clove entirely.  Mince the remainder and place in a small saucepan.

3.  To the garlic, add milk, pepper, and paprika.  Bring to a low simmer for 10 minutes (while the potatoes are cooking).

4.  Drain potatoes and mash or whip.  Add milk with seasonings and incorporate.  Add parmesan and beat until combined.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Allow to sit for several minutes to thicken, then serve.

Difficulty rating  π

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