Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thanksgiving Sides: Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Garlic

Mashed potatoes for me shouldn't be messed with. But while making it this year I decided to play around with it a bit based on several recipes I have read and to suit the tastes of my guests. And I think I love the idea of subtly spiced or herb-flavored mashed potatoes, which makes this versatile side even more fun to work with!

4 large russet potatoes
1 yukon gold potato
2 tbsp kosher salt
8 whole black peppercorns
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 stick cinnamon
4 cardamon pods, crushed

1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Roast the garlic: Preheat over to 400F. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual bulbs intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to 1/2-inch of the top of the bulb, exposing the individual cloves. Place the garlic in a baking pan with raised edges, drizzle a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and cover with foil. Bake for 30–35 minutes. Allow the garlic to cool enough so you can touch it and then squeeze the soft roasted garlic out.
  2. Fill a large pot halfway with cold water. Peel potatoes and cut into 2-inch pieces, adding to the pot as they are cut. Add cold water to cover by 1-inch if needed. Stir in kosher salt and the next five ingredients. 
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and gently simmer until tender, 10–15 minutes. Drain potatoes, discard whole spices and herbs and transfer to a baking sheet. Let dry, 5–10 minutes.
  4. Pass it through the smallest disk of a food mill along with the roasted garlic and butter into a large bowl. Stir in the milk.
  5. Season generously to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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