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Recipe File: Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
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Cooking For Engineers



Joined: 10 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 12:34 am    Post subject: Recipe File: Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes Reply with quote


Article Digest:
At family gatherings, casual dinner parties, and potlucks, the main attraction is usually the turkey, ham, or roast. The main course always gets all the attention and the accolades, while the side dishes are only remembered long enough to "round out the meal". How often do your guests (or family) as for more mashed potatoes simply because they tasted great? Here's a simple creamy garlic mashed potatoes recipe that is sure to have your guests asking for seconds.

Start with two pounds (0.9 kg) russet potatoes (about two large ones), 20 cloves of garlic (with the skins on), 1/2 cup heavy cream, and 4 oz. unsalted butter. Russet potatoes are used because they are higher in starch than other potato varieties. If we used red potatoes or other waxy varieties, the mashed potatoes would not be as smooth and creamy.
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Toss the garlic into a pan and heat with a lid on over low heat. Any size pan will do as long as it has a lid.
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Keep the garlic over low heat and toss occasionally until the garlic cloves become darker in color and develop dark spots, about twenty minutes. Remove the garlic from the heat and leave covered for another twenty minutes. Once the garlic has cooled from the toasting (and mild steam), remove them and peel them. Cut off the woody ends of the garlic as well.
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Meanwhile, bring enough water to cover the potatoes (about 3 quarts should be enough) to a boil. Wash, peel, and chop the potatoes into rough 1 inch cubes.
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Boil the potatoes over medium heat for ten minutes (or until potatoes are soft throughout). While the potatoes are cooking, warm up the heavy cream either in a small pot or in the microwave oven. Don't boil the cream, just warm it up so it's not cold when we add it to the potatoes later.
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Drain the water from the potatoes. If the potatoes are wet or soggy, return the potatoes to the pot and cook over low heat while stirring cook off any extra water.
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The potatoes can be mashed through a variety of methods (such as a potato ricer or a wire masher), but one of the creamiest methods is using an electric mixer. Pour the potatoes into the mixing bowl of your mixer and add the toasted garlic. I like running the garlic through a garlic press or chopping and mashing them first with a knife. Add the butter in chunks to the potatoes (the heat of the potatoes will melt the butter), and mix on low speed.
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Add the heavy cream to the mixture and mix. Add salt and white pepper to taste. Once the mashed potatoes are creamy and smooth, stop mixing and remove to a serving bowl. Be careful not to over mix because the potatoes can become gummy when overworked. (If desired, the mashed potatoes can be dressed up with a dash of paprika and a sprinkling of fresh parsley.)

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Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes (serves 8)
2 lb. (900 g) russet potatoespeel and chop into 1 in. cubesboil until soft (10 min.)drainmixmixmixseason to taste and mix until smooth & creamy
20 cloves toasted garlicchop and mash
4 oz. (110 g) butter
1/2 cup (120 mL) heavy creamwarm
salt
pepper

Toasted garlic
Cloves of garlicheat, covered, on low for 20 min.let cool, covered, for 20 min.remove skins and woody ends

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enochchoi
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 3:18 pm    Post subject: gummy, not creamy Reply with quote

"potatoes can become gummy when overworked" -- that's why you use a ricer, not a mixer, it breaks down the cell walls and the starch comes out and makes it gummy.
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Bob Whitefield



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2005 7:49 pm    Post subject: There's an easier way Reply with quote

I agree with the previous poster, a ricer is both better and easier than a mixer. I used to think mashed potatoes were a chore, now I make them all the time.

1. Microwave potatoes until soft.
2. Add milk/cream, butter, salt and pepper to a large bowl, microwave until hot.
3. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks.
4. Rice potatoes into the bowl, stir well.

Done in 20 minutes, and you only have to clean one bowl and the ricer.
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sabbotage74
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

another good universal tool is a food mill
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:18 am    Post subject: Eh? Reply with quote

I never'd diced me taters. Gets too watery like. Usually boil them whole or halved, all flavor stays happy and yummy.

It's a tough subject to take on. EVERYONE you talk to will have an individual take on how they like the taters done. I personally could take skins or no, but my family hung me high. So, I leave the skins on for flavor and texture. Straus butter and heavy cream goes in with salt. Textury love. Top with bacon I've smoked over beef roasts, crumbled.

uuuuuuuhhhhh.

Biggles
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:24 am    Post subject: Strangest thing ever Reply with quote

This is really strange and I'm not comfortable with entering a dumb comment for a blog in a 'forum'. It's so far outside the box I don't know where I am. I wrote up my Comment, but it wouldn't take. Said there was someone that had my account already. Eh? I am me. I had to select & copy my Comment, then go back and Login, then I was able to paste my Comment in.
It reminds me of interfacing with my boss, a college degreed scientist and chemist. A real pain in the ass. He can take sharpening a pencil and make it an all day affair. He figures the wheel needed reinventing. At least now it has only 9 sides.

Biggles
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1635
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
This is really strange and I'm not comfortable with entering a dumb comment for a blog in a 'forum'. It's so far outside the box I don't know where I am.

I have to admit that it is a little odd. It would probably be less confusing if I didn't allow non-registered users to comment at all. Otherwise, it's just like logging into Blogger before you post, except you have to log into Cooking For Engineers to post (as yourself).

I made a modification so now when you login, it should keep you on the same page where you hit reply... hopefully it won't be too weird.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I'm clutching at straws here but I saw a Science of Cooking (I think) on Discovery Channel (I think) that mentioned a way to preserve the starch of boiled potatoes so that when mashed, it doesn't taste like wallpaper paste (their words). Only problem, I can't remember the steps, either immerse the potatoes in cold water before, or after boiling, and whether it was a fast or slow boil (I can no longer think). Agggh!

Can anybody help?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like to caramelize finely minced onion and garlic and add to the potatoes at the last minute.

CBRetriever
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Only problem, I can't remember the steps, either immerse the potatoes in cold water before, or after boiling, and whether it was a fast or slow boil (I can no longer think). Agggh!

I think it's a fast boil and throwing the potatoes into a bowl of iced water to shock them, which stops the cooking. I don't know for sure, but this sounds most logical based on what I know about French cooking (which is experimental food science based on hundreds of years of culinary tradition).

Since garlic doesn't really like the Maillard reactions, I've found it easier and more convenient to roast the garlic in the oven (350 F for at least 20 minutes) with a little olive oil (not extra virgin). And I've found that the taste is cleaner and better if you remove the skin before roasting and crush them with the knife prior to roasting.

And I've found that I like the texture of the potatoes cut into smaller pieces (around 1/2 inch) and boiled in heavily salted water. I think of it like cooking pasta. Large volume of brine. Small volume of potatoes.

A small white onion pureed in the food processor adds a nice touch, too, in my opinion.

-NLA
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, found the answer (Google to the rescue - and it was BBC not DC). Here's the link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/tv_and_radio/fullonfood_potato.shtml
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rxc



Joined: 13 Jul 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We like to gently cook the peeled garlic in olive oil, till it is nice and soft, and then put both the garlic and oil through the ricer with the potatoes. You can save some of the water used to boil the potatoes to loosen them up, if they are too stiff. Very different from using cream/butter. Not better - just different.

If you have a lot of garlic available (i.e., just came back from Costco), then it is useful to peel and "poach" a lot of garlic at one time, and keep the extra in the oil, in the fridge, till you have some other use for it. Use a small pot, and don't heat the oil too hot - you don't want to brown the garlic, just soften it up.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1635
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rxc wrote:
If you have a lot of garlic available (i.e., just came back from Costco), then it is useful to peel and "poach" a lot of garlic at one time, and keep the extra in the oil, in the fridge, till you have some other use for it. Use a small pot, and don't heat the oil too hot - you don't want to brown the garlic, just soften it up.

How much oil do you use? Does the oil cover the garlic or does the garlic simply sit on top of the oil?
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rxc



Joined: 13 Jul 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You want to cover the garlic with the oil. That is why I suggest a small pot - about 1 qt. If you have a LOT of garlic, you can have several layers think, and enough oil to cover well. My wife is in charge of this activity, and has a nice touch to not overcook it. We usually make about 8-10 oz of oil and 1-2 nice firm heads of garlic. We just did a Costco run this past week, and we can't use everything in the bag that they seel, so this weekend we will cook some up. I will observe her technique closely, and report details.

The garlic is good for other uses, such as a spread on bread, in other sauces, and with veggies - we are about to start to get fresh beans out of the garden, and after briefly steaming them, we quickly saute them in the garlic oil and a smashed close or two of the softened garlic. The oil can also be used on salads.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1635
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds so good... I'm give it a try next time we get garlic (Costco).
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