This year for Christmas, instead of posting a meat recipe, I decided to share with you one of my favorites side dishes for the holiday season. Honestly who doesn’t like mashed potatoes? It’s basically the staple side for big family celebration such as Thanksgiving and of course Christmas. As far I am concerned, mashed potatoes are the perfect binder between a delicious gravy and a well cooked and juicy piece of turkey.
Mashed potatoes go well with poultry and sausages among many meat, they also can be used as base for other recipes i.e. Shepherd’s pie, pancake potatoes, dumplings, perogies and many more. And it’s easy to make. As for the portion, my mother’s rule is that you need to count at least two (2) medium sized potatoes per adult. For example, if you expect eight (8) guests, you will need to mash sixteen (16) medium sized potatoes.
Back to my main topic, the base of this recipe I will be presenting today didn’t exactly come from a family cookbook, but rather from Giada De Laurentiis’ television show on Food Network a couple years ago. Her technic was simple; she would place her diced potatoes in a large pot along with garlic and butter before cover with cold water and bring it to a boil. Never I had been tempted to mash my potatoes with cloves of garlic. However, I decided to give it a try at our family Christmas celebration, and it was a frank success. Since then garlic mashed potatoes integrated our holiday celebrations menu.
Nevertheless, for this Christmas, I chose to go a little bit extra by “gratinating” (a fancy word for baking) my mashed potatoes. I could have added parmesan, but I didn’t want the cheese to overpower garlic. Because after all, we are making garlic mashed potatoes. Garlic has strong flavor so adding parmesan would have been unnecessary.
Prep: 20 min Cook: 30-35 min 5-6 Servings
10-12 medium sized Potatoes
1/3 cup of unsalted Butter
3-4 cloves of Garlic (you can more it’s up to your taste)
1 cup of 35% Old Fashioned Cream
¼ cup of Milk (optional)
1 cup of bread crumbs
¼ cup of unsalted softened butter (for the toping)
First, peel the potatoes and dice them. Make sure they are all the same size to get the same cooking time. Rinse them and put them aside.
In a large pot, place your pieces of potatoes with garlic before covering them with cold water. Add salt and half of butter. Over medium heat, bring it to boil. Cook them for 15-20 minutes or until they become tender and there is no resistance when poked with a knife.
In the meantime, preheat the oven at 350 °F
Turn off the heat and drain the potatoes but don’t discard the hot liquid if you rather use the hot broth to smooth the purée instead of adding dairy. Transfer the potatoes into a large mixing bowl (or you can return them to the initial pot). Add the rest of the butter and mash them with a potato masher. Pour cream and milk to smooth the purée. Adjust your seasoning with salt and pepper.
Once obtained a creamy and smooth purée, pour it into a ceramic baking dish. Use a spatula to smooth to the surface so everything is level. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and place pieces of softened butter on top of the bread crumbs.
Bake for 10 minutes then put it over the broiler for another extra 3-5 minutes. When the crumbs are nice and brown, remove from the oven and it’s ready to serve.
You can heat the cream and milk before using them to smooth the purée when you mash the potatoes.
Grated nutmeg could add a little kick into your seasoning as well.
I said milk was optional because you can just use heavy cream or use the hot broth as replacement for the milk.
As I said in my introduction, you need to count at least 2 potatoes per adult when you determine your portion.