Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mashed Potatoes - a la Food Network

- serves 8 to 10 -

4 pounds yukon gold (or other yellow fleshed potatoes), cut into 3 inch pieces
8 garlic cloves, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups milk or half-and-half
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes, garlic, and salt and simmer, partially covered, over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes and garlic are fork-tender.

2. Drain the potatoes and garlic and return to the pot over high heat. Cook, tossing the potatoes, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until all the moisture is evaporated. Transfer to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher.

3. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, oil, and milk over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add to the potatoes and whip with a wooden spoon or whisk to a smooth but not soupy consistency. Mash any pieces of garlic until totally pureed. When the liquid is absorbed, season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

To prepare in advance, make up to 4 hours ahead, cover, and keep at room temperature. Reheat gently in the top of a double boiler over medium heat, adding extra milk as needed and adjusting the seasonings.
The Clever Cook Could:

* Peel the potatoes and purée with a potato ricer for a very smooth consistency
* Add 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or 1 or 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish or a squirt of wasabi paste
* Add 3 finely chopped leeks sautéed in olive oil to the mashed potatoes just before serving

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