Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I had a roommate in college who showed me the way. The way of garlic. Her philosophy was always that more garlic is better. Seriously, she would eat whole slices of raw garlic while chopping it for dinner. And while I think there are some garlic-free dishes that are perfect as they are, potatoes can sometimes use a little pick-me-up and garlic+potatoes is an awesome combination. Especially when that garlic is browned and nutty and delicious. Seriously, who knew that simply roasting garlic could make something that is already delicious be so much more amazing?

This is how I'm spicing up my mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving next week. I love regular mashed potatoes, in my opinion it's one of the best comfort foods around, but since this is my first time making the whole Thanksgiving dinner, I wanted to do something a little special.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1 head garlic
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup whole milk
2-3 tbsp butter
salt pepper

First you need to roast the garlic. Preheat the oven to 350. Chop one end off the top of the head of garlic so that all of the individual cloves are exposed and put the garlic in an oven-proof pan. I usually use a small cake pan or a pie pan. Drizzle the cloves with olive oil and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until the cloves are lightly browned and starting to squeeze out of their papery little cases. Let them cool a bit, until you can handle the garlic, and squeeze the individual cloves into a small bowl. Be sure to pick out any of the papery cases that come out with the cloves of garlic. Set aside.

Meanwhile, add the potatoes to a pot and cover with cold water. Add about 1 tsp salt. Boil for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain and return to the pan.

Using a potato masher or a hand mixer, mash the potatoes in the same pot. I usually turn the heat on low while I'm mashing up the potatoes. I think I read somewhere that this helps the steam release from the potatoes so they're not so watery. Or something. Once the potatoes are mashed add the roasted garlic, butter, milk, salt and pepper and work everything together using the potato masher. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Add more milk if the potatoes seem too dry.

You can either serve these potatoes just like this, or you can put them in the oven to keep them warm while you get everything else together on the big day. I stuck these in  my oven for about 20 minutes while I was waiting for the rest of our dinner to cook. They got a little browned on top and had a slightly crispy top, which I really liked.


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