Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rick's Garlic "Smashed Potatoes"

Here is my recipe for the garlic mashed potatoes I make every year for Thanksgiving.  I have to do two large batches; one for my family and one for Ruth's.  There are NEVER any leftovers!


9 medium baking potatoes (about 5-6 lbs)
1 1/2 pound parsnips
1 bulb garlic, unpeeled
2 teaspoons olive oil
3/4 cup heavy cream (plus 1/4 cup more if needed)
1/2 cup “Plugra” French butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns, toasted
pinch fresh grated nutmeg
fresh chives, chopped


Wash and peel the baking potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks.  Peel and cut the parsnips into 1/2 inch pieces and microwave them in a covered glass dish for 8 to 10 minutes until very soft.  Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, about 25 to 30 minutes, then drain..  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the top off of a head of garlic to expose each individual clove. Place the garlic bulb in a custard cup and drizzle it with olive oil.  Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the cloves are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove the garlic from the oven and let cool. Squeeze garlic pulp out of the peels, mash them with a fork, and set aside. Press the the potatoes and parsnips through a potato ricer or food mill into a large bowl, then gently mash with a hand masher so they retain some texture. Heat the fresh peppercorns in a dry skillet to release the volatile oils and jump-start their flavor (optional). Place the toasted peppercorns into a pepper mill.  Heat the cream and butter separately in small saucepans until hot, but not boiling.  Stir the mashed garlic into the cream along with the 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Pour the cream into the mashed potatoes and parnips and fold in gently with a large spoon to incorporate.  Then add the melted butter and fold it in (do not overwork).  Add some additional cream if the potatoes are too dry and mix until just incorporated.  Season to taste with some additional salt and pepper and a pinch of fresh-grated nutmeg.  Garnish with freshly chopped chives and a dollop of soft butter, just to take them over the top!  Serve immediately.

Serves approximately10 people

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