From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Longtime readers of my blog know that I grew up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood and was taught to cook by several of the women who lived on our block. One of the wonders of my childhood was the technique used by Mrs. P, our Swedish neighbor, to make her holiday potatoes. Back in the day, boiled potatoes were an everyday affair but the mashed variety appeared only on Sunday's or special occasions. I can still remember Mrs. P, standing coatless on the porch, shaking the daylights out of a pot of steaming potatoes on one of those frigid winter holidays that are so common in Chicago. It was a technique she had learned from her mother and while she had never questioned why it was done, she knew that drier potatoes were more mealy and made a better mash. She was right. To this day, I find a scoop of good mashed potatoes irresistible and I blame her for my potato addiction and the extra heft they put on my hips during the holidays. I made her potatoes for several years after the Silver Fox and I were married but then Julia Child and her garlic mashed potatoes appeared on the scene. Julia's potatoes, which were drop dead delicious and used a technique similar to the one favored by Mrs. P, became my standard until common sense intervened and I called a halt to the use of such copious amounts of butter and cream in my kitchen. The recipe I'm featuring today is a scaled back version of Julia's potatoes and they are not half bad. If you're watching calories this holiday season, but still want to serve mashed potatoes, you might want to give them a try. Here's the recipe.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Julia Child
Garlic Infused Milk
30 cloves of peeled garlic
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chicken broth or water
1 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper
2-1/2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons minced parsley
1) To make garlic infused milk: Melt butter in small heavy-bottom saucepan and add chicken broth and garlic. Cover pan and cook slowly for 20 to 30 minutes, or until garlic is very soft but not brown. Stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Return to heat and simmer for 20 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Press through a sieve or puree in a food processor. Set aside.
2) To make potatoes: Boil or microwave potatoes until soft, then drain and put through a potato ricer or food mill. Return potatoes to pan and stir over low heat for a few minutes to evaporate some of the excess moisture. When potatoes begin to film bottom of pan, remove from heat and beat in butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Beat in infused milk with a wooden spoon. Add remaining milk by spoonfuls until desired consistency is reached. Fold in parsley and serve. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
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