This is probably my picky son’s favorite side dish ever. He considers it a main dish and would be content if no other food showed up on the table. It’s the ultimate comfort food turned up a notch with the addition of oven roasted garlic that gives it that sweet almost smoky mild garlic flavor. Then, there’s the addition of smoky, smooth and melty gruyere and salty parmesan. And, I didn’t forget what makes mashed potatoes comfort food…butter and cream…or half and half or milk if you forgot to wear your stretchy pants! It’s up to you…how bold do you want to be?! If it’s a special occasion, splurge a bit and neglect to count the calories!
I start by roasting the garlic. Slice off the top of a whole bulb of garlic. Loosely wrap in foil, and drizzle some olive oil on. Salt and pepper the bulb and pop into the hot oven. The result will be a soft, squeezable garlic and a fabulous smelling kitchen. Sometimes I do this the day before to save time. Just squeeze out the garlic into a container and add a little drizzle of oil to keep it moist. Cover it, refrigerate, and it’s ready to go with no waiting! Then, you need potatoes. My faves are the Yukon gold variety. My store has them in the produce section already in these bags that can go straight to the microwave for steaming. That small size is good for our little family. More than three folks like us, and I’d probably do two bags. Or…just grab your favorite potatoes and boil away.
I have this handy-dandy potato gadget or ricer that I use to “process” my spuds. It’s great because I don’t even have to peel them. It takes care of that for me. Potatoes come out and skins stay behind. It looks like a giant garlic press or play dough machine! Love it!
I would like skins left on, but that is not an option for Mr. Picky. While the potatoes are cooking, you can warm the cream and butter or half and half, etc.
Put it into a pot and gently take the chill off. It just incorporates into the warm potatoes better if it’s not cold. Once you get your potatoes cooked and mashed or riced into a bowl, add the roasted garlic, cream and butter and salt and pepper to taste. Don’t forget to stir in the cheeses. And you’re done!
- 1 bulb garlic
- drizzle of olive oil
- 1.5 lbs. yukon gold or other variety potatoes, peel if desired
- 1/4 cup cream or half and half
- 1/4 cup each grated gruyere and parmesan cheese
- 3 T butter
- S & P to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Peel away most of the outer skin of a bulb of garlic and cut about a quarter inch off the top of the bulb. Place on a sheet of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap up and place on a pan. Pop into the oven for just under an hour. Meanwhile, boil or steam the potatoes. If boiling, place washed potatoes in pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Boil about 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. If using steamable bag, just follow package directions. While potatoes are cooking, place the cream or half and half in a sauce pan with the butter. Gently warm on medium low heat to take the chill off. When potatoes are finished cooking either drain, if boiling, or carefully remove from steamer bag into a large bowl. At this point you can either mash the traditional way with a hand masher…or if you have a ricer, place the potatoes in and press away. Add the warmed milk and butter to the bowl and stir to combine. Mash up the roasted garlic into a paste and add it to potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in grated gruyere and parmesan. The warm potatoes will melt the cheese. If not, you can always zap them a few seconds in the microwave to help them along. If potatoes seem too stiff or thick, add more liquid a little at a time…and feel free to add butter to your liking. And, you can throw in a little crumbled bacon and even some fresh rosemary, too…fancies it up a bit! All up to you. Enjoy!