Do you recall in history classes learning about the angry weapon-wielding mobs in France, storming the Bastille and shouting, “We have no bread!”?
As a carb-enthusiast, that is how I feel about low-carb diets. I shake my pitchfork in the air and scream obscenities.
Yeah, I get it. I’ve read anti-carb articles and blogs ad nauseum. Many of my friends subscribe to that philosophy, and with great success. But low-carb diets are the bane of my existence. They deprive me of my comfort foods—bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. If you enjoy that way of life, good. No judgment. You do you.
I, on the other hand, will do me.
So while mashed cauliflower is a delicious alternative, it is NOT a substitute for mashed potatoes.
There. I said it.
That being said, I am thrilled to share with you one of the best mashed potato recipes ever (according to The Man).
These mashed potatoes are slathered in burnt butter, something for which I have mad love, and then topped with cloves of caramelized garlic cloves. O. M. G. Party in my mouth.
I use Yukon Gold potatoes because they have the best texture for mashing. And while I usually like mashing with the skins on, somehow the creamier version is better for this recipe.
To smash your garlic cloves, use the side of your knife and then peel. The cloves will still be intact, but they will also release some of their mellow richness.
To brown your butter, cook it a little beyond its melting point. The butter will start to foam. The add the garlic cloves so they can brown, as well. When you smell its rich aroma, you will know the butter is ready.
Before serving, make little nooks in your potatoes to create butter pools. Drizzle the butter lavishly and then sprinkle the caramelized garlic on the top. (In our house, we fight over the garlic.)
So this is pretty much a basic recipe for mashed potatoes with delicious accoutrement– garlic and burnt butter. Potatoes are another one of those beautifully neutral palettes that complement whatever accompanies them. In this case you have the sweet yet robust pungency of the caramelized garlic and the nuttiness of the browned butter.
Throw some scallions or parsley flakes on the top for color and you will be the favorite person at your Thanksgiving dinner table.
- I recommend using salted butter. Your potatoes can take it.
- Slicing the butter will make it melt more evenly.
- Do not turn your back on your butter. It will go from browned to burnt in a flash if it thinks you aren’t giving it proper attention. If it turns black, you are at the point of no return. You must start again.
- Well, you are at the point of no return unless you like buerre noir, but black butter will give you a different flavor.
- Serve hot. Warm pools of butter are better than cold chunks of butter.
- If you’re in a rush, the packaged mashed potatoes in the refrigerated foods section of your grocery store are an ample substitute for homemade.
Mmmmmmm, mmmmm, mmm!
If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! Tag your photos #nakedepicurean and share them on Instagram.
Garlic-Browned Butter Potato Mash
- 10 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled (or not peeled—you do you)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 stick salted butter, divided
- 8 cloves garlic, smashed
- freshly ground S&P
- Peel potatoes and cut into one inch chunks. Add chunks to a large pot and fill with enough water to cover. Add several shakes of salt. Bring to the boil for 20 minutes. You can test by piercing them with a fork. You want them to be soft and tender but not falling apart.
- Meanwhile, heat half of the stick of butter in a small pan over medium heat. When butter begins to foam, add the smashed garlic. Lower heat to medium and stir continuously until it begins to change colour and turn brown (it’s normal to see crispy little brown bits at the bottom of the pan). Remove immediately from heat.
- Drain potatoes, reserving about ½ cup of water. Return potatoes to the pot. Add the other half of butter and the cream.
- Mash with a potato masher or beat with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Add a small amount of reserved potato water if you like thinner consistency. Add more salt if needed. Add pepper.
- Smear the mashed potatoes across a shallow dish. Create small crevices with your spoon, then pour the butter over the top. Sprinkle with scallions and/or chopped parsley and the caramelized garlic cloves.