I... LOVE... POTATOES. I love them. They are definitely in my top three for favorite carbohydrates! Thus, I was definitely more than happy to make mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. On a normal basis, I never usually make the expected dish because I tend to put a spin on things and oh, how I spun on Thursday :-) I made what I call Roasted Garlic Mashies--roasted garlic mashed potatoes. These are absolutely unbelievably creamy, garlicky, and herbaceous; this is definitely a substantial mashed potatoes dish. Who does not like roasted garlic? The concentrated, sweet flavor of the garlic along with the earthy herbs balanced out with the creamy, slightly tangy, potato mixture quite nicely. Definitely sexy ;-) This dish is so flavorful that, in my humble opinion, gravy is not even needed.
Have you ever wanted to go swimming in a pool of mashed potatoes? After looking at this, I wouldn't mind doing so.
The kicker about these potatoes is that I boiled them in a mixture of buttermilk, turkey broth, milk, and fresh thyme and rosemary. Then, I took the potatoes out with a strainer into a bowl (containing the roasted garlic) so that I could reuse the liquid that it was boiling in. Oh, talk about FLAVORTOWN! You could absolutely drink from that pot of boiling liquid. I will totally admit it--I had a few spoonfuls of this deliciousness straight up. It would probably taste good coming from a shot glass, too.
Hester's Roasted Garlic Mashies
6-7 pounds of potatoes, small/medium chunks
salt and pepper
1/2 quart buttermilk
1 quart turkey broth (4 cups)
enough milk to cover the potatoes
6 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup chopped chives
4 tablespoons room temperature butter
4 bulbs of garlic
*Optional: grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Slice the bulbs in half and place them in a large piece of aluminum foil. Pour olive oil over them as well as season them with salt. Make sure to coat every surface of the bulbs and then scrunch the foil up. Place it on a pan and stick it into the oven to roast for about 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, take the pan out, and once cool, squeeze the garlic out of their skins into a large bowl.
2. Wash the potatoes and dice them up. Feel free to peel them if you want. I don't because I personally feel they are more nutritious with the skin since there are a lot of vitamins in it. Plus, that is less work for you to do :-) After dicing them, place them in cold water and rinse a few times. This helps get rid of excess starch, which you will see from the water turning opaque. Also, the water coverage will keep the potatoes from turning brown.
3. Place the potatoes into a large pot. Add the turkey broth* and buttermilk and then enough milk to cover up the potatoes. I used fat-free milk because that is what I had in the fridge; you use whatever type of milk you prefer. Add a generous helping of salt to this as well as fresh ground pepper. Throw in the clean sprigs of thyme and rosemary and bring the pot to a boil. Remove the potatoes with a spider or slotted spoon into the large bowl with the roasted garlic waiting. Keep the pot of liquid on a simmer.
*If you want to make this completely vegetarian, omit the turkey broth and use more of the buttermilk, milk, or even add water. Or, vegetable broth can be used, as well.
4. Slowly ladle a few ladles at a time the boiling liquid into the potatoes. Use a potato masher to go at it. Keep adding liquid as you see fit. Periodically add in a tablespoon of butter until all four have been used. Mash the potatoes to your preferred consistency and add the chopped chives. Don't freak out over rosemary and thyme leaves being in your potatoes. If it truly bothers you, then, strain the liquid before adding it to the potatoes. At this point, if you would like to mix in the grated Parmigiano Reggiano, please do so.
5. Serve these potatoes warm and enjoy. You will definitely be majorly loved after making this flavorful dish of absolute wonderfulness :-) They bring a level of recognizable, outrageous comfort into your kitchen, as well as your mouth!