Potatoes are one of those magical foods that makes everything feel better. Baked, mashed, fried, smashed, I love them all. I love them in soup, I love them in salad, I love them at the start of a meal, I love them on the side of a meal. Today I’m sharing one of my favorite indulgences: Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. True, I think proper mashed potatoes are good enough on their own that they don’t really NEED the garlic, but 20 cloves of skillet-toasted garlic deliciousness adds a great flavor without overpowering the Essence of the Potato.
I learned the skillet-toasting method from America’s Test Kitchen, and since we haven’t had a day below 90 degrees in ages out here in SoCal, I’m not planning on firing up the oven anytime soon. Simply leave the cloves of garlic unpeeled, shake them in a dry skillet until brown spots form (about 20 minutes), then cover the skillet and let it sit for another 10 minutes. While that’s all going on, you can peel and chop the potatoes, bring them to a boil, and let them get nice and tender.
Once you’ve mashed your potatoes up to your preferred consistency (I like mine a little lumpy), it’s time to add butter and the garlic, half and half, and salt. It’s important to add them in that order, too. America’s Test Kitchen also wrote something about how you want the potato molecules to be coated in the fat of the butter before mixing in your milk or cream. I cannot find the original source of this information online, but it must have been in one of their magazines or cookbooks. In any case, doing this ensures your texture is always smooth, never gluey. Salt to taste (and pepper if you desire), and you’ll have perfect potatoes with a roasted, mellow garlic flavor. No extra butter on top is required here, but that’s never stopped me from adding it!
- 20 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 2 lbs. russet potatoes
- ½ c. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 c. half and half, hot
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a small, dry skillet, toast the garlic over the lowest possible heat until brown spots begin to form, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes longer, until garlic is completely softened. Peel and mince the garlic.
- Meanwhile, peel and chop the potatoes and submerge in a large stock pot filled with what to avoid discoloration. When all potatoes are prepped, pour off any extra water until the potatoes are covered by about 1 inch of water.
- Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well and wipe the pot dry.
- Return potatoes to the pot and mash as desired. Fold in melted butter and minced garlic. Add half and half, ¼ c. at a time, stirring after each addition, until the potatoes reach desired consistency.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.