Garlic Mashed Potatoes Ali-Bab

Garlic Mashed Potatoes Ali-Bab

GARLIC CREAM

1/4 cup (about 8 large) peeled garlic cloves

1/4 cup heavy cream

POTATO PUREE

1 lb. (about 4 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

1/4 cup heavy cream

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature, and coarsely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the Garlic Cream, place the garlic in a heavy medium saucepan. Cover with 3 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil. Drain and rinse with cold water. Repeat the process 2 more times. Coarsely chop the garlic and return it to the same saucepan with the cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently until reduced by half or to a thick saucelike consistency, stirring occasionally. (This can be prepared ahead and set aside at room temperature for several hours or refrigerated.)

For the Potato Puree, place the potatoes in a heavy medium-sized pot. Cover with cold salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, for about 20 minutes; drain. Set a large-holed sieve over the same pot. Mash the potatoes through the sieve, using a large mallet and up/down motion. (This can be prepared ahead, covered, and set aside at room temperature.)

Up to 1 hour before serving, add 1/4-cup heavy cream to the Garlic Cream and reheat until warm, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, place the potato pot over medium-high heat and stir using a wooden spatula until the potatoes are warm and dried out. Stir in the butter several pieces at a time. Mix in the warm Garlic Cream in a slow stream. Season with salt and pepper. (This can be prepared 1 hour ahead and kept warm in a larger pan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally.) Mound in a vegetable dish or spoon out onto 4 large plates with an entree. Serve immediately.

Technique Tips:

When boiling potatoes, simmer them gently. If the water boils rapidly, the potatoes can break apart.

Potatoes become elastic and unpleasantly gluey when pureed in a food processor or blender. In France, we use a drum-shaped sieve called a tamis to achieve a smooth texture. If one is not available, tamp the potatoes through a large-holed sieve, using a large mallet and a straight up-and-down arm movement. This is easier than wielding a hand-held potato masher. A food mill also works well.

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