Garlic Mashed Potatoes Ali-Bab
1/4 cup (about 8 large) peeled garlic cloves
1/4 cup heavy cream
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.
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.