On numerous occasions I have attended holiday dinner celebrations only to fine the side dishes to be lackluster. Far too many times the main course (turkey, ham, etc.) was the paramount focus, and the side dishes got lost in the hustle and bustle of bringing the dinner to the table. This Easter I have you covered… well, at least with your mashed potatoes.
Life is too short to eat bland mashed potatoes. If your mashed potatoes “require” gravy for them to taste good, then you have not mastered mashed potatoes… yet. Gravy should be a “compliment” to your mashed potatoes, not a “requirement”.
The first commonly made mistake is boiling. Let’s face it, potatoes on their own, are bland. Submersing them in a flavourless liquid to cook is probably not your best bet. They will absorb a lot more water by boiling, and bland them out even further. Steaming is the answer. The steamed potatoes will have more natural flavour, and will not be saturated in water, so they will better absorb all the flavours that you will be adding to them (milk, cream, garlic, etc.). I always preach to my culinary students “how much flavour and colour does water have?” Always question a recipe that tells you to add water… not necessarily replace the water, but at least question it.
The next biggest mistake is that people treat mashed potatoes as an afterthought; just another side dish to put on the table. Flavour should be the focus of every dish, and my recipe for Garlic Mashed Potatoes are a hit with everyone at the table. Although loaded full of calories and fat grams with all the butter and whipping cream, these potatoes are not meant to be eaten daily, or even on a regular basis. However, for special occasions, such as upcoming Easter dinner, this is the perfect recipe to turn to.
Paste this recipe on the inside of your kitchen cupboard to always have it on hand or find it in my cookbook The Best in Your Kitchen, available from my website or Amazon worldwide. Happy Cooking.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Recipe created by Chef Dez, chefdez.com
“These will spoil you for any other mashed potatoes – very rich and flavourful”
- 5 russet potatoes, peeled and diced approximated 1/2 inch
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 6 – 8 garlic cloves, finely crushed or minced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup whipping cream (33% to 35% M.F.)
- Steam potatoes over boiling water for approximately 20 minutes until tender.
- Drain water out of the pot and put cooked potatoes in the pot.
- Add the butter, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Mash by hand until almost smooth.
- Add the cream and mash again until smooth.
- Taste and re-season with salt & pepper if necessary.
Makes approximately 6 – 8 portions
Chef Dez is a Chef, Writer, & Culinary Instructor. Visit him at www.chefdez.com
Write to him at email@example.com or P.O. Box 2674, Abbotsford, BC V2T 6R4