Does anyone really need a recipe for mashed potatoes? Perhaps not, but I thought I’d put in a plug for my favorite home-cooked mashed potato recipe. (I remember my early cooking days when I simply bought a box of Potato Buds and thought it good. No, no, and NO!)
For me, it starts with Gold potatoes. Yukon Gold or otherwise. I find that the other varieties I’ve tried (sorry, Russets) are too bland and require way too much salt to bring out any flavor, and personally I never cook with them. (Russets are fine for steak fries, which are not something I plan to cook at home. Steak fries are strictly a 2-3 times a year outside indulgence…) But the method below should work with whatever potato you prefer, or can scare up. Sometimes, after all, you can’t win the Gold!
There are two schools of thought out there about the skins. One side says potato skins are healthy, and another that they’re not. For me, the verdict is still pending, so I simply remove any bad parts – anything green, broken, or beginning to bud. I don’t eat potatoes often enough that the skins are going to do me any harm, if that’s actually the case. (These today were mostly removed because the potatoes were getting on the old side and beginning to show their age.) Do as you choose.
The nutmeg is an addition an old housemate brought to my table years ago. His grandmother in Germany used to cook these with a little nutmeg. You don’t really taste the nutmeg, but it seems to add some vibrancy of flavor. Can’t go wrong with some Old World ambiance!
I use whole fat sour cream or whole fat yogurt from a good source. For yogurt, there’s a local purveyor I usually buy from, or I use goat yogurt. Stonyhill yogurt is also of good quality. (NOTE: whole milk is 3.5% fat – calling it “whole” milk doesn’t mean it is 100% fat. Calling the other stuff 1% milk doesn’t mean it’s one percent of 3.5%, it means it’s simply 1% and (at least with the milk) it has no inherent flavor without amendments and other “help”.) This particular batch of mashed potatoes was made with yogurt, since that’s what’s in the house now – but there’s no “yogurt-y” flavor to these potatoes! The yogurt simply makes them more creamy and adds body.
If you don’t do diary: use canned coconut milk instead. (I cringe reading the ingredient list on those coconut milk cartons! Go with a can — some claim to be bisphenol A free. If you can’t find that, I’d still go with a can over the carton.)
AND, don’t forget that roasted garlic!
Prep Time: About ten minutes, including the mashing.
Cook Time: 30 minutes.
Rest Time: Nada.
Serves: 3 servings as a side.
Goats and Greens Mashed Potatoes
(with a nutmeg nod to Karl)
5 medium or small potatoes, cleaned up. Peeled or not is up to you. Mine were a variation between small and medium — if they’re all small, you’ll not get three servings out of this!
1 small head of garlic
¼ or so teaspoon oil (olive or avocado)
2 heaping tablespoons of sour cream or plain yogurt. Or a quarter cup whole milk. Or canned coconut milk if dairy is out for you.
¼ heaping teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and ground white pepper to taste
Optional pat of butter or teaspoon or so of ghee for garnish when serving
Cut the tip off of the cloves on a head of garlic, wrap in aluminum foil with the oil rubbed around it, and place in a 400 F oven for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prep the potatoes, and chop them into thick chunks. I basically just quarter the small – mid-sized ones. Put in boiling water, and reduce heat to a simmer, for 25 minutes.
Drain and mash, along with the sour cream, yogurt or milk. Include all the spices. I use a potato masher. Easier to clean than a food processor, plus I prefer the semi-uneven texture. For the garlic, remove from the oven and when cool enough, you can squeeze or scrape the garlic from the peels and continue mashing into the mashed potatoes.
Serve immediately with a dollop of optional ghee/butter if desired, or save this dish, or portions, to re-heat later.