On Thanksgiving, my kitchen reminds me a little bit of one of those Italian kitchens where every person that walks by adds something to the sauce. In our case it's the garlic mashed potatoes. One daughter decides they need more pepper, while the next one comes by and thinks they need more butter.....you get the idea. One thing that doesn't get messed with though, is the consistency. How they turn out is every bit as important as how the turkey itself turns out. We like them 'mashed', with a potato masher, not mixed with a mixer as this makes them too creamy for our personal preference. We like there to be little chunks for texture. My daughters are what you might call 'mashed potato snobs'. They take their mashed potatoes very seriously and because of this they won't allow anyone else to volunteer to make them. I know, it really is kind of pathetic. But there you have it. It just is what it is. :)
Since we are a garlic loving family, we like our mashed potatoes loaded with garlic flavor. If you've never branched out and put garlic in yours, trust me - it brings them to a whole new level of yumminess!! Here's how I make mine, but remember how I said everyone adds as they go? Well keep that in mind. These are the amounts I start with...I don't think anyone really knows how much butter, garlic, salt & pepper or milk/half & half we really end up using:
GARLIC MASHED POTATOES
5 lbs russet potatoes
1 head of peeled garlic cloves (I usually use more)
1 ½ to 1 ¾ cups milk (I like to substitute half of the milk with ½ & ½)
1 ½ sticks butter, cut into pieces (sometimes I add more)
Salt (I like to use the course kind)
Pepper to taste (we like lots of pepper on ours)
Peel potatoes and cut into 1 inch chunks. Put potatoes and garlic cloves into a 5 quart pan and completely cover with water. A 1 tablespoon salt.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes pierce easily with a fork, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
Drain; return potatoes and garlic to pan. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, heat milk; pour over potatoes. Add butter and salt and pepper to taste. Mash until desired consistency is reached.
Here’s a nifty little tip I learned from Martha Stewart: You can make mashed potatoes up to two hours ahead of time. Just make as directed and then top with a thin layer of milk. Cover; set aside in a warm place. When ready to serve, just stir the milk into the mashed potatoes.
Of course, we only serve these with homemade gravy (remember - 'mashed potato snobs' - what can I say?). Making gravy is one of those things that can seem intimidating, but it really isn't hard to make. I don't have a recipe for mine, because I usually just make it to taste and consistency as I go, but you can click here for a recipe on the allrecipes website that looks like what I do to make mine.
Okay, so am I the only one with such an opinionated family? Do any of your families have quirks like ours?