Want to wow your family and make the best Thanksgiving mashed potatoes ever? All you need to know are 4 essential ingredients and one key secret. The four essential ingredients (besides the potatoes) are butter, heavy cream, roasted garlic and salt. Now for the key secret.
Drum roll please…. Ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum-CYMBAL CRASH! You MUST let your taste buds tell you the exact amounts to use. In other words, DO NOT USE A RECIPE! I cannot overemphasize this. 99.99% of recipes do not use enough butter, enough cream, enough garlic or enough salt.
I want to help you stand out this Thanksgiving and make a mashed potato so delicious and creamy, that it may just live in family lore for decades to come. Now for the most part, what you’ll find is you need to add more butter, more cream, more garlic and more salt to create the best Thanksgiving mashed potatoes.
Now I can’t tell you exactly how of each to add. But I’ll give you a framework from which to start. After that, it’s up to you how much more of each ingredient to add. Here’s my recommendation: TRUST YOUR TASTE BUDS. For the most part, they will tell you to ADD MORE.
Now if you have a fat and cholesterol phobic-family from Long Island like I do, it’s best to make these out of view so as to prevent comments like, “Oh my gawd yaw gonna clawg my awteries!” Because that will surely be the reaction as more and more butter and cream gets added. If someone asks how much butter you added, for the sake of keeping the peace, just do what I do. Lie and casually say, “not much, maybe a few tablespoons.” Trust me on this one. I have tons of experience.
OK, here are the basic guidelines:
Best Thanksgiving Mashed Potatoes
Serves approximately 8
- 3 pounds potatoes of your choice- yukon gold, russet, reds, etc.
- butter – one 4 ounce stick (find good quality butter here)
- heavy cream – about 1/2 cup to start. Note: Do NOT wuss out here and use half and half!
- garlic – about 4 cloves, roasted and mashed
- sea salt – about a 1/2 teaspoon (see my favorite brand of sea salt here)
Add more of each ingredient in the following increments
- butter – 1/2 stick or 4 ounces. I usually settle in around 2 sticks per 3 pounds of potatoes. Do not be afraid to add more than that!
- heavy cream – about a 1/4 cup. I find about one cup total is about right. More than that can make the potatoes too runny.
- garlic – 2 cloves. I find 8 total cloves to be the garlicky sweet spot.
- sea salt – just keep drizzling it in and tasting as you go.
1. First, roast the garlic. To roast, peel the outer papery skin away from a whole head, like so:
Then slice off just the top, like so:
Now drizzle tops with a little olive oil, wrap in foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. The cloves will easily separate from the skins and will be very soft and creamy. If you have any extra cloves, you can refrigerate them.
2. Place potatoes in a saucepan and add water or better yet, for some added depth of flavor, homemade chicken stock, if you have it. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender.
3. Drain potatoes in a colander, add them back to to the pot, mash with a potato masher or a hand-held blender. Be careful not to blend too aggressively. Personally, I prefer a masher to get the consistency just right.
4. Add in the starting ingredient amounts of butter, cream, garlic and salt. Taste.
You’ll almost certainly realize you need to add MORE of each ingredient!
5. Now continue to add in more butter, more cream, more garlic and more salt until you find your personal preference.
Author, Craig Fear, is a certified Nutritional Therapist who believes in the power of traditional foods to transform our health and to transform the health of our planet. His purpose is to educate you about traditional foods and how they can improve your (and your pet’s) health. Unlike a lot of health-related websites, his methods do not promise quick-fixes but… he makes things simple and uncomplicated and can help you lose weight and fix chronic digestive issues such as heartburn, bloating, IBS, constipation, leaky gut and more. You can connect with him online on at his Fearless Eating website and on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.
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