I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as creamy mashed potato. The classic boiled potato, mashed with milk, butter, and salt, is hard to beat. Still, I've always loved thinking of mashes potatoes as a blank canvas that I could paint flavors on ... er ... in.
Now that I've murdered enough metaphors, it's time to get down to Thanksgiving business. I really like this variation, not only for the garlic and rosemary, but for the extra edge given to it by adding goat milk cheese (chèvre). Chèvre can be kind of expensive, so this isn't something you'll want to make all the time. For a celebration, though, the extra flavor is worth it.
If you can't find chèvre, or it's price is beyond your pocket book, you can substitute it with cream cheese or American neufchatel cheese. Not only is this lighter on your budget, it has a lighter flavor, as well.
This recipe can easily be scaled down for an intimate evening for two, or up for a large army, otherwise known as extended family. If you're making these garlic and rosemary mashed potatoes for a large Thanksgiving get-together, the cream cheese option may be needed. You don't want to break your bank account just to feed mashed potatoes to your grumpy Aunt Matilda, even if they are delicious. She's never appreciate your cooking anyway.
Large pot or Dutch Oven
8 medium potatoes (about 3 pounds of russet, Yukon gold, or a combination of both)
15 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Milk, as needed
3 1/2 oz. chèvre (goat milk cheese)
2 teaspoons of chopped, fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Peel the potatoes and cut into roughly 2 or 3 inch pieces. Put the cut potatoes, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of the salt into a large Dutch oven or pot. Add enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring the pot to the boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
Drain the liquid, returning the potatoes to the pot if needed. Add the goat milk cheese, rosemary, pepper, and the remaining salt. Mash, adding milk a little at a time as needed, until creamy. Adjust seasonings as desired.
Serve as a side dish or smothered in Mushroom and Leek Strogonoff.
Makes 8 servings
Shepherd Dairy in Erda, Utah, makes an excellent chèvre cheese. It can now be found in many local supermarkets. It's my favorite goat milk cheese. Use a rolling pin to crush dried rosemary, and it won't poke you in the gums when you eat it.