When the holidays are around the corner, I’m always thinking weeks in advance. This year I wanted to make Purée de Pommes de Terre à L’Ail (Garlic Mashed Potatoes) from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And for once, my husband was pleased.
My husband is not super fond of eating French food. He complains it’s too rich and I agree but I want to do it anyways because it’s challenging and interesting and I love taking food photos, especially from out of print or old cookbooks with few or no photos. I don’t know how many of these recipes I’m going to end of up doing. Part of the problem is that because I’m taking photos, I have to get them right. I can’t just say, “Okay, disaster. Let’s move on!” Which means, I make the dish more than once.
Thankfully Purée de Pommes de Terre à L’Ail (Garlic Mashed Potatoes), was not one of those recipes I had to do multiple times to work. However, if you wanted a recipe that fits the bill, “slaving over a hot stove,” Purée de Pommes de Terre à L’Ail (Garlic Mashed Potatoes) is it. I definitely cleared all my pores with this recipe! It’s really a beautiful balance between the garlic and mashed potatoes – not too pungent at all.
Note – This recipe takes 3 of your burners and 3 pans so please consider this when planning what else you’re making with it.
For the garlic puree
1) About 30 cloves of garlic (I cheated and got the organic, pre-peeled garlic to save time.)
2) 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3) 2 tablespoons flour
4) 1 cup boiling milk
5) 1/4 teaspoon salt
6) pinch of pepper
For the potatoes
1) 2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4 largish russet potatoes)
2) 1 teaspoon of salt
3) 4 tablespoons softened butter
For the finish
1) 3-4 tablespoons whipping cream
2) 4 tablespoons minced parsley (optional). I think this is optional because I believe this is an affection of the times and doesn’t really add anything to the dish.
Preparation and Cooking #1 Cook the Garlic.
1) Add the 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 30 cloves of garlic to a medium sauce pan.
2) Turn the temperature on low and allow to cook slowly for 20 minutes or until tender but not browned.
Preparation and Cooking #2 Prepare and Cook the Potatoes.
1) Peel the potatoes.
2) Cut the potatoes into bite size chunks.
3) Julia says to put the potatoes in salted boiling water but every time I made this, I took a 5 quart dutch oven, filled it over 1/2 way full with water and a pinch of salt, then added the potatoes and turned it on high and let it cook until soft.
Preparation and Cooking #3 Make the Garlic Sauce.
1) Boil the milk in a small saucepan. You will need to watch this because you’ll need to turn the burner on high. Don’t do like I did and have the milk explode all over the place because I wasn’t paying attention!
2) Offheat the milk.
3) Add the flour to the cooked garlic. Continue to keep the low temperature until the flour froths with the butter without browning.
4) Offheat, add the milk, salt and pepper.
Preparation and Cooking #4 Put It All Together.
1) The potatoes should be done by now. Drain the potatoes then dump them back into the pan you boiled them in.
2) Julia says you should use a potato ricer but I just use my potato masher to puree the potatoes.
3) Add the garlic sauce. Mix well.
4) Off heat and beat in 4 tablespoons of butter (1/2 a stick)
5) Add 3-4 tablespoons of whipping cream.
5) Serve immediately. Enjoy!