I almost called these potatoes "Damned Mashed Potatoes". Any culinary journey that starts by tinkering with your grandmother's recipes surely ends in eternal damnation. My sainted grandmother produces delicious garlicky potatoes by boiling garlic with the potatoes, but I could never incorporate the boiled cloves into the mashed potatoes without having chunks of half-boiled garlic pop up alarmingly on my tongue, disrupting the glorious creaminess of the dish. The fault is entirely mine. And I promise, I will never ever ever mess with the Parker House rolls. Or the pierogis.
As the official title implies, these have some serious garlic power. If you're scared, you can dial it down a notch (I'm making chicken noises at you right now). However, the tang of the goat cheese and parmesan balance it out so it doesn't seem out of place. One last caveat: these are robust, aggressive, feisty mashed potatoes. Don't serve with, say, a consume or a delicate sea bass. They'll be annihilated. These are meant to be served with a hearty stew or a healthily herbed roasted chicken. —Niknud
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Niknud is a longtime Food52 member who calls Colorado home.
WHAT: Mashed potatoes that have a few tricks up their sleeves.
HOW: Pour ten cloves of garlic browned in butter over still-warm mashed potatoes. Add in two types of cheese (goat! Parmesan!), cream, and more butter (yes, more), then bake in a casserole dish until golden-brown.
WHY WE LOVE IT: They had us at "more butter." Combined with the tangy goat cheese and, well, garlicky-ness of the garlic, these mashed potatoes are bold without being overpowering. We'd like seconds, please. —Kate Robertson
4 to 6 as a side
Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Place the chopped potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 to 18 minutes.
While your potatoes are cooking, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a small sauté pan. Add the garlic and cook (gently!) over low heat. Do not let the garlic brown or burn. You want to mellow out the garlic and infuse the butter with flavor.
When your potatoes are done, drain and transfer them to a large bowl. Pour the butter and garlic over the still warm potatoes and mash well -- I used a fork. As soon as incorporated, add the goat and Parmesan cheeses, and work them into the mixture.
Now start adding your liquid. I use heavy cream because, by now, I've already passed the point of coronary doom and figure I might as well enjoy myself before shuffling off this mortal coil. Add as much liquid as you need to get the consistency you like. I used about a cup, but some people enjoy a creamier potato—it's all up to you.
Add salt and pepper to taste. If you want, you can also stir in the chopped scallions at this point.
Turn the mashed potatoes into a baking dish and dot the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter (yes, more butter). I use a deep dish pie plate, but a 9 x 13-inch baking dish works nicely, as well. Cook in a 375° F oven until the top gets slightly browned and crusty, about 20 minutes.
Full-time working wife and mother of two small boys whose obsessive need to cook delicious food is threatening to take over what little free time I have. I grew up in a family of serious cookers but didn't learn to cook myself until I got married and got out of the military and discovered the joys of micro-graters, ethiopian food, immersion blenders and watching my husband roll around on the floor after four servings of pulled pork tamales (with real lard!) complaining that he's so full he can't feel his legs. Trying to graduate from novice cooker to ranked amateur. The days of 'the biscuit incident of aught five' as my husband refers to it are long past but I still haven't tried my hand at paella so I'm a work in progress!