I remember serving these for the first time with my favorite roast chicken recipe, and these mashed potatoes stole the show. I used garlic-infused olive oil in these potatoes, which gave them much more depth than plain old butter. The addition of cream cheese was the real moneymaker though. It makes them absurdly creamy with just the slightest tangy sweetness. They are also remarkably fluffy, which is the result of baking them for a few minutes before serving. As one friend put it so beautifully, “These potatoes taste like angel’s wings.” As far as side dishes go, these mashed potatoes with cream cheese are pretty unbeatable, and you should serve them with EVERYTHING. —Serena Wolf | Domesticate ME!
Scrub your potatoes well, and cut them in half (or into quarters if they are large). Place them in a large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a low boil and cook the potatoes gently for 20 minutes until very tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, combine the minced garlic and olive oil in a small pot. Bring to a low simmer and simmer for 10 minutes to soften the garlic and infuse the oil with its flavor. Be very careful not to let the heat get to high or the garlic will burn. Seriously.
When cooked, strain the potatoes and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Pour the garlic olive oil mixture over the potatoes and mash using a potato masher or electric mixer. If you don’t have either of these things, you’ll have to get creative.
Heat the milk over a low flame. When hot, slowly incorporate it into the mashed potatoes. Add the cream cheese and mix until well incorporated. I like to use a handheld electric mixer because it makes the potatoes smoother (which I prefer), but again, you can do without. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the potatoes to a baking dish and bake them for 15 minutes at 350 degrees just before serving. It gives them a lighter, fluffier texture with a little crust on top. You can skip this step, but you won’t want to.