I’ve experimented with many different versions of mashed potatoes, but my favorite recipe uses traditional Russet potatoes. Their high starch content and low moisture make them ideal for creating fluffy, creamy mashed potatoes. And although I’ve used everything from a food processor to a fork, my tool of choice when making mashed potatoes is a potato ricer- it ensures a light, smooth texture without any lumps. I like to dress up the classic dish by infusing half and half with garlic and a bay leaf and stirring caramelized onions and goat cheese into the potatoes. The sweet onions add richness and texture to the dish and the tangy goat cheese is a delicious complement. - Sonali —Sonali aka the Foodie Physician
With a generous hit of half and half and butter (infused with bay and garlic) and a dollop -- or four -- of fresh goat cheese, Sonali's potatoes are creamy and ethereal with the lightest of tangs. Caramelized onions, which are both folded into the potatoes and piled on top before serving, thread their a mellow sweetness throughout. We agree that the use of a ricer (which we often eschew) is key in order to achieve just the right silken texture for this bowl of mash. - A&M —The Editors
To make the caramelized onions, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and stir them to coat with the fat. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and the sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown and caramelized, about 30-40 minutes. If the onions get too dry, add a small amount of water to deglaze the pan. Set aside.
Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.
While the potatoes are cooking, heat the half and half, garlic, bay leaf, and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot, dry pot. Stir them over low heat for 2 minutes until they are dry. Pass the potatoes through a ricer into a large bowl. Gently stir in the hot cream mixture a little at a time until the potatoes are smooth and creamy (discard the garlic and bay leaf). You may not need to use all of the liquid. Set aside a small amount of the caramelized onions for garnish and stir the remaining onions into the mashed potatoes. Crumble the goat cheese into the potatoes and stir to combine well. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Spoon the mashed potatoes into a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining caramelized onions. Serve hot.