This first recipe is one of the oldest I know of for mashed potatoes with garlic. It is not particularly healthy as whipping cream might send your cholesterol levels soaring, but it is tasty and self-indulgent. You can add parsley to it, or substitute any other of your favourite herbs (or a selection of them) for the rosemary.
Grandma's Mashed Potatoes with Garlic
1 whole head of garlic
1 kilo potatoes peeled and quartered
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream (use single too)
1/4 cup butter
salt and white pepper
Slice a third off the top of the whole garlic bulb and throw away the top part. The cloves of white garlic should be visible. Put the whole bulb onto a sheet of silver foil (aluminium foil) and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Wrap the bulb up in the foil and roast in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes.
When the garlic is cooked, squeeze the bottom and the cloves will pop out. Hold the bulb in a tea towel so as not to burn your hands. Then put the whole, peeled cloves in a bowl and mash them with a fork.
Meanwhile cook the potatoes in a pan of salted water for about 20 minutes. Drain and remove from the heat. Place in a large bowl and mash them. To get the best results do this with an old-fashioned potato masher.
Now put the milk, butter, cream and chopped rosemary or other herbs into a pan over a gentle heat and warm. Leave them on the heat until the mixture is hot but not boiling.
Put all the ingredients together and mash them with a pinch of white pepper and serve when the mixture is smooth.
You can add toasted sesame seeds if you like them: simply sprinkle 2 tablespoons over the top of the mashed potatoes.
If you want to spruce up your garlic mashed potatoes, why not boil a sliced carrot and some cauiflower florets with the potatoes and mash them, together with the roasted garlic? This makes for an interesting vegetarian dish alone or with a sauce, perhaps a chilli one if you think the dish could be a little bland.
The humble mashed potato is good comfort food and the addition of garlic could help to prevent winter colds and flu! Try one of these recipe suggestions and help yourself stay healthy this winter.
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Photo Credit: National Cancer Institute
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