The following (AMAZING) recipe is from Amanda over at Give Me Flour. I have mentioned her before (in fact, she has a whole post dedicated to her...) because of her beautiful pictures, great tasting recipes, and the fact that she is a Brazilian woman learning English -- my counterpart, as I am an American woman learning Portuguese. We are both navigating this American/Brazilian world at the same time, and it is fun to see it happen from the other side. Be sure to stop by her page and give her some love (click on any picture and it will take you there). You will not regret it!
The first time I made mashed potatoes (or thought I was making it), I was 10, 11, no more than 12. I simply put a bowl of smashed potatoes on the table and told everybody lunch was served. No salt, no butter, no pepper, no cream or even a drop of milk. Fortunately, my mom saw my mistake in time and nobody had to eat my insipid attempt.
Ironically, I’m here in charge of a mashed potato recipe for the most important American food-related holiday. Good thing I’ve learned from my mistakes and my mashed potatoes grew from that insipidness to a much more tasteful side dish. Garlic and mushrooms, come on, what could go wrong with that?
Well, potatoes are some of the most versatile ingredients I know and they go along with a bunch of good things but, when the matter is mashed potatoes, if you don’t have a good base, no other ingredient will do the job for you.
For a good base I mean a good quality, properly cooked and well smashed potato. And I have my preferences for that -- the
gold potato. First because I care about the color, there’s something about a yellow “purée” that really stands out to me. Second, it gives me the consistency I expect with mashed potatoes, smoothness without lumps. Yukon
So, for 6 to 8 servings you are going to need:
First of all, grab a large pot, add the potatoes in, and cover them with cold water. One of the first things I learned about cooking is we should always place potatoes in cold water and let everything heat together. It helps them to cook more evenly.
So, add bay leaves and 1 tbsp of salt to the pot and bring it to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender or until they fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan; add garlic and thyme and sauté until lightly brown. Scoop out the garlic and set it aside.
Using the same frying pan with the thyme, heat the last two tbsp of olive oil and sauté the mushrooms in a high heat for 2-3 minutes. Scoop and set them aside.
As soon as the potatoes are tender, dry them in a colander and let them rest for about 5 minutes. That’s just another good trick to get rid of the extra humidity and the water that can make our base soggy.
Place potato in a large bowl and mash them with a potato masher. If you have a food mill, go for it, it is just the best tool for making a smooth base.
Add butter, parmesan, black pepper and milk, a bit at a time, until you get the consistency you desired. I set a limit of 1 ½ cups of milk but the quantity can vary according to the quality of potato you are using too. Add more salt if needed and mix well.
Add sautéed garlic and mushrooms to the base; mix well and place in a serving bowl. Pile some extra garlic and mushrooms on top and serve immediately.