I love mashed potatoes. My mom has always, hands down, made the best mashed potatoes in the world. One of her secrets? She always boils the whole garlic cloves with the potatoes and then leaves them in to get mashed up with the potatoes. And in our family, we don’t scrimp on the garlic, none of this one clove crap, you need at least two and they need to be huge.
I almost didn’t type this recipe up and include it, since to me, everyone knows how to make mashed potatoes and has a recipe. Then I got to thinking about all the mashed potatoes I have tried that weren’t very good. For such a simple dish, it requires a bit of a finesse, so as not to over mash, add too much milk, or undercook the potatoes, etc. I have definitely eaten mashed potatoes whose consistency mirrors that of joint compound that you use on dry wall. (I am not naming any names.)
The potatoes at the farmers market have been abundant, so I decided rather than another potato salad, mashed potatoes would be the perfect way to enjoy them. Since I had the goat cheese on hand, I decided to go with a twist on the classic. The goat cheese gives these chunky garlic smashed potatoes a delicious tangy flavor and the crisp, tasty chives on top is the perfect finish.
Goat Cheese Garlic Smashed Potatoes
1 pound baby red potatoes, washed, skins left on
2 large cloves of garlic, whole, peeled
2 ounces goat cheese
1 cup organic milk (whole or skim, whichever you prefer)
1 tablespoon organic butter
freshly ground black pepper
small bunch of fresh chives
Place potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan, cover with salted cold water by 1 inch. Simmer, covered, until tender – 15 to 20 minutes. Drain potatoes, return potatoes and garlic back to the saucepan.
Add the butter to the potatoes and garlic and slowly pour the milk in, a little bit at a time. Don’t add it all at once, in the event you don’t need it, otherwise you will have runny potatoes. As you add each bit of milk, mash the potatoes either with a fork, potato masher or electric hand-mixer. Continue adding milk as needed to get your desired consistency. I like my potatoes a bit on the chunky side, though there has to be the perfect balance of chunky and creamy. Crumble the goat cheese into the potatoes and add half of the chopped fresh chives; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and top with the remaining fresh chopped chives.