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My assigned dish for the Thanksgiving dinner that I always have with friends is garlic mashed potatoes…I love them, but don’t make mashed potatoes for one. One of the reasons is that I want my mashed potatoes to be unctuous, with lots of butter and (at least) half-and-half–not something I should be adding to my diet often.
This year, I made my Thanksgiving garlic mashed potatoes as described inCook’s Country recipe for garlic mashed potatoes–it’s a one-pot method that produced a lovely result–with less effort that the way I had done them. It’s always been my contention that I don’t want to cook potatoes for mashing in the jackets–I hate having to peel them while still hot, and I certainly don’t want to boil peeled potatoes in water–I want all that lovely starch to be available to absorb cream and butter–so I’ve always steamed them and then let them dry out just a bit before I start mashing.
This recipe took a different approach: the potatoes were cooked with the minced garlic (after it was sautéed in butter) and then cooked in the half-and-half with a bit of water added. Once tender the potatoes were mashed right in the pot, adding some more butter, and half-and-half.
I’ve looked at this recipe and wondering if this approach could be adapted to making mashed potatoes (decent ones) for one, or maybe two. It would certainly be faster than baking a potato and then making mashed potatoes, since the potatoes are cut into 1/2-inch cubes before cooking and you do the mashing right in the same pot that you cooked them in–less clean-up to do, as well.
Adapting this recipe for one seemingly would involve just a ratio adjustment–but that will take a test run to see if it is so simple. Since the original recipe called for four pounds of potatoes (designed to serve about 6 or so), it might take some tinkering, but sometimes mashed potatoes (like risotto) are necessary even when doing single-serving cooking.