Buttery rich mashed potatoes are the essence of comfort food, but great quantities of butter make me nervous these days.
Now I’m not about to mash potatoes with water and resort to Butter Buds. I still want the real thing, so enter the world of illusion.
These mashed potatoes look buttery rich because they are made with yellow potatoes, either Yukon Gold or Finnish. They’re cooked with garlic to add a flavor boost, but you could use onion. They’re whipped with buttermilk, which is lower in butterfat than cream, but rich-tasting.
And the topping of one single pat of butter — about a tablespoon — melting down the sides of a mountain of buttery-yellow potatoes fools the eye — and maybe the palate.
So eat them and feel virtuous.
FOOL-THE-EYE MASHED POTATOES
Makes 6 servings
6 medium Yukon Gold or Finnish potatoes
1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup buttermilk
freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon butter
Peel the potatoes and cut into haves or quarters. Place in a medium saucepan with cold water to cover and add the garlic and sprinkle with salt. Cover and cook until just tender. Drain off potato water and place potatoes over warm heat to dry off excess moisture. Remove garlic cloves if desired but it’s not necessary; they mash easily with the potatoes.
Meanwhile, warm the buttermilk slightly. Using a potato masher or electric beater, mash the potatoes and beat in the buttermilk. Season generously with salt and pepper. Pile the potatoes into a serving dish and top with the butter.
If desired, mix in fresh snipped chives for added color and flavor.
Ann Heller became the first restaurant critic for The Journal Herald in 1975 and added writing food stories for that paper in 1977. The Journal was merged with the Dayton Daily News, where she remained restaurant critic and food editor until 2006. During that time, she tested and shared hundreds upon hundreds of recipes with our readers. Now we want to share them with a new generation every week on our subscriber website, MyDaytonDailyNews.com.