Smashed, not mashed: how to up your garlic potato game!
Ah, potatoes: boiled, baked, or mashed, this hearty vegetable is a staple among many dinner tables. Around this time of year, potatoes take prominence on our plates with the planning of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s festivities. How could this comfort veggie get any better? By mashing, that’s how (and by adding garlic, of course using a peel garlic so it's easy is the method for sure!). We recommend peeling garlic by shaking it.
Mashed potatoes are a favorite among many, and have a long history. Food historians generally credit the French for their cultivation and spread of potatoes throughout Europe. In fact, an 18th century army pharmacist, Antoine-Auguste Parmentier, is acknowledged as the first European to promote potatoes as a healthy and economical food staple. In the 1700s, France experience widespread famine. Potatoes provided relief to starving populations- they were easy to grow, harvest, and could be cooked in a variety of ways. More importantly, they were cheap- not only to grow, but to purchase, becoming a fast favorite across France and beyond. Before long, potatoes were embraced by numerous other countries and assimilated into their cuisines. The oldest recipe documented for mashed potatoes originates from 1747:
"Mashed potatoes:Boil your Potatoes, peel them, and put them into a Sauce-pan, mash them well: To two pounds of Potatoes put a Pint of Milk, a little Salt, stir them well together, take care they don't stick to the Bottom, them take a quarter of a Pound of Butter, stir in and serve it up." – Some amazing cook!
Flash forward a few hundred years later, and potatoes are still one of the world’s most popular foods. While the use of potatoes has varied over the span of history and across cultures, people still love their mashed taters. More recently, people are smashing instead of mashing. What’s the key difference? Smashed potatoes are generally prepared with the skins on, creating a bit more chunkiness to the finished dish.
Another distinct difference between smashed and mashed is the way in which the potatoes are broken up. The majority of recipes advise hand mashing with either a fork or handheld masher. Mashed potatoes are generally made with a handheld masher and then whipped with an electric mixer, resulting in their familiar smooth and creamy texture. Smashed potatoes are made chunkier by hand mashing, and usually require less prep time. Just remember: if you decide to use your electric mixer, your potatoes become mashed potatoes, regardless of whether the skins are on or off!
What will make your smashed potatoes eves better is, of course, a healthy heaping of garlic. Here is one of our favorite recipes for simple smashed garlic potatoes. Now grab your fork or masher and get smashin’!
Easy Garlic Smashed Potatoes:
- 6 pieces of medium sized potatoes
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of rosemary, chopped
- ½ teaspoon of table salt
- ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
- ½ cup of milk, preferably 2% but you can substitute as desired
- Preheat the oven to about 375 degrees.
- Scrub and clean the potatoes, do not peel skin.
- Cut ¼ to ½ inch off the top of your garlic cloves and drizzle olive oil on the head of each garlic clove and cover with aluminum foil.
- Boil the potatoes for fifteen minutes and or until potatoes are soft. Set aside and let cool.
- Using a skillet, pour olive oil and stir the rosemary for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the rosemary is fragrant.
- Add the roasted garlic and oil - rosemary mixture to the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
- Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potatoes. Add the milk little by little until desired consistency is achieved.
- Transfer mashed potatoes into a serving dish and garnish with parsley. Serve warm.
Number of Servings: 6