Garlicky Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower

by angelika on May 7, 2011

Tonight we needed a quick and easy dinner. Half of the family is getting over a nasty cold, and one quarter of the family was desperately attached to watching a basketball game which started on the early side. I have some very exciting ingredients from the farmers market that I can’t wait to cook; tonight did not offer me the luxury. So instead we bid adieu to some winter staples as we see them out and welcome in our favorite spring foods. Plus, when you are sick, is there anything better than creamy garlicky mashed potatoes? Oh yeah, when you add half a head of cauliflower to them and no one is the wiser! These mashed potatoes are buttery, creamy, garlicky and full of vegetable goodness. 
Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower 

equal parts cauliflower and potato
(I like to use fingerling or yukon gold potatoes; you can peel them if you want to)
water to cover
1 tablespoon coarse salt 
garlic sauce

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of salt
finishing:
1 heaping table spoon creme fraîche
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons of the garlic sauce, to taste
Start by heating the butter and olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and simmer on the lowest setting your stove has. You want the garlic to cook low and slow for at least 20 minutes. This will bring out an amazing sweetness to the garlic, and temper the bite it can sometimes have. Please keep a close eye on it. You don’t want the garlic to burn, or even brown. If it looks like it is taking on a little color, remove the pan from the heat for a few minutes and then set it back on. 
Start with cold water and add your roughly chopped potato and cauliflower. Add the salt and bring the water to a boil. Boil until the cauliflower and potatoes are soft and are pierced easily by a knife. Drain. 

Use either a potato masher, a hand mixer, or if you have one, a food mill to puree the vegetables. My food mill was a Christmas gift this year, and I have to say it makes the most delicious mashed potatoes ever. Truly. They are so incredibly light and fluffy. I wanted the food mill to make cream soups, which you do with the smaller blade. The largest blade is awesome for potatoes; the best part? You don’t have to peel the potatoes and the skins stay in the mill while the fluffy insides are delivered into your pan. Genius! 
Stir in some creme fraîche using an actual table spoon to measure. I use creme fraîche instead of milk, I love the creaminess it imparts. The garlic sauce is a lot of butter, so between it and the creme fraîche you get just the right texture with no need for milk or cream. Add the garlic sauce one tablespoon at a time. You will get about four total from the sauce. I only made half of a very large head of cauliflower and half of a bag of fingerling potatoes, (because I am stupid; we wanted more) so I used two heaping table spoons of the garlic butter. You can use more or less depending on how big of a batch you cooked, and how garlicky you like it. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
A votre santé! 

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