Posted by: Erin | August 18, 2008

Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes

Sometime last week, I decided I was going to try a salmon recipe over the weekend. I searched through my bookmarked recipes to see what I could make as a side dish, and I settled on Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes. The weekend sort of got away from me, so the potatoes I bought have been living in my fruit bowl ever since. And when I went to the grocery store last night, I wasn’t able to find any wild salmon, so my dinner plans were thwarted once again.

Instead, I bought a piece of tilapia. I prepared it as if I were making Tilapia Piccata. At the moment, I only have a white merlot open in the fridge, and I didn’t want to open a bottle of white wine just to make the tilapia. So instead, I just dragged the fish through a little flour with some salt and pepper mixed in, and put it in the frying pan over medium-high heat with a little bit of melted butter for two minutes or so on each side.

One thing I still haven’t quite figured out is that how to time cooking different things without one getting cold. The fish was done before the potatoes, even though I started the potatoes first. I ended up having to boil the potatoes for a bit longer than the recipe calls for (it says 13 minutes – I think I left them in for closer to 20 minutes). I also wasn’t sure if the skin was supposed to be left on. (Since the recipe didn’t say otherwise, I left it on.)

The potatoes also gave me a chance to break out my beautiful new Pyrex bowls. I bought them months ago, but due to organizational issues in my kitchen, I had nowhere to put them, so they’ve been living in a box. But organizational issues seem to have been resolved, thusly, they no longer live in a box. Hooray!

Garlic mashed red potatoes in one of my beautiful Pyrex bowls!

Garlic mashed red potatoes in one of my beautiful Pyrex bowls!

I decided to throw some minced fresh rosemary in there, too, since I’ve got a lovely rosemary plant out on my porch that I don’t use nearly enough. I probably could have thrown a little more in there, since it didn’t flavor the potatoes as much as I hoped. I also added some garlic powder in after I mixed everything together, since the 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic the recipe calls for didn’t seem to be as garlicky as I would have liked either. (I am, on the whole, a huge fan of garlic.)

Close-up of the potatoes (you can see the rosemary if you look carefully)

Close-up of the potatoes (You can see the rosemary if you look carefully)

When I first looked at this recipe, I was psyched, because for the first time EVER, I found a recipe that was only one serving. For once, I didn’t have to do sixteen mental equations to figure out how to make an appropriate amount of food. However, either the scale at the supermarket was off (when I bought the potatoes), or the recipe is wrong – I ended up with what was probably closer to 2 servings instead of one.

I was surprised how easy this recipe was. I’ve never made mashed potatoes from scratch before, and I don’t own a potato masher. At first, it took a little bit if slicing the potatoes with a spoon, but they mushed together well enough in the end. (If you boil the potatoes a little longer, like I did, they’ll probably mash a little easier. The recipe says you can use a potato masher, fork, or spoon – I used a teaspoon without much trouble, though I probably should have used a tablespoon.)

I’m definitely going to make this one again (with the skin on – it adds to the texture nicely), though I might add more minced garlic from the beginning, and I’ll definitely use more rosemary. This one is also a good quick recipe that would work well for a weeknight, if you’re pressed for time.




  1. I *rarely* drink wine, but when I do, I seem to be particularly fond of white merlot. I suspect you could have used it in place of a white in the recipe without too much damage.

    But then, there’d be less to drink…

    I think all of your instincts regarding the potatoes sound right on. Hurray for rosemary, garlic, and skin!

  2. That looks like a perfect meal in a pinch! Good call on the potatoes…I’ve found the herb usage in potatoes just simply have died out.

    When I make my mashed…I use 2 forks. I trick I learned in Mexico when I was taught how to properly make guacamole. Mashes nicely, but not too smoothly.

    I do cheat a little. I take a pat or 2 of butter, melt it and mix in my herbs and spices (garlic, paprika, a pinch of pan fried ginger) and then mix that all in the mash. Never thought to use rosemary though!

  3. @Khrysso: I’m rather liking this white merlot. I haven’t seen any others (and weirdly enough, can only find the Sutter Home at one place around here so far – thought Sutter Home was fairly common). What kind do you usually drink? I probably could have used the white merlot on the fish, and I considered it, but, well, I got lazy. 🙂

    @Crimson: It was sort of a mish-mash when it started, but it came out nicely. I probably should have had some veggies with it (was thinking corn, or a small salad), but I was exhausted and didn’t get that far. This recipe has you melt the butter with the garlic and salt, which is when I threw the minced rosemary in there, then added the potatoes and milk. Love the double fork trick – definitely going to try that next time – thanks!

  4. […] there will be some form of salmon in my weekend meal planning (because of the fresh dill) and some garlic mashed red potatoes (because I have a ridiculous amount of red potatoes now, in addition to the obscene amount of […]

  5. Your recipe, especially the photos of it is very inviting, so I must try it. I am a fan of mash potato so probably I will enjoy this meal.

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