This is a ridiculous recipe – ridiculous because goat cheese doesn’t belong in mashed potatoes, right?
They are symbiotic – the goat cheese adds a sour tang that rips through the mellowness of boiled potatoes. The texture of the chevre does a great job of lightening the texture of the buttery Yukon golds. And with enough mortar-&-pestled black peppercorns, you have that spicy, cracked pepper bite to break through the richness that is butter, heavy cream and cheese.
My little sister loves goat cheese. When we were living together, it was pretty easy to know what she needed from the grocery store, without me needing to ask. Goat cheese, Near East Rice Pilaf, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Goat cheese reigns supreme in her food world.
So when it came Thanksgiving time, I knew this would hit home for her. There was no need to hold back on the amount of goat cheese in this, because there’s no such thing in her mind.
I know from experience that not everyone loves the taste of goat cheese – I’d recommend making two batches if you’re serving picky kiddos or adults. Which is easy enough because these potatoes still fold in the musts – heavy cream and butter.
My mom makes her mashed potatoes with chicken stock – the added poultry flavor always reminds me of holidays, and it’d probably go great in this recipe as well. Just add a few splashes.
But I wouldn’t limit this dish to the holidays. It’s so &*^%ing good. It’s one of those recipes, like a song that you can’t get out of your head, that will ruminate in your mind for a while after you eat it. I started imagining all the different cheeses I could add to potatoes. Gorgonzola mashed potatoes? Velveeta’d mashed potatoes? The possibilities are only limited by your ability to list cheese.
One technique I’d recommend – at all costs, when you can, beat the mashed potatoes with a hand mixer. The handy dandy smasher works perfectly well in a pinch. But take the time to dirty up the beater for your potatoes. It makes them silky in a way hand mashing cannot, and that’s the texture you deserve. Restaurant-quality silkiness.
Happy mashed potato-eating season! What are some of your favorite mashed potato recipes? As always, I’m all ears. 😊
I N G R E D I E N T S
Serves 4 to 6.
- 1 5 lb. bag Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
- 12 oz. chevre, plus extra for garnish
- 1 1 / 2 sticks butter, room temperature, salted or unsalted
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 4 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed with a mortar & pestle (alternatively, you can place the peppercorns in a Ziploc bag, smashing them with a mallet or rolling pin), plus extra for garnish
- 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid from the potatoes
D I R E C T I O N S
- Boil the peeled, quartered potatoes for 20 minutes or so in salted water until fork tender. Reserve cooking liquid for later before draining. Strain potatoes into a colander, covering with a dish towel for 15 minutes to allow the potatoes to steam.
- Return the potatoes to the pot. Add the butter, goat cheese, heavy cream, garlic, salt and crushed black pepper.
- Beat the potatoes with a hand mixer on high speed, being careful that the potatoes and liquid don’t splash out of the pot. If needed to reach a silkier consistency, add some of the reserved cooking liquid.
- Serve the mashed potatoes hot, with the goat cheese crumbles and cracked black pepper sprinkled on top for garnish, if desired.