I personally regard mash as the food of the gods, but I don't mind flavouring it with paprika, nutmeg, or even mild mustard, as well as just about any herb.
Garlic has numerous health benefits, many of them known to traditional medicine but now well-grounded in modern science.
Evidence is mounting that garlic can help manage blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It has been conclusively shown to have antibiotic properties, and not to provoke bacteria to evolve resistance.
What isn't understood is precisely what this may protect against, though the belief that the onion family - which includes garlic, leeks and chives - can ward off colds makes sense.
So, while you're enjoying these delicious mashed potatoes you can be fairly sure that the garlic is doing you some good in some way! If you think there's rather a lot of garlic, fear not. Cooked in this way they develop a much milder, sweeter flavour.
You can eat these spuds with anything with which you'd serve straightforward mash.
- 1kg/2lbs 2 oz old potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 heads of garlic, unpeeled and whole
- 1oz/30g cream cheese, or low-fat equivalent
- 1oz/30g butter or margarine
- 2 tbsps finely chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, plunge the two heads of garlic into it and simmer for 25 minutes.
Remove from the heat, drain, and immediately put the garlic into very cold water.
Meanwhile, boil or steam the potatoes until tender and mash them with the butter, cream cheese, parsley and seasoning.
Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and put them all together in a bowl or small food processor or liquidiser. If you don't have one of the latter, you'll have to mash them to a smooth pulp with a fork.
Add a little olive oil if you need to make them easier to mash.
When you've got a smooth paste, mix it into the mashed potato with a fork. Never use a liquidiser or similar to make mashed spuds. It goes very strange indeed!