Merlot Mate: A Different Take on Mashed Potatoes

SONY DSCWant to add a little sizzle to your Thanksgiving mashed potatoes?

Try this recipe, which yields about 8 servings, and pour a glass of fruit-forward Merlot or Zinfandel to sip with each bite during the meal.



  • 1 pound whole garlic heads
  • 1/2 cup pure olive oil
  • Gray sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, or more to taste
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Start with the roasted garlic, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  1. Peel the outermost layers of skin off the heads of garlic. Cut off the top one-third of the heads to open the cloves.
  1. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic, cut sides up, and saute for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  1. Transfer pan to oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  1. Pop garlic cloves from their skins and place cloves in a blender, along with any olive oil left in the pan. Puree until smooth, with a paste-like consistency.
  1. Cube the potatoes. Place in a large saucepan with salted cold water, and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  1. The next day, add some more salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender (about 10 minutes).
  1. Drain well, place potato cubes in a food mill, and grind to remove skins.
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until the butter stops foaming and turns light brown.
  1. Add garlic paste and cook quickly.
  1. Add the cream, then season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
  1. Reduce the heat to low and fold in potatoes with a wooded spoon or large whisk.
  1. Add the remaining butter by tablespoons, stirring after each addition.
  1. Stir in the extra-virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

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For a nice selection of Merlot bottlings to serve with this tasty recipe, check out today’s Cyber Circle offering from Vinesse.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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