Yes, there is more butter and cream in this than anyone should put in their bodies in one sitting, but this is dinner party, special treat food, not something that I make on a regular basis. That being said, I could happily inhale it through a straw on the rare occasions when I make it.
You can skip the garlic cloves, but I like the mellow flavor that they add to the dish, which complemented the beef stew that I made to accompany them very well. Also, if you have a ricer, now is the time to use it for the creamiest, silkiest mashed potatoes EVER. Using a potato masher will make good mashed potatoes, but riced potatoes are a game-changer (also, with a ricer, you don't have to peel the potatoes first, which I quite appreciate.)
This made six servings, with leftovers for truly excellent potato cakes.
6 large starchy potatoes such as Russet, Idaho or Yukon Gold
3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled and left whole
1 cup cream
1/4 cup whole milk
8 Tbsps butter
Salt to taste
Scrub your potatoes well. If using a ricer, cut them into quarters without peeling them. If not, peel before cooking.
Put a pot of salted water to boil on the stove and add the potatoes and the garlic to the cold pot. Cover and cook for fifteen minutes or so, until a knife inserted to the center of a few of the quarters goes in easily.
Drain well and put the pan back on the hob over low heat. Shake the pan and let the potatoes dry out a bit, about thirty seconds to a minute. Turn off and set aside to reach room temperature.
When cool enough to handle, pass the quarters and the garlic cloves through the ricer, directly into the pan you used to cook them in; the peel will come right off. If using a potato masher, remove the skins from the garlic and mash them into the potatoes until the consistency you like is achieved.
Warm the cream, seven tablespoons of the butter and the milk in a separate pan until the butter has melted. Pour into the pan with the potato base and gently fold into the potatoes.
Then, turn the heat under the mixture to very low and heat through until hot, stirring constantly but gently, lifting the ribbons of mashed potato away from the bottom of the pan to keep the mixture from burning.
Check for seasoning and ladle into the serving dish of your choice. Pour over the remaining tablespoon of butter that you have melted in the pan in which you warmed the milk, cream and butter, allowing it to form little rivulets over the top of the mashed potatoes.
Under thirty minutes to make (with fifteen minutes of hands-off cooking time.)