meal — vegetarian

Aioli Mashed Potatoes with Chives

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prep time 20 Minutes
cook time 25 Minutes
yield 6 to 8 servings

Overview

I love a potato—except, it seems, when it’s mashed. All too often the Thanksgiving side can be loaded down with too much dairy, studded with big lumps or woefully under-seasoned (remember: potatoes love salt!).

This year, I decided to call on one of my favorite sauces, aïoli—the garlicky mayonnaise with origins that trace back to Provençe—to upgrade the beloved dish. Instead of the usual cream and butter, I mixed a bunch of freshly made aïoli into the hot mashed potatoes along with some of their starchy cooking liquid.

The result was super rich and perfectly silky, with a smattering of small, skin-on lumps that add a touch of texture. When I made a batch for the TT team, they couldn’t believe that there was no dairy, just the egg yolks I used in the aïoli.

To finish the dish, I sprinkled some chopped chives, as well as piment d’Espelette for a little smoke and a touch of Basque flavor. I could see myself eating these creamy, luxurious spuds year-round with roast chicken or lamb—not just at the Thanksgiving table.

BY:Tasting Table

Ingredients

For the aioli:

  • 2 large Nellie's Free Range Eggs, yolks only
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed to a paste
  • 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil (see note)

For the mashed potatoes:

  • 3 pounds baby Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups aïoli, divided
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

Directions

To make the aioli:

  • Drape a kitchen towel over a small saucepan (this will help hold your bowl in place while you whisk). Add egg yolks to a medium heat-safe bowl and set over towel on saucepan.
  • Add water, salt, and garlic to egg yolks, then whisk until fully combined.
  • Whisking constantly, gradually and very slowly drizzle in the olive oil, drop by drop, until the sauce begins to emulsify and has thickened. Continue adding the olive oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly, until all the olive oil is incorporated.

To make the mashed potatoes:

  • Place potatoes and bay leaves in a large pot and cover with 2 inches of cold water. Season the water generously with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are very tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and let the potatoes stand until dry.
  • Place the potatoes back into the pot. Using a wooden spoon, smash the potatoes against the side of the pot. Add the reserved cooking liquid and olive oil and continue smashing and stirring vigorously until combined.
  • Place the pot over medium heat, stirring until the potatoes have warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the heat and stir in half the aioli. The potatoes should look very creamy.
  • Transfer the potatoes to a serving dish and drizzle with remaining aïoli. Garnish with chives and crushed red pepper flakes if desired. Serve warm.

Nellie's Notes:

When you’re making the aioli, use a buttery pale-golden olive oil rather than one with a peppery finish, which can be overpowering. Taste as you go, as the aioli should be creamy, not too garlicky, and well-seasoned.

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