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