Turkey Day Prep: Smashed Potatoes

I believe in my previous post, I referred to these as mashed potatoes. Its a slight difference to me but technically, the recipe is titled Smashed Potatoes.

From Cook’s Illustrated Magazine Issue no. 71, December 2004:

Garlic-Rosemary Smashed Potatoes

2 pounds Red Bliss, unpeeled and scrubbed
1 bay leaf
3 medium garlic cloves, 1 minced, 2 whole
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cream cheese (4 oz) at room temperature
salt and pepper


  • In large saucepan, cover potatoes with 1 inch cold water. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 2 whole garlic cloves and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low and simmer gently about 35-45 minutes. They are ready when you can slip a knife tip all the way in with no resistance.
  • Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a small skillet. Add rosemary and 1 minced garlic clove. Cook about 30 seconds, just until fragrant then set aside.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water and garlic cloves then drain potatoes. Discard bay leaf. Return potatoes to pot and allow to dry, about 5 minutes.
  • Whisk butter/garlic mixture, whole garlic cloves and soft cream cheese in a medium bowl until fully incorporated. Add 1/4 cup of reserved cooking water, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • With a spatula or wooden spoon, smash potatoes just enough to break up skins.
  • Fold in butter/cream cheese until most of liquid has been absorbed and chunks of potatoes remain.
  • Add more cooking water 1 tablespoon at a time until potatoes are slightly looser than desired.

Potatoes will thicken slightly as they stand. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6, doubles easily. When doubling recipes, only multiply salt by 1.5. You can always add more at the table. More potatoes will require more cooking time, 4 pounds will probably take 45-50 minutes.

Try to get potatoes of all the same size, around 2 inches in diameter. Bigger potatoes take longer to cook.

You can use white-skinned potatoes but they won’t be as pretty. I’d avoid russets as they have a distinctly different texture and don’t hold up the same under smashing conditions.

These potatoes were meant to hold their own when gravy wasn’t available. We will have gravy on Thanksgiving but that just makes them even better.

FYI, Cook’s Illustrated has a very nice site, but its not free.


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