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  • 44 cloves garlic (small to medium-large, about 6 ounces, or 1 1/3 cup), from 4 medium heads garlic, skins left on
  • 4 pounds potatoes , unpeeled and scrubbed
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 stick), melted
  • 2 cup half-and-half , (warm) -OR- 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 teaspoons table salt
  • Ground black pepper

Toast garlic, covered, in small skillet over lowest possible heat, shaking pan frequently, until cloves are dark spotty brown and slightly softened, about 22 minutes. Off heat, let stand, covered, until fully softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Peel cloves and, with paring knife, cut off woody root end (see illustration 1, below). Set aside.


ROAST garlic.  Lay cloves on a baking sheet.  Spray or drizzle olive oil on garlic.  Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Garlic can be roasted ahead of time.

While garlic is toasting, place potatoes in large saucepan and cover with 1 inch water. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of center of potatoes with very little resistance), 20 to 30 minutes. Drain.

Set food mill or ricer over now empty but still warm saucepan. Spear potato with dinner fork, then peel back skin with paring knife. Working in batches, cut peeled potatoes into rough chunks and drop into hopper of food mill or potato ricer along with peeled garlic. Process or rice potatoes into saucepan.

Stir in butter with wooden spoon until incorporated; gently whisk in half-and-half, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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