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What better way to add a little fun and romantic flavor to your meal than by cooking a recipe from the master, chef Jacques Pépin? Check out his go-to and easy-to-make mashed potatoes recipe, cooked exclusively to celebrate Rachael Ray's 1,500th episode!
Peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks (2- to 2½-inch pieces). Drop the potatoes into a pot, cover with water, and add the garlic and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and boil gently for 22 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Place a pot underneath a food mill to catch the cooking liquid (you can use it in stocks, soups, or bread) and drain the potatoes in the mill, then push them through the mill into a bowl. Add the butter and mix in thoroughly, then add the milk, mixing again until incorporated. Mix in the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and the pepper and serve.
Leftover potatoes can be reheated in a microwave oven, fried as potato cakes in a skillet, or added to soup as a flavor enhancer and thickener.