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Mashed Potatoes Aligote

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You could easily serve this as a main course for two; it not only is substantial but has more flavor than almost anything you could serve with it. As part of a meal for four, choose something simple, rustic, and flavorful to accompany these—like a steak or some roast chicken with herbs.

Yield: 4 servings
Cooking time: 30 To 40 Minutes


  • 1 pound Yukon Gold or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces Tomme, Raclette, Gruyere, or similar cheese, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • Minced chives for garnish


Put the potatoes in salted water to cover and bring to a boil; adjust the heat so that the water bubbles, but not too rapidly, and cook until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, warm the milk gently.

When the potatoes are done, drain them, mash them or put them through a ricer, and return them to the pot over the lowest possible heat. Add the milk and stir, then add the butter and stir until it melts. Beat with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

Remove from the heat, add the cheese, and stir until it melts (if the cheese is not especially ripe, you might have to do this over the lowest possible heat). Season to taste, then garnish with chives and serve.

For speed, peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks before cooking. But don't make the chunks too small—certainly not less than 1-inch cubes, and perferably larger—or the potatoes will become waterlogged as they cook.

One pound makes 4 adequate side-dish portions; but these recipes are easily doubled if you want more.

For super-smooth potatoes, use a ricer or a food mill. A potato masher or a fork will give you chunky mashed potatoes. Your choice.

Mashed potatoes can be made as long as half an hour in advance, then held over very low heat, or kept at room temperature and microwaved for brief intervals, stirring in between each, until hot. But what makes the most sense is to boil whole potatoes in advance, keep in cold water, then reheat them and finish the recipe at the last minute.

© 2000 Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.

326kcal (16%)
340mg (34%)
7mg (11%)
189mcg RAE (6%)
65mg (22%)
406mg (17%)
13g (66%)
22g (34%)
1mg (6%)

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