Six O’Clock Solution: Garlicky, creamy mashed potatoes are friends-and-family tested

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A new collection of recipes from the Maritimes, plus dishes from around North America, is the work of Dennis Prescott of Moncton, N.B., author of Cook With Confidence (Penguin Random House, $40).

Working in restaurants and touring with his band in the United States, Dennis turned to cooking as a career and now shows off his skills on the Netflix series Restaurants on the Edge. The easygoing 100-plus recipes in his second cookbook have a lusty style. He calls them “rock-solid keeper recipes” after testing them on gatherings of friends and family.

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Most use many seasonings on familiar foods. Inserted throughout this good-looking book, with photos by Dennis, are cooking lessons on how to open oysters, make pasta, grill meat, salt your cooking, choose sustainable fish and seafood, and make flatbread and flavoured butters.

Roasted garlic and goat cheese mashed potatoes

Serves 10

1 bulb (head) of garlic

1 teaspoon (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

3 pounds (9 medium/1.5 kg) potatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped

¾ cup (175 mL) heavy cream

¾ cup (175 mL/150 g) crumbled goat cheese (chèvre)

1 tablespoon (15 mL) lemon zest (grated peel)

4 tablespoons (60 mL) unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons (30 mL) finely minced fresh chives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).

Using a sharp knife, slice a narrow strip from the top of the garlic bulb; be sure to keep the root intact.

Drizzle the exposed garlic with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Wrap the garlic bulb tightly in aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until softened. Let cool enough to handle.

Unwrap and squeeze cloves out into a small bowl. Mash to a paste.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, add potatoes and lower heat to medium-high. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Drain potatoes, return to the pot and stir over low heat until dried out.

Remove from heat and stir in cream, goat cheese, lemon zest, mashed garlic paste, and butter. Mash until smooth. (For fluffy potatoes, whip with a whisk.)

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, trimmed with chives, the melted butter and more pepper.

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