Roast the garlic: slice the top from the head of garlic, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Season lightly with salt, replace the top slice, and drizzle more olive oil on the outside. Wrap in foil and roast in a 350F oven for 30-45 minutes, or until soft. Cool, then squeeze the roasted garlic paste out of the skins and reserve.

In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes, water and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

Place the potatoes back in the pot over medium heat. Add the cream, roasted garlic paste, chives, the remaining 3 teaspoons salt and the white pepper. Mash vigorously with a potato masher until smooth. You may also use a hand blender or mixer for a smoother consistency. Whisk in the butter and remove from heat; serve immediately.

YIELD: 8 generous 1/2 cup servings


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Chuck Taggart   (e-mail chuck)