Ashley Christensen Restaurants

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Category: Poole’s Diner Cookbook

Recipe: Mashed Potatoes with Herb-Scented Cream



Thanksgiving is next week (how did that happen?!), so we’re sharing the recipe for Mashed Potatoes with Herb-Scented Cream from the Poole’s Diner cookbook. And if you're looking for a few more ideas, pick up a copy here!

"Most kids not-so-patiently wait to lick the beaters that are covered in cake batter; I preferred the ones that were coated in mashed potatoes. But I’m not alone in my preference: mashed potatoes are iconic, a long-standing American diner–menu staple. They make a creamy canvas for such comfort-food favorites as meatloaf, pork chops, and fried chicken, but I find them even dreamier planted next to stewed tomatoes and cornmeal-fried okra. Lumpy or smooth, and sometimes comprised of just enough potatoes to hold the butter and cream together, mashed potatoes are a guilty pleasure that makes us all feel warm, loved, and soulfully fed.

In this recipe, I scent the cream with aromatics that take the mashed potatoes from canvas to foreground—cream is an awesome vehicle for introducing flavors. Though gravy is always welcome, I think you’ll find that these potatoes don’t need it." -Ashley Christensen

SERVES 6 to 8

4 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1/2 shallot
1 head garlic, halved across the equator
1 fresh bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
2 pounds russet potatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
Sea salt

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream, peppercorns, shallot, garlic, and bay leaf to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the thyme. Let steep for 15 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the solids and reserving the cream.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Place the potatoes in a pot with 10 cups water and season with 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 18 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain the potatoes well and return them to the pot.

In a large saucepan, warm the cream but don’t let it boil. Place the pot of potatoes over low heat just to warm them through. Using an electric mixer, whip the potatoes on medium speed until smooth. Add half of the warm cream to the potatoes, followed by half of the butter. Continue to beat with the mixer, and when both are fully incorporated, continue to add the remaining cream and butter bit by bit until you’ve reached a silky-smooth consistency. You may not need all of the cream and butter; it depends on how starchy your potatoes are. Season the potatoes with 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste and serve immediately.



Join Ashley as she hits the road for the lone-star state!


11.7: Ashley and chef Michael Fotjasek pair up at his beautiful award-winning restaurant, Olamaie, for an incredible collaborative dinner that spotlights recipes from the Poole's cookbook. Tickets include a signed copy of the book, and proceeds benefit the Austin Food & Wine Alliance. Tickets here.


11.4: Book Signing at Billy Reid Houston (2702 Westheimer Rd.)

We'll bring the pimento cheese and greyhounds, you bring the shopping list! Purchase a copy of the Poole's cookbook, or spend $250 or more in store and receive one free! RSVP to

11.6: Southern Smoke

The BBQ festival to end all BBQ festivals. Hosted by Chris Shepherd, chef of Underbelly, this fundraiser for the MS Society brings together an incredible crew of chefs and pitmasters, including Aaron Franklin of Franklin's BBQ, Rodney Scott of Scott's BBQ, Tandy Wilson of City House, Ryan Prewitt of Peche, and Steven Stryjewski of Cochon. Ashley will be making the some unbelievable smoked beer can chicken. Tickets here.

11.9: Book dinner at Revival Market

Chefs Ryan Pera and Ashley Christensen both grew up in North Carolina but have very different experiences with the cuisine of their home state. Ryan, born and raised in Charlotte, grew up eating food influenced by his heritage—his parents came to North Carolina from The Bronx. But their approach to ingredients and the Southern larder is quite aligned. Join Ashley and Ryan for a special dinner event celebrating this philosophy through the recipes of Ashley's new book, Poole's. More details and tickets available here.




Hey Nashville, we're coming for you! Join us in Music City for three very special Poole's cookbook events!

October 17th: Cocktail party and book signing at Martin's BBQ Joint ($25; purchase tickets here) Join AC on the patio at the new location of Martin's for snacks and cocktails. Parnassus Books will be on hand selling books.

October 18th: Cookbook dinner at City House ($150; purchase tickets here) AC and Tandy get behind the stoves together in this collaborative dinner that brings the recipes of Poole's to life in the City House pizza oven.

October 19th: In-store book signing at Billy Reid (free; rsvp to Join Ashley and the Billy Reid team for pimento cheese, Tito's greyhounds, and cookbooks!

James Beard Award 2019Outstanding Chef James Beard Award 2014Best Chef: Southeast
2019 James Beard AwardOutstanding Chef 2014 James Beard AwardBest Chef: Southeast
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