Thanksgiving1Tomorrow Americans will be giving thanks as they celebrate that most delicious of holidays. It’s hard to dispute that the most essential ingredient in a Thanksgiving feast is the turkey, but in my family, besides the bird, the most important dish was always the mashed potatoes.

Any fans of mashed potatoes sailing with Oceania Cruises this Thanksgiving are in for a real treat, because they will get to enjoy the famous mashed potatoes of Oceania Cruises Culinary Director Franck Garanger. When Garanger was a young apprentice, he was asked to make mashed potatoes for a French master chef – for the chef’s personal lunch, no less! Perfect mashed potatoes are the mark of a great French chef, and Garanger passed the test with flying colors. In fact, the master said they were the best mashed potatoes he had ever eaten, a compliment Chef Garanger has never forgotten.

Having enjoyed these potatoes myself, I can attest to their perfection. They practically melt in your mouth, drenching your palate in rich, creamy, buttery goodness. (Some may consider this blasphemy, but I would happily skip the pumpkin pie and have more of these potatoes for dessert!) Here is the recipe if you’d like to make them for your own Thanksgiving feast:

PotatoesFRANCK GARANGER’S MASHED POTATOES

{SERVES 4 TO 6}

1 pound medium russet potatoes, peeled

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup whole milk

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature and cut into pieces

1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes with enough salted water to cover them by at least 1 inch, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 25 minutes. Drain and let cool for 5 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooling, combine the cream, milk, and nutmeg in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the mixture is hot. Remove from the heat.

Pass the potatoes through a potato ricer into a clean saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and stir with a wooden spatula for 5 to 10 minutes to remove any excess water and dry the potatoes.

Gradually stir in the hot cream mixture with the spatula, a little at a time. Adding it slowly allows the potatoes to absorb it gradually, resulting in creamier mashed potatoes. Stir in the butter pieces a few at a time until fully incorporated. Stir in the salt and adjust the seasoning to taste.