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It’s not much of a secret, really. It’s just that few are committed enough to use the quantity of butter, salt and heavy cream that truly decadent mashed potatoes require.

(This photo was taken in hindsight, after the taters had cooled in the fridge. They taste better than they appear.)

Do this to starchy potatoes: peel, dice, put in pot, cover with cold water, boil, cook till tender, drain, mash. Now here’s the important part: add tons of butter, heavy cream and salt. Do it little by little, each time pushing the limits of fat and sodium. Just when you’re on the brink of insanity, that’s when you stop. The point is to taste buttery, creamy, salty potatoes, but not taste just heavy cream, butter and salt. The three elements should meld together to your tastes for indulgent mashed potatoes that rival any decent restaurant.

Here you have a blank canvas. For this potato side, I added freshly ground black pepper and squeezed in a whole head of roasted garlic. Feel free to do the same. And, as always, feel free to remove your pantaloons for this ultra-comfortable comfort food.

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No, I’m not Jewish. And no, I didn’t learn how to cook latkes from an old Jewish bubbeleh. I won’t be offended if you stop reading right n-

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Grate potatoes and onion onto a clean kitchen towel. Season with S & P and let the potatoes stand for a minute or two. Wring out the majority of the excess liquid. Place mounds of the shredded potatoes into a hot pan with oil and pack them down to form cakes. Cook on each side until evenly golden brown and crispy outside, and tender inside; add additional oil as needed. Top with sour cream (or plain, non-fat Greek yogurt for lighter fare), applesauce or both. (Do both. Do it.)

These are so simple and tasty, it’ll be a feat if they make it to the plate. You’ll want to eat them with your hands, in your underwear, hunched over the counter. Just don’t let your Jewish grandmother catch you.