Try this version of mashed potatoes as an easy and aromatic adaptation of the holiday classic.For stiffer mashed potatoes, use only 1 cup milk or cream; for richer potatoes, add another 4 tablespoons butter.
Peel potatoes, and cut them into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover with cold water. Stir in 2 tablespoons salt. Place pan over high heat, and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Drain potatoes in a colander.
Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it just comes to a simmer; reduce heat to low, and keep warm. Place a heat-proof bowl on top of a pan of simmering water. Using a potato ricer, press hot, drained potatoes into bowl. Stir potatoes with a wooden spoon until smooth, about 1 minute.
Stir in butter until completely melted and well incorporated. While stirring continuously, slowly pour in hot milk. Stir in fresh herbs, pepper, and salt to taste. Serve immediately.