Thursday, September 15

How To: Mash Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are something that everyone loves to eat, but many home cooks have trouble perfecting this dish. We've all had lumpy, gummy, bland mashed potatoes, so I'm hoping this latest "how to" will shed light on how to get perfectly smooth, creamy mashed potatoes every time. You do need a few special tools to cook this, but it's totally worth it. First I use a great vegetable peeler (also helpful for creating ribbons of Parmesan cheese or chocolate shavings) and then I use a masher to pulverize the cooked spuds (using a potato ricer or food mill is even better). This recipe sticks to the basics, but it can easily be jazzed up by adding roasted garlic, sour cream, cheddar cheese, etc.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes:
  • Peel the skins off two large potatoes* and dice into small, uniform pieces.
  • Place potatoes into a pot and cover with cold water.
  • Place a lid on the pot and bring water to a boil. Continue cooking potatoes until tender, about 20 -25 minutes.
  • Drain all water from the potatoes, place back in the pot, and place the pot over low heat.**
  • Let the potatoes dry over the flame for a minute or two.
  • Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan with 3 tbsp. unsalted butter and 1/2 c. heavy cream until butter melts.
  • Add cream mixture into the potatoes, a little at a time, then mash them into a smooth puree.
  • Continue adding the cream until you've achieved the right consistency.
  • Season potatoes with salt and pepper and serve immediately.***

Serves two-four (side dish)
*Russet and Yukon Golds are my favorite here.
**This step is essential to burn off any excess liquid and stops potatoes from being gummy.
***If waiting to serve, cover with a lid. Gently reheat over a low flame, adding extra cream as necessary.