How To: Mashed Potatoes

 

A final recipe for our ingredient of the month – potatoes; mashed potatoes for the holiday table. I’m using Russet or Idaho potatoes because they are the fluffiest and do a good job of  absorbing gravy to go with your holiday roast!

Mashing Tools

There are two only two effective ways to mash potatoes. Use a traditional potato masher, my favorite, which allows me to leave little lumps; or use a potato ricer for smooth mashed potatoes. Because of the high starch content of potatoes, using an electric device quickly breaks down the starch makes the potatoes very pasty.

IMG_1721

Substitutions

Keep it light with skim milk, or use regular milk or half and half. Substitute olive oil or margarine for butter. Substitute stock or plain soy or almond milk for dairy. If serving gravy, reduce the mashing liquid by one-third to let the potatoes absorb gravy and not get too thin.

Variations

A couple of variations for mashed potatoes include eliminating the butter and substituting a cup of shredded sharp Cheddar cheese for a cheesy (pun intended:-) mashed dish! Or, substitute 1 pound of potatoes for another root vegetable, such as carrots, turnips or parsnips and cook as directed for root vegetable mash.

Seasoning

Taste the final mashed potatoes to decide if they need more salt, and taste the gravy  to determine seasonings. It’s unlikely the cheesy mash requires any more salt, but a healthy dose of freshly ground pepper complements the cheese nicely. I prefer black pepper with mashed potatoes, but there is the option of white pepper to keep them all white.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup mashing liquid (dairy, stock, soy or almond milk)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds Russet or Idaho potatoes
Cold water
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method:

Put the mashing liquid and butter in a small sauce pan or a microwaveable bowl. Heat to melt the butter while the potatoes are cooking.

IMG_1723

Peel the potatoes and cut lengthwise into three pieces.

IMG_1706

Turn and cut the potatoes into similarly sized pieces.

IMG_1708

Place the potatoes and salt in a covered, medium-size pot and add enough water to exceed the potatoes by two inches. Cover and bring to a boil.

IMG_1709

Tilt the cover and lower the heat a little and continue cooking, until very tender, about seven minutes. Drain.

IMG_1730

Potato Masher Version: Add the potatoes back to the pot and coarsely mash.

IMG_1737

Pour the warm mashing liquid over the potatoes and mash to your preferred consistency. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

IMG_1743

Potato Ricer Version: Place the potatoes in batches in the ricer and press into the pot. Pour the warm mashing liquid over the potatoes and mash to your preferred consistency. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

How To: Mashed Potatoes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 4 - 6 portions
 
Use Russet or Idaho potatoes, which do a super job of absorbing gravy. Keep it light with skim milk, or use regular milk or half and half. Substitute olive oil or margarine for butter. Substitute stock or plain soy or almond milk for dairy. Use less mashing liquid by about one-third if serving gravy.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds Russet or Idaho potatoes, trimmed and cut into small cubes
  • Cold water
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup mashing liquid (dairy, stock, soy or almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, to taste
Method
  1. Place the potatoes and salt in a covered, 4-quart covered pot and add enough cold water to cover the vegetables by two inches.
  2. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Tilt the cover and lower the heat a little and continue cooking, until very tender, about seven minutes.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the mashing liquid and butter in a small saucepan or a microwaveable bowl until the butter is melted.
  5. Drain the potatoes.
  6. Potato Masher Version: Add the potatoes back to the pot and coarsely mash. Pour the warm mashing liquid over the potatoes and mash to your preferred consistency. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  7. Potato Ricer Version: Place the potatoes in batches in the ricer and press into the pot. Pour the warm mashing liquid over the potatoes and stir to combine.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to your taste.

One comment on “How To: Mashed Potatoes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: