There are two kinds of mashed potatoes in the world: restaurant mashed potatoes and home cooked mashed potatoes. Restaurant mashed potatoes are a totally smooth, rich, creamy indulgence. Home cooked mashed potatoes are a bit lighter, sometimes have the skin or some lumps and can be a bit uglier than their sophisticated counterparts. In restaurants, mashed potatoes are usually made by running the cooked potatoes through a food mill or ricer (above left). At home you can use a ricer or an old fashioned potato masher (right). Never make mashed potatoes in a blender or food processor, unless you want to make glue for your kid’s art project.
Maybe it is because I have made so many restaurant potatoes, or because I want to live for a long, long time, but now I absolutely prefer home cooked style. I love bits of skin and a few lumps here and there. I like to taste more potato and less fat. I am giving you the recipe for my home cooked style potatoes, but if you want to convert them to restaurant style, simply double or triple the butter and use heavy cream instead of milk. If you would like to flavor your potatoes, add a fresh herb (basil or thyme are nice) or some lemon zest to the milk and butter while it warms.
- 2 pounds
russet potatoes, peeled or not
- 1 cup
- 1/4 stick
- juice of 1
salt and pepper
- 1 sprig
- Wash the potatoes. Peel (or not), cut in quarters.
- Put in a pan and cover with cold water. Boil gently on the stove until they are soft (a knife will easily pierce them), about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile gently warm the milk and butter on the stove. Do not boil. If you would like to infuse the potatoes with some additional flavor, add your herb sprig or a peel of lemon to the milk/butter mixture.
- Drain your potatoes.
- While they are still hot, put through the ricer or mash.
- Add the milk/butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
© Rebecca Harrach and www.kitchenpreserve.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Rebecca Harrach and www.kitchenpreserve.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.