Monday, November 18, 2013

Mashed Potatoes 101

Thanksgiving mandate is mashed potatoes and gravy.  I thought I’d share a new secret I just found that makes a huge difference in lighter potatoes.

There is a secret to mashed potatoes and how light and fluffy and airy they can be.

6 medium russet potatoes
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup warmed half and half cream

Peel and quarter your potatoes.  Russets make the best mashed potatoes, but you can also use Yukon Gold.

Place potatoes in a large pot with just enough cold water to cover them.  Never put in warm water.  You potatoes will cook evenly if you start with cold water.  Add 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt to the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer about 20 to 25 minutes.

Drain the boiled potatoes until all water is removed.  Put back in the warm pot after draining them in a colander and let them sit a minute to evaporate any water still on them.  The drier they are the better.  Leaving too much water on the potatoes ruins a lot of mashed potatoes.

Add the salt, pepper, baking powder, butter and half and half and beat with an electric mixer just until they are light and fluffy until no longer lumpy (I like to leave a few lumps in to let everyone know they are real mashed potatoes).  Don't over beat them, because that is what turns your mashed potatoes to that gluey texture.
The baking powder is the secret ingredient.  It reacts with the warm potatoes and the cream and this is what gives them the extra lightness and fluffiness.  Also, the half and half cream is another key.  It has just the right amount of fat.  Heavy cream tends to have too much fat and whole milk, not enough, but half and half is just right.

Variation – Sometimes I like to leave some of the potato skins on for extra nutrition and texture.  I use red potatoes for the color if I’m leaving skins on.   For even more flavor add 1 tsp. of garlic powder when you are adding the half and half and butter.  You can also add some Parmesan cheese or Cheddar cheese and/or a bit of chopped bacon. A bit of sour cream will make them even better.  My brother Dion likes to add onion sour cream dip to his. 

Save that potato water for the gravy.  It will add more nutrition to your drippings from the turkey when you are making turkey gravy.

Have a great week, be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

No comments:

Post a Comment