If you are looking for smooth and fluffy mashed potatoes for the holiday’s then only one item will do; A food mill or ricer is the key to the fluffiest of comfort foods! OXO sent me a slew of wonderful products to try and to giveaway to one of my reader’s! So stay tuned to 30A EAT’s this weekend to enter! Though some folks like lumps in their potatoes and others smashed, a lot of things could still go wrong like too gluey, too cold, or too bland potatoes. Here are some ways to avoid lackluster spuds on Thanksgiving.
1. Use Waxy and Starch
You want a 50/50 mix of waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, and starchy potatoes, such as Russet and Idaho. Starch absorbs butter and cream while giving the potatoes a fluffy, whipped texture. Waxy potatoes have good flavor but can get wet and gluey if they’re the only potato in the mash.
2. Wash Your Potatoes
It may sound obvious, but sometimes people just peel their potatoes without washing them first. POTATOES ARE DIRTY. Avoid getting specks of dirt in your spuds by thoroughly rinsing in cold water and scrubbing them first.
3. Start Off Cold
If you throw cubed potatoes into a boiling pot of water, the outside will overcook and the inside won’t cook enough. You want everything in the pot to come to temperature at the same time. Put your cubes in a pot, cover them with cold water, THEN turn on your stove.
4. Salt the Water
Like pasta, potatoes absorb both water and salt. Think of it as another opportunity to season.
5. Simmer Don’t Boil Your Potatoes
Potatoes can easily fall apart in a pot of aggressively bubbling water. Simmer them instead; that way they’ll stay intact and cook more evenly.
6. Say No To Soggy Potatoes
Watery mashed potatoes are just gross. Drain and dry your spuds after simmering by either putting them back into the hot pot on low heat and stirring for a few minutes or dumping them onto a sheet pan and popping them into the oven. When the edges of the potatoes turn white, they’re ready.
7. Use the Right Tool
If there’s one specialized tool you buy for your kitchen, make it an OXO food mill or ricer. There’s no other way to get that fluffy consistency, and OXO makes the best ricer by far I have found!
8. Use Warm Milk
Milk straight out of the fridge will cool down otherwise piping-hot potatoes. Warm the milk in a small saucepan before incorporating it into your mash.
9. Use Cold Butter
When you melt butter on the stove, its milk solids and fat separate. Adding cold butter to your potatoes will allow the butter to melt as a whole and distribute the fat and milk solids evenly.
Note: For Potatoes Made Ahead Of Time
There are no better mashed potatoes than freshly prepared ones. You should be making your potatoes when you’re making your gravy: in the last hour of prep time. But if you have to make them ahead of time, keep them in a counter-top crock pot. They’ll stay warm for hours without getting scorched. If you don’t have a crock pot, reheat them in the microwave for a minute at a time, stirring between each minute. To revive dry potatoes, mix in a little more milk and butter until they’re soft and creamy again.
I am sharing my family’s favorite mashed potatoes. I actually shared my entire Christmas dinner in the stunning Holiday issue of VIE People + Places out this month, and you can get all of my glorious recipes from cocktail to dessert, by clicking here!
Mashed Potatoes With Crème Fraiche & Chives
6 pounds 50/50 Idaho Russet & Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and halved
1-cup whole milk
1-cup whipping cream
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1-cup crème fraîche
1/2 cup finely chopped chives
Freshly ground pepper, Salt to taste
In a large pot, cover the potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderate heat until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes; drain. Press the potatoes through a ricer into a large saucepan set over low heat.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the milk and half-and-half with 10 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of salt and cook over moderate heat until the butter is melted, about 3 minutes.
Pour the hot milk over the riced potatoes and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until blended, about 2 minutes. Stir in the crème fraîche, the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the chives and cook until the potatoes are heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, transfer the mashed potatoes to a bowl and serve.
Note: The mashed potatoes can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 3 hours. Reheat before serving.
Check out my friends from Virtual Potluck!
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