Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Perfect Mashed Potatoes - There Really Is a Trick To It!

I don't usually like to write two cooking posts in a row but since next week is Christmas, you really should have the instructions on how to make the very bets mashed potatoes - ever!

Everybody has their own special or favorite way of fixing Mashed Potatoes and everybody thinks their way is the best.  Whether you like creamy, lumpy, creamy and lumpy, skins still attached or flavored Mashed Potatoes they are all considered the ultimate comfort food.  There is a trick to making the perfect Mashed Potatoes though and I don't think most people know what it is.  I am going to share the secret with you in this post.  Yay! 

Now this is not the trick but it is certainly an important key to making the best Mashed Potatoes.  Are you ready?  YUKON GOLD POTATOES!  That's right, the key to making the most delicious, creamy and buttery Mashed Potatoes is to use Yukon Gold Potatoes.  Now I typically use Russet Potatoes for two reasons.  One is I always have Russet Potatoes in my kitchen and two, they are less expensive than Yukon Golds so I reach for Russets instead.  I'm a discount shopper that way.  If you want to really see the difference though, grab some Yukon Golds next time you are in the grocery store and give them a try.   

Peel and cut into uniform size chunks 5 to 6 large Potatoes and put them into a large pot, fill it with water to about an inch above the Potatoes with a dash of Salt and put the lid on the pot.  Bring the Potatoes to a rolling boil and then turn down the heat to a simmer.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until a fork poked into the Potatoes goes in easily.

Drain the Potatoes in a strainer and then put them right back into the hot pot.  This will keep the Potatoes hot AND help to remove a little of the moisture that is in the Potatoes.

With your favorite Potato Masher, mash the Potatoes to the consistency that you want. If you like lumpy Potatoes you won't want to mash too much!

HERE IS THE TRICK THAT YOU MUST DO TO HAVE CREAMY - HEAVENLY MASHED POTATOES - In a small sauce pan melt 2 Tablespoons of Butter and then add 1 1/2 Cups of Milk and heat until steaming but not boiling.  Heating the Milk and Butter will keep your Potatoes from becoming gummy and sticky and will ensure that you have a creamy consistency.  You don't want the milk to burn so stir continuously to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.  Make sure to heat your Milk and Butter!

You can also add some flavorings at this point.  If you want:

Garlic Mashed Potatoes - Add a couple of cloves of fresh chopped Garlic and let it warm with the Butter and Milk.  The Garlic will infuse the Milk and Butter and really give your Potatoes a delicious flavor.

Parmesean Mashed Potatoes - Shred about 1 Cup of fresh Parmesan Cheese and add it to the Milk so that it has time to melt while the Milk is heating and when it is incorporated into the Milk and heated through it will create a cheesy and creamy flavor.

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes -  After you have added the Milk to the Potatoes, add 1 Cup of Sour Cream and mix until well combined.  You can also chop fresh Chives to add right before serving.

ANOTHE TRICK IS TO MAKE SURE YOU USE HEAVY WHIPPING CREAM OR HALF AND HALF.  If you want super creamy Mashed Potatoes, use Heavy Whipping Cream, Half and Half or Buttermilk instead of Milk.  I do this all the time and it really makes your Potatoes so much more rich and creamy.  Give it a try!

Pour about half of your Milk mixture into your Mashed Potatoes and stir until it is all well combined.  If you want it to be creamier, add more of the Milk and continue to mix until it is the consistency that you like.

And there you have it.  The best Mashed Potato recipe EVER!

Enjoy your spuds.

Merry Christmas!

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