|make your stomach happy||.||
to make mashed potatoes
by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2
continued from page 1
The most basic is an old-fashioned potato masher. You can get them for quite cheap, but splurging for one that costs just a little bit more but has a comfortable handle is a good idea, as you'll still be putting a fair amount of muscle into using this device, assuming you want smooth mashed potatoes that is. Personally, I like my mashed potatoes with a few lumps for texture, and find my potato masher to work just dandy. For perfectly smooth mashed potatoes however, you'll do best with either a potato ricer (inexpensive, requires working in small batches) or a food mill (pricier, but can do bigger batches). Never use a food processor, however, as it will do bad, bad things to your potatoes, causing them to release too much starch and become sticky and gross.
Mash your potatoes until they're just about smooth enough to suit your fancy -- over-mash and, as with the food processor, you'll find your potatoes start to resemble paste. Stir in warm cream (or milk) and butter with a big wooden spoon -- being generous with both will improve your potatoes immensely, so it's best not to skimp. You can keep it simple with nothing more than salt and pepper for seasoning; if you want to get fancier, however, mashed potatoes are amenable to a variety of stronger flavorings. Try minced scallions or chives; mash up some roasted garlic along with your taters; use sour cream instead of regular cream; toss in some cheese to the mix (try goat cheese or cream cheese).
It's best to pile them up on a platter and serve them straight away, but if you find you must make your mashed potatoes ahead of time, place the mashed potatoes in a greased, oven-proof baking dish and bake covered at 350 degrees for around a half hour (for 4lbs of potatoes), until warmed through.