How to Cook Delicious Mashed Potatoes

Mashed-Potatoes_cThe road to light and fluffy mashed potatoes is paved with stiff, lumpy, and pasty failures. Luckily, attention to a few details will ensure delicious results. While it is possible to use any potato, the russet produces the fluffiest mash.

Begin by placing peeled and quartered or cubed potatoes in a pot of cold water, bring them to a boil, and cook until tender. Drain in a metal ovenproof colander then, if possible, place colander in a 300 degree oven for a few minutes. This removes excess moisture and makes the starch granules lighter. The amount of butter, milk, cream, or stock necessary will vary depending on the desired consistency, but it is essential that they are always heated just prior to use. (Two tablespoons of butter and six ounces of liquid are a good start for 1-1/2 lbs. of potatoes). After putting the potatoes through a ricer or food mill (never a food processor), add the butter, half of the liquid, salt, white pepper, a pinch of grated nutmeg and whip. Then slowly add the remaining liquid until you achieve the desired consistency, but be careful, over whipping will make the potatoes pasty. For a delicious change use buttermilk or extra virgin olive oil or add roasted garlic or grated Parmesan prior to whipping. You can also cook other vegetables such as parsnips or carrots with the potatoes for a personalised approach.

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