Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I’ve always said, the meal is as good as the mashed potatoes. If you don’t want to spend the time to be overly fussy about the most important side dish of the meal and want to have velvety and delicious mashed potatoes, stick around and try this recipe.
I love mashed potatoes prepared in many ways, but for the Thanksgiving table, they do play a supporting role to the other dishes and shouldn’t overwhelm in their flavor. I don’t think that mashed potatoes with fussy or strongly flavored ingredients (roasted garlic, caramelized shallots, rosemary, blue cheese etc.) really fit the menu. I’ll leave you with a few tips, and a great recipe I hope you can share.
#1: Choose the right potato. I like to use a Russet potato for mashed potatoes because they are fluffier, and starchier (not to mention less expensive). Yukon gold makes a fine mashed potato as well. Don’t use red potatoes, as they are waxy and will have a glue-y result. Also, save the fingerlings for roasting or pan frying, they don’t work here either. Oh, and keep the purple ones out too.
#2: After the peeled potatoes are boiled, strain them directly into the mixing bowl. The first mixing will be the potatoes only. The biggest mistake people make is adding the dairy products and overmixing. This is another way to have glue-y potatoes.
#3: Be sure you add an adequate amount of liquid (ie: buttermilk or milk) and if you must reheat the mashed potatoes, you may need to revive them with a small amount of liquid. Mashed potatoes will stiffen as they stand, just like anything.
#4: Do you need a ricer, you ask? You can certainly use one, but can obtain excellent results without one.
Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
by: Cristen www.foodandswine.com Makes 6-8 generous servings
4 lbs. Russet Potatoes, peeled, quartered
2 TBSP salt
1 C buttermilk
1/4 C butter (half a stick)
1 tsp seasoned salt (Lawry’s)
1/2 tsp black pepper (more if you like pepper, I don’t)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 C French onion or chive flavored sour cream
Fresh chives or green onion tops for garnish.
Bring four quarts of water to a boil in a large stock pot. Add potatoes and 2 TBSP salt. Boil potatoes for 15 minutes, or until tender. (To test tenderness, stick a non-serrated paring knife into the potato, if it slides off: they are ready.) Strain potatoes into a large mixing bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat or mix potatoes for 30 seconds or until smooth (no large lumps). Add buttermilk, seasoned salt, pepper and salt. Mix well until smooth (30 seconds or so). In last 10 seconds, add sour cream and mix until combined. Don’t overmix. Serve warm.