Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fluffy, Lumpy Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes

Remember your Grandmother’s mashed potatoes? Those stiff peaks of potato-ey goodness with a dollop of butter melting in the crater on top! Then came Mom’s whipped potatoes… just shy of the wallpaper paste that nestled in the tinfoil corner of a TV dinner. What happened between those two generations? Convenience food happened, electric mixers happened! Love ya Mom, but whipped potatoes? No thanks!

These are mashed potatoes, that taste like potatoes. Go ahead, try them out on your family. They may not remember them, in fact this will be a whole new food to them! But with the first fork full, you’ll remember. The kids will wonder why you’ve got that far away look on your face, but you’ll be in fluffy cloud potato heaven!


Fluffy, Lumpy Mashed Potatoes
Serves: 2     Total Time: 30 Minutes


Ingredients

• 3 Medium Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½” cubes
• Cold Water
• Kosher Salt
• 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
• ¼ Cup Half & Half
• 2 Tablespoons Sour Cream – at room temperature
• Fresh Ground Black Pepper


Preparation Steps

Step 1. Put peeled and cubed Potatoes in a heavy medium sized pot

Step 2. Cover with Cold Water to 1” over the Potatoes add 1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt

Step 3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until potatoes are tender

Step 4. While Potatoes are boiling combine Butter and Half & Half – heat in microwave until hot but not boiling, about 30 seconds. Stir to melt butter.

Step 5. When Potatoes are done, drain in a colander and return potatoes to the same pot.

Step 6. Put the pot back on the stove over low heat and gently shake to dry off all the excess moisture.

Step 7. Leave the potatoes in the pot and break them up with a potato masher, by hand.

Step 8. Add warm Half & Half and Butter mixture to the Potatoes and continue to mash until the Half & Half is incorporated and you have a combination of lumps in the mash. No lumps should be any larger than ½” – most will be smaller.

Step 9. Add the Sour Cream and now whisk, by hand, until the mashed part of the potatoes is creamy yet still a little on the stiff side.

Step 10. Taste and add Pepper and Salt if needed and give one final whisk to blend it all together. Cover and set aside until Ready to Serve.


Tips and Trending

~ Increase servings by doubling the ingredients except for the salt in the cooking water. Keep that at 1 tablespoon for up to 8 servings, after that add another tablespoon.

~ Starting with Cold Water and Potatoes cut into equal sized chunks insures that the potatoes cook evenly and your lumps are not from underdone pieces.

~ Drying the Potatoes in the pot after draining is essential to fluffy mashed potatoes. Excess water makes for pasty potatoes that are difficult to tell apart from instant.

~ Adding warm Half & Half and Butter keeps the potatoes from cooling too fast and becoming pasty

~ Always use a potato masher to start the mashing process – for really big banquet sized batches you can finish with a hand held electric mixer – but for most holiday meals or Sunday dinners use a whisk. You’ll like the results from a little extra effort.

~ Mashed potatoes reheat nicely, but try to make these just before serving for the best taste and texture. If you have to make and hold these, keep them covered and in a very low oven in the cooking pot. If they stiffened up too much, whisk in another tablespoon of sour cream to loosen them up.

~ Finally … Garlic. Please stop putting whole garlic cloves in with the boiling potatoes. If you want to make “Garlic Mashed Potatoes”, make real Garlic Mashed Potatoes! For every serving, mash one clove of Garlic Confit or roasted garlic into the hot Half & Half and Butter mixture to be added to the potatoes. Now that’s Garlic Mashed Potatoes!

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