Our Thanksgiving menu changes a little from year to year, but one dish that never (ever) changes is our traditional mashed potatoes. These potatoes are the creamy, pound of butter, smooth kind of potatoes that even the pickiest eater will love. Mashed potatoes are easy to make, but to get that really creamy, smooth kind, there are a few tricks I’ve learned along the way.
Here’s what you need:
8 to 10 medium russet potatoes
3/4 to 1 pound butter, melted
about 4 ounces heavy cream, warmed
and you need this equipment:
vegetable scrub brush
small sauce pan
stand mixer with stainless bowl
Whisk attachment for mixer
Here’s what I do to to make the most luxurious mashed potatoes:
– Buy 8 to 10 medium russet potatoes that are similar in size. Buy fresh, you’ll notice the difference.
– Scrub the potatoes clean
– Peel the potatoes and rinse them in cool water and place in a bowl of cold water (this step is not necessary if you are only making a small batch). Potatoes start to turn black if not in water so when peeling several potatoes at a time, you’ll need to keep them in cold, salted water until you are ready to cube and cook them.
– Cut the potatoes horizontally down the middle, then cut again so that you have 6 to 8 pieces that are similar in size. Cutting them the same size makes the potatoes cook at the same time.
– Put all the cut potatoes into a large pot filled with cold, salted water completely covering the potatoes. Boil for approximately 20 – 25 minutes until potatoes are very tender. They need to be really fork tender.
– Once the potatoes are done, drain them in a colander and then put them back into the same pot. Put the pot back onto the burner for a few seconds so that any moisture that remained in the potatoes will evaporate.
– In order to make really smooth mashed potatoes, this next step is crucial. Rice the potatoes. Place spoonfuls of cooked potatoes into the ricer until done. Work fast at this point.
– Now the riced potatoes need to go into the prepared bowl of a electric mixer. The bowl has to be warmed. If you add hot riced potatoes into a stainless steel bowl that is cold or even room temperature, the starch reacts and the potatoes won’t blend well. I warm the bowl by pouring boiling water from a tea kettle into the bowl. It stays warm until I’m ready to add my potatoes. I pour the water out and add the hot riced potatoes to the hot mixing bowl.
– Now add your melted hot butter, warmed heavy cream and salt. Start mixer very slowly until everything combines, then continue to mix at a higher speed until they are smooth. Scoop them into a serving bowl and serve hot! (They can actually be made ahead and reheated slowly).