In my nearly twenty-six years of life, I’ve learned a few important lessons. I’ve learned to pay my cable bill on time, because a night without Internet is like a night without oxygen. I’ve learned to kiss up to your boss, because even if they’re an asshole, they hold your immediate future in their hands. But most importantly, I’ve learned that mashed potatoes are the most important food in the world, and deserve our utmost respect and benevolence. What’s a holiday table without a platter of fluffy mashed potatoes? It’s blasphemy. In my opinion, they’re the perfect complement to any special dinner. Any meal really.
The key to perfectly fluffy mashed potatoes is not to cook them for too long so they aren’t water logged and heavy, and to use room temperature ingredients while cooking to ensure everything blends together easily. There’s never any excuse to use the instant masked potatoes in a box- that too, is blasphemy. These fluffy miracles are beyond easy to prepare, can be made well in advance, and store and reheat well as leftovers. Follow these steps to achieve mashed potato nirvana.
What You'll Need:
A bunch of clean, scrubbed potatoes. Red skin or yukon gold are ideal, but plain old russets work too. Ten or so small potatoes, or six or so large ones yields about four servings.
About a clove of minced garlic (or a tablespoon of the pre-minced stuff)
3-4 tablespoons of butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup heavy cream, milk, or half and half
Salt to taste
What To Do:
Give your potatoes a good scrub under running water. There's nothing worse than dirt in your mashed potatoes. Goodness no. But no need to dry them off, they're going right in a pot of water.
Dice the potatoes into quarters and place them in nice sized pot of water. Make sure there's at least two inches of water covering them, and bring the pot to a boil. I find that placing the potatoes in the water and bringing them a boil together makes for a better mash, as the potatoes gradually heat instead of being shocked by boiling hot water.
After about twenty minutes, once the potatoes have softened, and are easily pierced with a fork, drain the water. You're left with perfectly soft potatoes, ready to be mashed! Here's the fun part.
Dump the minced garlic and butter onto the steaming potatoes. Grab a potato masher and give them a rough mash. Add the buttermilk and heavy cream, and continue mashing to your desired consistency. I like a chunkier mash. Boyfriend likes smoother. We meet somewhere in the middle. Add salt to taste.
Top them with awesome things. Maybe just butter, maybe chopped chives, or maybe my personal favorite- gravy. We'll get to a gravy post later. Until then- happy eating!