Mashed potatoes are a must with turkey and roast beef or just about anything with gravy. These are light, fluffy, creamy and sensational.
Mashed potatoes are the ultimate comfort food. I love them and most people I know, including the other kook, love them too. There are a ton of “perfect mashed potato” recipes online and I’m sure they’re all good. All I know is that mine are too. They should be. I’ve made them over 200 times I figure! This recipe is just your basic mashed potatoes you can be confident will work and taste great. And, they take less than a half hour to make which you can even break up into a couple of steps if needed.
Based on lots of experience and a bit of research, I’ve offered some tips below. Some cooks will tell you that the only way to make perfect mashed potatoes is to use a ricer, but I find that mine come out fine – better than fine – with just an electric handheld mixer. In fact, you can even use a potato masher if you don’t mind a slightly less creamy texture and are willing to put some muscle behind the mashing.
Tips on Making Great Mashed Potatoes
- Type of potato: Everyone says Russet/Idaho or Yukon Gold/Yellow (pictured below) are best. Or a combination of the two. Apparently Yukon Gold have a richer taste. Who knew? I guess when you put gravy on the potatoes, it’s hard to tell.
- Portions: Figure about 1/4-1/3 pound of potatoes per person, so 1 pound potatoes will serve 3-4 people.
- Start with cold salted water, then add potatoes and bring to a boil. (Don’t boil water first).
- Since you salt the water before boiling, try to use unsalted butter when mashing. This allows you to control the level of salt better.
- Many cooks use half and half (10%) or cream (35%) or cream cheese in the potatoes. I tend to use 2% combined with a bit of half and half to keep the calories down. Obviously, the more cream and butter you use, the richer they’ll be so it’s up to you.
- Don’t over beat the potatoes or they can turn to glue (trust me!). The mashing takes less than a minute with an electric hand mixer. Oh, and don’t use a food processor.
- Make ahead: (see 3 ways to keep potatoes warm in the recipe below). For a dinner party, I peel and cut the potatoes early in the day and then mash them an hour or more ahead of serving time. They are easy to keep warm and still maintain their deliciousness. If you have to make them a day ahead, you can heat them in the microwave.
Step it up a notch
Try adding a half cup of chopped fried/caramelized onions to your mashed potatoes. Delish!
Like potatoes another way? Try one of our
6 Amazing Potato Recipes (get the post and links here)