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Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe: 10 Easy Tips for the Best Mashed Potatoes
Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Ideas for Leftovers
Who doesn't love potatoes? Fried, baked, boiled or roasted, they're enjoyed all over the world. Delicious and versatile, they're an inexpensive choice when cooking for a crowd.
Mashed potatoes are an especially family-friendly dish. Armed with a potato peeler, children under adult supervision can safely help out. And what about leftovers? Shepherd's pie is a tasty option for using leftover mashed potatoes, as are a number of casseroles and batter fried mashed potatoes.
Did you know that potatoes were cultivated over 4,000 years ago in the Andes mountains? Peru boasts over 2,800 varieties of potatoes! Experimenting with different potatoes has taught me a valuable lesson: not every potato makes a perfect mash. Even with the best intentions mashed potatoes sometimes turn out gummy, gluey, sticky or soupy.
Is there a foolproof method for creamy mashed potatoes? Beginning with potato selection and ending with mashing method, these 10 easy steps yield perfectly creamy mashed potatoes every time. Stick around to the end for a hearty breakfast recipe using mashed potatoes and a fun quiz. Enjoy!
Table of Contents
Tips for Creamy Mashed Potatoes
10 Steps for the Creamiest Mashed Potatoes
What to do With Leftover Mashed Potatoes
Recipe: Savory Potato Cakes
Fun Quiz: The Humble Potato
More Delicious Recipes:
- Baking potatoes, which contain more starch and less water, yield the creamiest and fluffiest mashed potatoes. Try Russet, Goldrush or Nadine potatoes. Yukon Gold also works well.
- Rinsing starch from the potatoes actually yields fluffier potatoes.
- Cut potatoes into 2 inch chunks so they cook evenly.
- Using an electric mixer or blender on a large batch of mashed potatoes puts you at risk for over-beating. The result will be gooey, gummy potatoes.
- For larger batches, you'll get fluffier potatoes when mashing by hand. Try a ricer or hand masher for best results.
- A potato ricer yields denser mashed potatoes. After ricing, whisk or whip potatoes briefly to incorporate air if you like a fluffier mash.
- Always start the boiling process with cold water so the potatoes can cook more evenly.
- Cook potatoes at a gentle simmer, not a rolling boil.
- Potatoes are more nutritious with the peeling left intact.
- Undercooked potatoes make a lumpy mash. Cook potatoes until they crumble when pierced with a fork, but don't overcook them so much that they fall apart on their own.
- More fat makes potatoes creamier, so increase cream and butter if you're not concerned about calories.
- For lower fat potatoes, use fat free evaporated milk or skim milk. Reduce butter by half.
- For those who are lactose intolerant, replace milk with chicken broth, rice milk or soy milk.
- Be careful not to add too much liquid to avoid soupy potatoes.
- Adding a pinch of baking powder to the potatoes while mashing them yields even fluffier mashed potatoes.
The Creamiest Mashed Potatoes
- 4 pounds Russet potatoes
- 2-2 1/2 cups whole milk, half-n-half or light evaporated (canned) milk, hot
- 1/2 cup butter
- salt & pepper
10 Steps for the Creamiest Mashed Potatoes
- If peeling, peel potatoes. Cut them into 1-2 inch chunks and plop them into a pot of cold water, allowing them to soak as you peel and chop the rest of the potatoes.
- Pour off the starchy water from potato chunks. Fill pot again with cold water to cover. Add 1/2 tablespoon of salt to the water.
- Gently simmer potatoes for 20-30 minutes, until they are tender and pass the fork test (see tips section). Be careful not to undercook or overcook the potatoes.
- Drain the potatoes in a colander.
- Give cooked potatoes a quick rinse with hot water.
- Return potatoes to the cooking pot.
- Use a ricer or if hand mashing, return the pot to the stove. Mashing over low heat will help dry the potatoes further, but be careful not to burn them.
- Add melted butter, hot milk, salt and pepper to taste and a pinch of baking powder to the potatoes as you continue to mash, stirring now and then. Use a light touch, incorporating air into the potatoes if you want them to be fluffy.
- Scoop potatoes into serving bowl and serve as quickly as possible, keeping them warm for up to 30 minutes.
- To serve, top potatoes with a pat of butter or sprinkle with chives, shallots of grated cheese.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
- Use one head of garlic per pound of potatoes.
- Peel outer skin from head of garlic.
- Cut off the tip of each garlic clove, leaving the head intact.
- Roast in oven for 45 minutes.
- Once the garlic has cooled, squeeze the paste out into a bowl.
- Incorporate garlic paste into boiled potatoes before mashing.
- You'll need one pound of cabbage or kale for each pound of potatoes
- Chop, salt and boil cabbage.
- After you've mashed the potatoes, add hot cabbage to the pot.
- Stir cabbage and potatoes until well combined and pale green in color.
- Grate 8 ounces of cheddar cheese or soften 8 ounces of cream cheese.
- Add cheese and 1-2 cups of hot milk to potatoes as you mash.
- Add 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of sour cream to potatoes while mashing them.
What to Do With Leftover Mashed Potatoes
Savory Potato Cakes
My husband's favorite breakfast: layers of potato cake, bacon and fried egg.
- 2 cups cold mashed potatoes
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- flour for dredging
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet, medium-high heat.
- Combine ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
- Using hands, mix well. (Kids love to help with this step.)
- Form patties. You'll use about 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes per cake.
- Roll in flour.
- Place patties in hot skillet.
- Fry cakes on both sides until golden brown.
- Layer with bacon and eggs for a hearty breakfast.
Yield: 4 potato cakes