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How to Make Really Nice Mashed Potatoes From Scratch
Making Mashed Potatoes
So it is pretty easy to make mashed potatoes to be honest but how easy is it to make them so that they taste really nice? Well you can go down the route of buying powdered mash where you just have to add milk and or water etc but that really doesn't cut it if you want it to be really good! Of course you could also buy cartons of ready made mash from the supermarkets which are pretty good but that's not homemade!
So, firstly you need to choose your potatoes. Now it really depends on what country you live in as to what is available but I recommended using the trial and error method. Try getting the freshest, perhaps organic potatoes that you can. If you know which ones that you are getting then don't get potatoes that tend to be a bit powdery as this doesn't really work and they end up tasting a bit dry. So, try a few varieties, depending what is in season. You can make good mashed potatoes from most varieties so don't stress too much.
Firstly, what you need to know about great tasting mashed potatoes is that they are not healthy! In general, if you just mash up potatoes and just add some seasoning then they can be low fat but this will not give you the best taste. So if you are looking for healthy mashed potatoes rather than tasty ones...look away now!
So, cut up your potatoes into large pieces, maybe like the size you would use for roast potatoes and put them into a pan of cold water with a dash of salt. Bring them to the boil and simmer them for 20 minutes or so - basically until you can stick a knife in them and it comes out slowly and they feel soft and well cooked inside.
Drain the potatoes and leave them to stand for 5 minutes. Now to add the taste good ingredients. Choose from the following or just use all of these:
- milk and/or cream
- cream cheese
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
The most quick and easy option is to add a large chunk of butter, a dash of milk and some salt and pepper to season. As most people have these things in the fridge you don't need to go out and buy extra ingredients. To make them even creamier substitute cream for the milk or add a dash of double cream in with the milk.
Make sure you add a large chunk of the butter and enough milk or cream to make the potatoes a slightly more creamy consistency. Leave the butter to melt for a minute and then mash together with a potato masher or a fork so that they get to a nice even consistency and then if you feel so inclined, add the grated cheese. Cheese definitely gives an extra bit of taste to mashed potatoes but you can still get really good ones without it. Choose a mature cheddar or something with a nice flavour to it.
Adding cream cheese instead of the cream and the cheese is also a great option but you will probably still need a dash of milk to get the mashed potato to the right consistency.
There are other things that you can add like cooked pumpkin or carrots in small quantities but the key is the butter, cream and cheese. Add some grated cheese on top and you will be set!
You can also just make your mashed potatoes by added a chunk of butter and a small amount of milk (you can always use skimmed) and they will still taste pretty good. Or else substitute some olive oil to make a creamy mash. You may want to add some chopped herbs to this to give it some extra flavour, for example some finely chopped chives or even some chopped parsley or basil. Still add the salt and pepper to season though.
Best Food to Serve with Mash
As I am from the UK there is really only one thing that you can serve with mashed potatoes and that is bangers! (Or sausages to the uninitiated!) Bangers and mash is a typical English dish which is often served with a drenching of onion gravy. Mash in my opinion needs a nice bit of gravy to soak it up so this is the perfect dish!