What can I say about mashed potatoes? Besides that they are buttery, delicious, soul-warming, a holiday favorite and really pick me up when I’m having “one of those days.” Other than that, there really isn’t much to say about mashed potatoes.
My mashed potato recipe is based on many tips from many different potato experts. If you want perfectly light and fluffy mashed potatoes, you must first rinse as much starch off of the potatoes as you can before you even start cooking them. Excess starch can sometimes make your potatoes gummy.
Secondly, boiling your potatoes really leaves them water-logged after they are cooked. Because of all of this water, they don’t have a chance to absorb as much butter or dairy as we’d like. Steaming your potatoes is the best way to cook them.
From there, some people swear by their ricer for a perfect mash. Others like whipping their potatoes. Personally, I like hand mashing them because I like tasting a few chunks in my potatoes. Use your favorite method to mash your potatoes!
Ree, The Pioneer Woman, brings up a good point when she says that mashed potatoes can be very labor intensive, especially with everything else going on during a holiday dinner. The good news is you can make this recipe ahead of time and heat it up when you’re ready to rock n’ roll. I got the ‘make ahead and reheat’ part of this recipe from her.
Here’s how to make some mean mashed potatoes:
Start by peeling your potatoes and chopping them into uniform sizes (I like the skin in my mashed potatoes, so I leave some of them on). Then steam them until they are fork tender.
Smash your potatoes then add lots of delicious ingredients like butter. Lots and lots of beautiful, glorious butter.
Serve hot. When making your potatoes a day or two in advance pack them in an oven friendly dish, top with a few “greens” to make those vegetables lovers happy and drop a few more tabs of butter on top. Yup, more butter. Cover and store in the fridge.
When your special day arrives, take the potatoes out of the fridge a couple of hours ahead of time. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, or until warmed through. Enjoy!
Note: If you would like to make these potatoes ahead of time and serve them later, stir finished potatoes well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through. When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.
5 pounds Russet Potatoes
3/4 cups Butter
1 package (8-ounces) Cream Cheese, Softened
1/2 cup (to 3/4 Cups) Whole Milk
1/2 teaspoon (to 1 teaspoon) Salt
1/2 teaspoon (to 1 teaspoon) Black Pepper
Peel and cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces that are relatively uniform. Rinse in a colander with cool water for about a minute. Add an inch or two of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil and add a steamer basket (if your steamer basket doesn't have legs and submerges into the water, add a wad of aluminum foil to the bottom of the pot so the steamer basket is lifted). Add the potatoes on top of the steamer pot and cook for 25 or so minutes, or until a fork easily slides into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.
Drain the potatoes in a large colander then place the potatoes back into the large pot over low heat. This will allow the potatoes to dry a bit in the pot for a couple of minutes. You can simply mash the potatoes in the pot with a hand masher or use a mixer with the whipped beater attachment, either way, mash the potatoes before adding in the other ingredients.
Turn off the stove and add the butter, cream cheese and about 1/2 cup of milk. Continue mashing until everything is combined. Next, add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper. Add more milk, a couple tablespoons at a time if your potatoes are too stiff. Note: If you are using a mixer for your potatoes, you want to oversaturate your potatoes a bit. After you mix for another couple of minutes, you will see your soupy potato mixture transform into beautiful, fluffy mashed potatoes.