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Thanksgiving Tip of the Day: Perfect Mashed Potatoes
cap, captain miss america

Let me tell you about potatoes.

When I was a kid, we had Thanksgiving at my cousin’s house, with tons and tons of aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents all over the place. We weren’t really little when this tradition started– I think I was ten or eleven, and I was right smack in the middle, age-wise..

My cousin decided to give each kid a job to help out with Thanksgiving. Jobs were age-appropriate: the little kids had to fold napkins, the older kid had to prepare part of the meal. My cousin Jake and I were assigned to make mashed potatoes– Jake was older than me, so I think the idea was that he could cook and I could mash, or something.

The first year, most of the kids did their jobs. The second year, some of the kids did their jobs. By the fifth year, Jake and I were the only kids still doing our job, and we had gotten super elaborate with our potatoes. One year we made garlic mozzarella potatoes, another year we made bacon cheddar ones. We experimented like crazy and found lots of tricks to make our potatoes super yummy.

It got to the point where een when Jake wasn’t around, I always made the mashed potatoes for everything. Christmas. Regular family dinners.

I don’t have pictures of my potatoes, because I haven’t made them yet today, but I wanted to get up potato tips for all of you who want help with your potatoes.

Here are my standard potatoes. They’re plain, so you can add whatever you want– garlic, bacon, scallions, cheese, whatever.

Here is what you will need:

5 lbs of Yukon Gold or other mashing potatoes
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup whole milk, heavy cream, chicken, turkey, or vegetable stock
1/2 container sour cream
Salt, pepper, and seasonings to taste

Here is what you do:

–Put a big pot of water on to boil. Put about a teaspoon of salt in.
–Peel your potatoes and cut them into 1″ chunks. DON’T do this ahead! Your potatoes will discolor!
–Once the water is boiling, turn it to moderate heat and put the potatoes in. Cover it up!
–Cook about 20 minutes, till potatoes are tender when you poke them with a fork.
–WHILE the potatoes are cooking, put your butter in a skillet. DON’T microwave it. Do it this way. Stir it with a wooden spoon or fork and cook it on moderate to high heat until it turns the color of caramel. This is called browning butter. Once it’s caramel colored, pull it off the stovetop, quick! It will brown a little more in the pan.
–Put the cream/milk/whatever in the microwave on LOW just till it’s warm to the touch. You can also do this in a saucepan.
–Drain the potatoes into a colander but leave a little of the water in the pot.
–Now mash the potatoes, just slightly.
–Pour in the browned butter and mash them until they’re mixed well.
–Now add the warm liquid. Add a little at the time and mash it in until it is the consistency you like. You might not need all of it.
–Now add the sour cream. Like the liquid, fold it in a little at a time. If it seems like too much, don’t worry about adding all of it.

Now your potatoes are perfect! You can add more salt, some pepper, and anything else you like! Yum!

Mirrored from Antagonia.net.

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Your potatoes will discolor!
They won't if you keep them in water. :)

You can do them that way if you have to but I tend to find that leaving them in cold water for more than a little while makes the potatoes rubbery. I like to put them right on the stove!

We prepare a lot of potato-based stuff in my (Russian) family, which involves a lot of pre-cutting and storing in water, sometimes for hours ahead, during big celebrations, and they've never once been rubbery. Maybe it's something in NY water? o.o

I usually do Thanksgiving in Delaware so it would have to be Delaware water, and that actually makes perfect sense-- the water there is noxious and I can't drink it.

Mmm, mashed potatoes. I wish we'd had some leftover, but we didn't! I might try your instructions for making my own soon, though, as I've only ever made instant on my own. About how many people does your recipe serve? I would only be cooking for two people, most likely.

Ahaha if you don't want leftovers, you want 1-2 potatoes per person. If they're really big potatoes, do one. If they're small potatoes, do two. My recipe will comfortably eerve ten assuming you have no teenagers.

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