2Bits: Best mashing potato!
It’s for balance, if you want to do that. But the truth is that we all know how we’re supposed to eat. So, if you have fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy, then the next day you have, like a grape and you’re totally evened out and you’re good!
As Thanksgiving approaches, we want to say thank you. Thank you for connecting with farmers and food buyers on 2BuyAg. Thank you for reading our e-mails. We hope you find them useful. We truly care about what you eat and the farmers that raised and produced it. We’re going to offer a suggestion for one of your favorite holiday dishes–what is the “best mashing potato?!”
You cannot not have mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving! For some folks, this is the most comforting dish on the menu. Choosing the proper potato, knowing when to add several extra ingredients, and a few cooking tips helps create a light, fluffy, silky, and rich-tasting side dish for you and your family to enjoy.
First, the potato!
Typically, you have three types of potatoes to choose from: starchy–Russets, waxy–Red Bliss, and middle-of-the-road–Yukon Golds.
Red potatoes won’t break down enough (lumps), and don’t absorb the butter and cream very well.
Some say Russets should give you the creamiest mash; however, Yukons give you the best flavor.
Additionally the golden color of Yukon Golds make them the favored choice.
The extra ingredients!
Warm your butter before adding it to your mash. Add the butter before milk and cream, or the half-and-half. Water in the half-and-half will combine with the potatoes’ starch molecules giving your potatoes a gluey consistency.
Butter added first coats the starch molecules, making a silkier mash. Use a high- quality butter because butter contributes flavor. Using cream instead of half-and-half will give your dish an even silkier texture.
A couple of cooking tips!
We know you’re already pros at making the mash! Here are a couple extra tips just in case you haven’t tried these!
Peel potatoes after boiling them to help preserve the starch within the potato because less water is absorbed. Less water reduces the gluey texture and allows the potatoes to absorb the butter and cream better.
Skins on during boiling adds flavor too!
Food mills work great on removing the skin and mashing. No food mill? Quite all right! Cover your hand with a pot-holder and carefully peel the skin off with a paring knife.
The skin on Yukon Golds may already be peeling off during the boiling process.
We looked at lots of recipes for mashed potatoes and decided to share this one with you!
Serves 8 to 10
5 pounds Yukon Gold, well-scrubbed
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
2 cups half-and-half
3 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
Finely chopped fresh chives (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Additional pat of butter (optional)
Food mill, ricer, or potato masher
Two smaller pans for heating butter and half-and-half
Spatula or wooden spoon
Boil the potatoes.
Place the potatoes in a large pot. Add cold water to cover then by about 1 inch. Stir in 2 tablespoons of salt. Cover and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Uncover and reduce the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.
Test for doneness at 30 minutes. A sharp knife should easily go through the potato.
Larger potatoes may take longer, up to 45 or 50 minutes total.
Heat the butter and half-and-half and add salt.
About 20 minutes into the potato cooking time, melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan. Heat the half-and half and remaining 1 tablespoon salt over low heat in another small saucepan. Keep both warm.
Drain the potatoes.
When the potatoes are ready, drain them in a colander. Turn off the heat on the butter and half-and-half.
Mash the potatoes.
If using a potato masher or ricer, peel the potatoes — you can pick each one up with a pot holder and peel with a paring knife.
If using a food mill, don’t peel the potatoes.
In either case, put the potatoes back into the pot they were cooked in. This will cut down on extra dishes and help the potatoes stay warm from the pot’s residual heat.
Add the dairy.
Add the warm butter to the potatoes, gently stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula to incorporate. When all the butter is absorbed, add the warm half-and-half.
It will seem soupy at first, but the potatoes will gradually absorb the liquid and turn into a creamy mixture.
Taste, garnish, and serve.
Taste your potatoes and add more salt as needed. This is also a good time to add pepper if using. Spoon into your serving dish and top with optional garnishes, such as a pat of butter or some chopped chives.
You can make your potatoes in advance of serving. If it’s just an hour or so, leave them in the pot you mashed them in and don’t garnish yet. Place the pot in a large pan of gently simmering water to keep warm.
If they’ve been refrigerated, the best way to reheat them is to place them in a low oven, covered, for 20 to 30 minutes. Reheated mashed potatoes are often drier and may need additional (warmed!) dairy to bring them back to their creaminess.
Leftover mashed potatoes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Some people get away with using a stand mixer or hand-held beaters. This can over-mix them, giving you very gluey potatoes. Stick to low speed.