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Old 10-03-2002, 05:01 PM
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The Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

Originally posted by CulinaryJen

The Ultimate Mashed Potatoes
by Jennifer A. Wickes

2 pounds Idaho potatoes
1/4 cup butter -- melted
1 cup cream -- heated
salt and pepper -- to taste

Wash the potatoes thoroughly. Without peeling or slicing them, place them in a pot of salted water (1 tsp. salt to every 2 quarts). Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes can be inserted easily with a knife. Depending upon the size of the potatoes, 20 - 30 minutes. The purpose here is to cook the potatoes with less surface area exposed to water. The more water exposed to the potatoes (chopped and peeled ones), the more likely the starch molecules in the potato will become water logged and leave a tasteless end result.

Once the potatoes are cooked, using a potato ricer or a food mill (unless you want gummy mashed potatoes, do NOT use a hand mixer), mash the potatoes. The purpose here is to mash the potatoes with minimum contact or they will turn into paste.

Immediately season your potatoes. The purpose for this stage is that potatoes only absorb flavor when they are hot, so you want them to get their seasonings now!

Then, melt your butter and pour it over the potatoes and mix to cover. The purpose behind this stage is that you want to coat the potatoes with a fat first before the cream (or milk or broth) as those products will water down the starch cells.

Then add the warmed cream and mix thoroughly. If the potatoes look soupy, fear not! Cover the potatoes and let them sit for 5 minutes. The starch cells will absorb the extra liquid and they will thicken up!

Start to Finish Time:

Yields: 4 servings
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