On the Side: Mashed Potatoes

Quick Tips

  • Allow ½ pound of raw, whole potatoes per person when preparing mashed potatoes.
  • Prior to boiling, cut potatoes into even pieces to ensure even cooking.
  • A few drops of vinegar added to the water when boiling potatoes will help maintain their white color.
  • Add a tablespoon of butter/margarine to the water or spread a thin coat of oil along the top edge of the pot to prevent the water from boiling over while cooking.
  • If potatoes are overcooked before mashing, add an egg white. Whip the egg white until stiff, fold into mashed potatoes and bake in a casserole dish until golden brown.
  • Adding warm milk, rather than cold milk, to mashed potatoes creates a very fluffy texture (warm milk in microwave).
  • Add a pinch of baking soda with the milk and butter before mashing for fluffier mashed potatoes.
  • Rather than covering hot mashed potatoes with the top of the pot, cover with a dish towel. This will keep the potatoes warm until serving. The towel will absorb moisture and keep the potatoes dry and fluffy.
  • If expecting a large crowd for the holidays, prepare the potatoes ahead of time and place in the crock-pot on warm until ready to serve.
  • Mashed potatoes can be stored in an airtight container, in the freezer, for up to 9 months.

Add Flavor

  • Add minced garlic cloves and grated lemon peel to melted butter. Cook over low heat for 3-5 minutes. Blend with potatoes and milk.
  • Add cream rather than milk to mashed potatoes.
  • Blend a block of cream cheese with mashed potatoes.


Classic Mashed Potatoes:

  • If leaving the skins on, scrub them well. Otherwise, peel potatoes.
  • Small potatoes can be boiled whole, cut large potatoes in half or into quarters to ensure even cooking.
  • Place potatoes in cold, salted water.
  • Bring potatoes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 30 minutes, until tender enough to pierce a fork through the potato. Time will vary depending on type of potato and size of potato pieces.
  • Drain the potatoes. To reduce the excess moisture remaining in the potatoes, return to low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, shaking the pan to prevent potatoes from browning.
  • The potatoes are now ready to be mashed with one of the following techniques:


Potato Ricer Place warm, just cooked potatoes through a potato ricer. After all potatoes have been through the ricer, use a wooden spoon to blend in milk.


Electric Hand Mixer
Beat with mixer while slowly adding milk, in small amounts, to desired consistency.


Potato Masher Using a hand held potato masher makes creating creamy potatoes more difficult. Add milk, in small amounts, to desired consistency.

Mash potatoes by using a potato ricer, potato masher, or an electric beater on low speed. Blend to desired smoothness.

Stir in softened butter (not melted) and then add hot milk. Only add 1/4 cup of milk at a time to control the amount that is added. Add milk until the potatoes are the desired consistency.

For more information on preparing and cooking potatoes, see All About Potatoes.

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