Potatoes can be your family’s best friend. Versatile and affordable, potatoes are a part of a wide variety of cuisines, ranging from American, to Irish, to Indian, and on and on.
Oddly, despite the general ease of cooking spuds, I’ve heard people say, “There’s just no way I can make mashed potatoes from scratch. It’s too complicated!”
That’s. Just. Not. True.
Potatoes from the produce isle, not the flakes in the box, are where it’s at.
It’s really very simple to make homemade mashed potatoes (and gravy, too, for that matter). Once you make them from scratch you’ll never resort to the flakes in a box again.
Let’s talk skins.
I leave the skins on when I’m using red or golden potatoes. They’re thin, and kinda pretty—especially the red skin potatoes against the bright white inside. Very festive, if you’re going for a holiday theme!
For russets and other thicker-skinned varieties, I peel them (though, you don’t have to). Russets tend to make the creamiest mashed potatoes, and removing the skins sends the “creamy factor” off the charts.
Next up, mashing devices.
People tend to roll their virtual eyes at me when I disclose that I use a hand-held mixer to mash my potatoes. Fine. Maybe it’s more of a whip than a mash. I still call them mashed potatoes, and they’re deliciously silky smooth.
Hand-held mixers aren’t the only way to go though. I’ve smashed potatoes with a hand masher, which can be really fun when you have mix-ins like cheese, bacon, or scallions; however, this method leaves a chunkier, dense consistency. Not bad, mind you, unless what you’re going for is fluffy and creamy.
Simply put, you have to be a crazy person
or my son to not love potatoes. Especially mashed potatoes.
- 6 medium potatoes (any variety), cubed
- ½ stick butter
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Place the potatoes in a medium stainless steel pot, and then add water—enough to just cover the potatoes. Bring them to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat slightly and continue to boil for 15 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and set them aside. Place the pot back on the stove and reduce heat to low.
- Add the butter and milk to the same pot used for the potatoes. Once the butter has mostly melted, add in the salt and pepper, and then the potatoes.
- Using a hand-held mixer on low, whip together the potatoes, milk and butter. After about 15 seconds, increase the mixer speed to medium-high and continue whipping for 30 more seconds.