Friday, August 5, 2011

Mashed Potatoes: A Recipe

Mashed potatoes are one of my favorite foods.  In fact, as a kid when we went to a buffet I would always skip the dessert and grab a bowl of mashed potatoes.  In my family, I've been the one making the potatoes for years.  I've been wanting to post this recipe for awhile, but I've never measured what I do when I make them.  I just go by taste and how they look.  I finally got around to measuring everything, so I could tell you what I do.  Below is my recipe, and yes, I said I would post this yesterday.  However, I had this post almost finished, and then I remembered my secret weapon: my grandpa's potato masher.

This is what I use to make mashed potatoes.  I used to use a mixer, which will give a much creamier potato, but really, using this I have no lumps.  One of the big keys to having non-lumpy potatoes is to mash the potatoes while they are still hot.  If you let them cool they will get lumpy, and this will cause a tantrum right before Thanksgiving dinner (ummm, not that I would know about that or anything).  Anyway, below is my mashed potato recipe.  Please note, if you are doubling this recipe, keep the butter amount the same.  Anything over 5lbs. of potatoes will require more butter.

Mashed Potatoes
2 1/2 lbs. potatoes
1 stick butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup sour cream
3 TBS. Milk
garlic powder

1. Peel and cube potatoes.  I had smallish potatoes, so I cut them into fourths and sixths.  The smaller they are cut, the quicker they will cook, and the easier they will mash.

2. Put potatoes in large pot and cover with cold water.  The cold water part is really important, the potatoes will become gummy if you start them out in hot water.  Add about 3 tablespoons of salt to the cooking water. This will help impart some flavor to the potatoes, but you will still need more salt after they are cooked.  Bring water to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender.  This will take around 15 minutes.  A trick I use to test the doneness of the potatoes is to squish them with tongs.  If they squish easily, they are done.  You could also poke them with a fork.

3. After potatoes are cooked, drain them in a colander.  Remember, you need to mash them while they are still hot, so have your other items ready to go.  

4. Put your stick of butter into the pan you just cooked the potatoes in.  This will help melt the butter.  Pour the potatoes over top of the butter.  Now, mash the potatoes.  After all the potatoes are mashed up, put in the sour cream and stir.  You will want this to be thick.  Add the milk slowly until your desired consistency of potato is reached.  Next, add salt and garlic powder.  I usually use fresh garlic, but in the case of potatoes, I think the powder is the way to go because it blends in easier.  Again, do not be afraid of the salt.  It will seem like you are adding a lot, but just taste as you go.

5.  Serve and enjoy!

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