Making really good mashed potatoes is not difficult however it does take a little practice. It seems easy enough, peel the potatoes, boil them until they are tender, drain the water, add a few ingredients and mash the potatoes either by hand or with an electric mixer. That’s all there is to it! Bu wait sometimes the mashed potatoes may be to soft and don’t hold their shape they could even be runny. Sometimes the mashed potatoes may not even be a thick as the gravy to pour over them. Or on the other hand they may be so thick that you have to push them from the serving spoon onto a plate.
Perfect Mashed Potatoes
But then there are the perfect mashed potatoes that are just right. The perfect mashed potatoes hold their shape yet are easily spooned onto the plate. The perfect mashed potatoes allow you to twist a spoon or fork through them to form a well for the gravy without caving in. The perfect mashed potatoes are smooth in your mouth they do not have large or even small lumps. The flavor of the potato blends perfectly with the butter, salt and pepper. The perfect mashed potatoes are a delight to potato lovers.
How to Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes
They all begin the same way as described in the first paragraph. The potatoes are peeled and boiled until tender. The water is drained from the potatoes. This is where the difficulty begins. There may be recipes which would tell you how many potatoes, what ingredients to add, and what amounts of the ingredients. A little experience and practice making mashed potatoes makes that all insignificant. Like everything a good cook does the cook must determine the density and moisture level of the potatoes and add butter, salt & pepper and milk in the proper quantities to allow them to blend into the perfect mashed potato dish. The butter and salt & pepper are more a constant than the milk. By adding the butter and allowing it to melt onto the hot potatoes and then sprinkling them with the desired amount of salt & pepper the state is set for adding the milk and mashing the potatoes. Begin by mashing the butter into the potatoes with the mixer blades without the mixer being turned on. This step allows you to test the softness and moisture level of the potatoes. Next slowly add a small amount of milk and turn on the mixer on a low speed. Slowly add milk and blend until the desired consistency is reached. Test the potatoes once in a while by turning off the mixer and checking the mashed potatoes to see if they are at the stage you desire.
Additions for Mashed Potatoes
Of course there are so many things that you may add to the potatoes to make them special. You may want to leave the peels on the potatoes when they are cooked and mash them just enough to be able to serve. Or you may want to add chopped onions, parsley, or dill to the finished mashed potatoes by just stirring them in at the last minute. You may want to add shredded cheese either by stirring it into the finished mashed potatoes or by sprinkling the cheese on top of the mashed potatoes in the serving bowl. You may want to add crispy chopped bacon. Depending on the main course you may be creative in the additions or toppings for your mashed potatoes. And don’t forget the gravy if you have gravy lovers.
Extra Mashed Potato Ideas
If you have leftovers you may use them to make several other potato dishes. You may add an egg and chopped onion to the cold mashed potatoes and blend the ingredients. The egg and potato mixture may be formed into patties and fried to make delicious potato patties. Or you may want to blend some cream cheese into the leftover mashed potatoes, pat them into a greased casserole dish, sprinkle them with shredded cheese, cover the dish with foil and bake them in a 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.