The Secret To Perfect Mashed Potatoes – Tasty Tuesday!

We’re continuing the quest with Mister Man to teach him to cook.  And he’s loving it.  In fact, whenever he sees me in the kitchen, he asks if he can help, which I love.  I wanted to find a dish that he could – essentially – make completely by himself.  I’m not sure why mashed potatoes popped into my head, but it did… and they were beautiful.

And before you ask… yes, Mister Man did make these entirely by himself, except for me hefting the pot of hot water to strain the potatoes.  Kids can cook.  I’m so amazed by what he’s capable of doing if I just let him.

Growing up, my mom would make mashed potatoes on a regular basis, churning them with her electric beater until they were a hot, creamy, gluey mess.  They still tasted good, but the texture was a bit dense.  These taters?  Not at all.  They’re light and fluffy and oh so delicious.  Personally,  I like to use chicken stock for my liquid instead of milk or cream because of the added richness of flavor (plus hey – low in calories, fat and sodium), but feel to doctor them up however you want – cream, butter, milk, sour cream, etc.  And if you chose to roast garlic and add that to these potatoes while you’re ricing them?  I might just stop in for dinner!

Bowl of Mister Man's mashed potatoes

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:
3 medium baking potatoes (this will generally feed a family of 4)
1 t salt
1/4-1/3 c chicken stock (or milk or sour cream or cream, maybe some butter)
Roasted garlic, optional

Directions:
Peel your potatoes after scrubbing them.  Cut them into larger than a pair of dice size chunks – or so.  As you’re cutting, place them into a pot of cold water.  This will keep the potatoes from turning brown.  If you’re making dinner for a crowd, this step can be done ahead of time, just leaving the potatoes in the water all day.  You want enough water that the potatoes are covered with room to swim, but you don’t need too much water, which will only take longer to bring to temperature and make this take longer.

Mister Man peeling potatoes for mashed potatoes

Once the potatoes are peeled and chopped, turn the stove onto medium heat and add the salt to the water.  Cook the potatoes at a fast simmer for about 15 minutes, until they’re tender.  When they’re ready, they should look a little fluffy on the outside, and a fork should pierce them easily.  You don’t want them cooked to the point that they’ll fall apart on their own, however.

Potatoes look rough around the edges when they're done

Drain the potatoes, and return them to your pot.  Turn the heat onto low or medium low and swish the pot around a little.  You just want to quickly get the water to evaporate from the outside of your potatoes, not really cook them anymore.  The evaporation will help make them light and fluffy.  Turn the heat off again, and use a potato ricer (if you have one – if not, use the back of a large fork, but the ricer is so worth the investment) to rice your potatoes.  You simply put the potatoes into the holder and squeeze, and the potato will come out.  If you’re doing the roasted garlic, put the roasted garlic in with the potatoes and squeeze it all together.  Not all your potatoes will fit into the ricer at once, so just do it in batches.

Rice potatoes in batches or use the back of a fork

Add your liquid slowly.  Add about a half cup to start- and if it’s room temperature instead of being cold, this will also help keep your potatoes perfectly fluffy – and stir gently.  Judge whether your need to add more or not based on your own personal preference for potatoes.  Once you have that down, salt and pepper to taste, stir again, and you’re ready to serve!

Mashed potatoes are best when served immediately after making them.  They don’t do well with reheating or as leftovers.  That isn’t to say that they’re inedible then, but they just don’t have that same lovely texture.  If you have leftovers, I’d suggest making potato pancakes.  Simply scoop out cold leftover mashed potatoes, flatten the scoop, and cook it in a pan with oil for breakfast the next day.

Mister Man made mashed potatoes all by himself

Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Recipe type: side dish
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 3 medium baking potatoes (this will generally feed a family of 4)
  • 1 t salt
  • ¼-1/3 c chicken stock (or milk or sour cream or cream, maybe some butter)
  • Roasted garlic, optional
Instructions
  1. Peel your potatoes after scrubbing them. Cut them into larger than a pair of dice size chunks – or so. As you’re cutting, place them into a pot of cold water. This will keep the potatoes from turning brown. If you’re making dinner for a crowd, this step can be done ahead of time, just leaving the potatoes in the water all day. You want enough water that the potatoes are covered with room to swim, but you don’t need too much water, which will only take longer to bring to temperature and make this take longer.
  2. Once the potatoes are peeled and chopped, turn the stove onto medium heat and add the salt to the water. Cook the potatoes at a fast simmer for about 15 minutes, until they’re tender. When they’re ready, they should look a little fluffy on the outside, and a fork should pierce them easily. You don’t want them cooked to the point that they’ll fall apart on their own, however.
  3. Drain the potatoes, and return them to your pot. Turn the heat onto low or medium low and swish the pot around a little. You just want to quickly get the water to evaporate from the outside of your potatoes, not really cook them anymore. The evaporation will help make them light and fluffy. Turn the heat off again, and use a potato ricer (if you have one – if not, use the back of a large fork, but the ricer is so worth the investment) to rice your potatoes. You simply put the potatoes into the holder and squeeze, and the potato will come out. If you’re doing the roasted garlic, put the roasted garlic in with the potatoes and squeeze it all together. Not all your potatoes will fit into the ricer at once, so just do it in batches.
  4. Add your liquid slowly. Add about a half cup to start- and if it’s room temperature instead of being cold, this will also help keep your potatoes perfectly fluffy – and stir gently. Judge whether your need to add more or not based on your own personal preference for potatoes. Once you have that down, salt and pepper to taste, stir again, and you’re ready to serve!
  5. Mashed potatoes are best when served immediately after making them. They don’t do well with reheating or as leftovers. That isn’t to say that they’re inedible then, but they just don’t have that same lovely texture. If you have leftovers, I’d suggest making potato pancakes. Simply scoop out cold leftover mashed potatoes, flatten the scoop, and cook it in a pan with oil for breakfast the next day.

Link up your favorite recipes – especially if you have something good for the Super Bowl.  I’m still looking for my inspiration!  Enjoy this and more with Blessed With Grace and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.  Rachel from A Southern Fairytale has an awesome Mouthwatering Monday linkup that I participate in, too.


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