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Mashed Potatoes

  • g

My family's mashed potato aficionado has moved to Vancouver and I have been charged with the task of preparing the taters this year. My mom asked for something "special", so I'm open to your ideas! TIA!

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  1. i know this is really simple but so delicious: stir in chopped scallions along with the milk and butter...

    10 Replies
    1. re: furryabdul

      ...and/or some roasted garlic!

      1. re: LindaMc

        Thanks - I should have said that I was looking for something besides my old standby - garlic smashed potatoes. Are there any dishes that use mashed potatoes in an interesting way? Should I fry them? Or maybe an interesting spicing combination?

        1. re: gini

          Have you considered twice-baked white and sweet potatoes?

          That is, you bake sweet potatoes and large russets (oil the russets a bit to make the skins more sturdy for re-use). Cut open (neatly, in the case of the russets). Scoop out the flesh, and save the skins of the russets. Put the scooped flesh through a ricer and then lightly mash together (first with butter then with dairy -- if you reverse the order, it will get gluey). Add garlic (or, may I suggest, some freshly grated nutmeg -- or other spices if you like) and salt and pepper, and scoop back into the saved russet skins and rebake at moderate heat. Garnish with garnish of your choice (freshly chiffonaded herbs, finely grated cheese, et cet.) upon serving.

          1. re: Karl S.

            PS. You can also use chicken broth in lieu of milk/cream, for a lighter touch.

          2. re: gini

            I once did a shepherd's pie and enjoyed the potatoes more than anything else.

            Basically, whipped egg whites were folded into regular mashed potatoes, then the entire thing was baked until fluffy and golden on top. I loved it. It's probably slightly better for you too, what with the added protein and lighter texture. You feel like you're eating a lot but it's not as dense.

          3. re: LindaMc

            Along with roast garlic I like a squeeze of fresh garlic added toward the end. But I really love garlic.

            Saffron mashed potatoes are a little fancier. The saffron gives the potatoes a nice color, but the flavor is easily overpowered by everything else likely to be at a thanksgiving dinner.

            1. re: nooodles

              Saffron sounds nice as well...do you put the saffron into the boiling water as one recipe suggests or while mashing?

              1. re: gini

                I have a few threads soaking in a few tablespoons of hot water. When it's soft, I mash up the threads as much as possible and pour it in after I've added butter and cream to the potatoes. There might be a way to get more flavor out of the saffron, but this is how I've done it in the past. It seems like a waste to put them in the potato boiling water, since so much of that liquid is discarded.

                1. re: nooodles

                  Lightly toast the saffron threads in a dry skillet first (be careful not to burn them), then add them to some of the hot milk, half and half or cream that you will be adding to your potatoes and mash them with the back of a soup spoon to "dissolve" the threads, then add with the rest of the milk and butter to your potatoes.

        2. I've found that this is a somewhat controversial blend, but I like avocado mashed potatoes. It does have an unfortunate green tinge, however.

          1. I made a mashed potato recipe several times from one of the Thanksgiving editions of Bon Appetit - perhaps you could search epicurious. The mashed were layered with a parmesan/sundried tomato mixture, then baked. Very tasty and a crunchy top to boot.

            1 Reply
            1. pass em through a food mill, make em with your dairy, and finish with truffle oil. Add shaved truffles as your budget can afford...

              1 Reply
              1. re: dano

                Right on! The only thing I'd add is that you bake the potatoes so that they are dryer and can hold more cream, butter and truffle oil.

              2. If you like some spice....

                Make your favorite recipe of mashed potatoes (with *way* too much roasted garlic, butter, cream, and
                chives) and then add a healthy dose chipotles in adobo sauce (available canned in most markets).

                Adds a nice kick of smokey flavor and heat.

                Of course a nice spicy southern sausage gravy never hurts either.


                1. I like to add chopped sweet potatoes in my mashers. This will provide a touch of sweetness and it's not all mushy texture.

                  If you really want to be different try adding wasabi in your mashers. Give you a light green effect with the red cranberry sauce.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: theSauce

                    Another traditional variant on mashed potatoes is Himmel und Erde (Heaven and Earth) where you mash baked rutabaga and apple with the potatoes.

                    1. re: Karl S.

                      i had himmel und erde in berlin and they made it with potatoes apples and bacon...

                      1. re: furryabdul

                        There are regional variations. But the reference to Himmel was to apples (Paradise...), and Erde was to the root vegetables, or so I was told for a long time.

                      2. re: Karl S.

                        I like this idea...any recipes? No bacon please, we're a pork free household!

                        1. re: gini

                          Try the link below. You may want to omit the blood sausage part.

                          Link: http://www.achefshelp.com/himmel_und_...

                        2. re: Karl S.

                          Another variant: Bubbles and Squeak.

                          Mashed Potatoes and cabbage (or brussel sprouts).

                      3. f

                        How about potato and broccoli croquettes? I've made them before and they were very popular. Here's the link for the recipe I used, from epicurious.

                        Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                        1. Nothing exotic here from me. It is probably Thanksgiving you are thinking about and you know how people get about traditions! There are times to play and try new things but most holidays are not them.

                          Get Idaho baking potatoes. They are much drier than many of the boiling potatoes which are quite waxy. Though Yukon Golds, kind of in between waxy and bakers work too. Peel, cut into cubes and boil in salted water until fork tender. Some times I add a clove or two of garlic to the water. It cooks and mellows as the potatoes boil. Then drain and add the potatoes and garlic (if using) back to the pot, shaking it over low heat, to cook off any excess moisture. While the potatoes are cooking, gently heat heavy cream and have it hot and ready. Now either pass your potatoes through a ricer of food mill or mash with a potato masher and add the hot cream and a bunch of unsalted butter. Fluff with a fork. Sometimes I snip in chives and occasionally substitute sour cream for heavy cream.

                          If you like a stickier or gluier texture to mashed potatoes and some people do, whip them with an electric beater. That brings up more starch and to somoe people that is just how mom made them.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Candy

                            Electric mixer, hah! The way my mom made 'em was: open Swanson's TV Dinner package, heat tray at 375 for 40 minutes, serve.

                            I second your call for flaky Idaho russets. Buttermilk instead of cream makes for an interesting mashed potato variant as well. Fat-conscious cooks use plain or even 1% milk instead, which just makes me triple up on the butter later, so what's the point?

                            Some people put a bunch of cheese in directly, but they should be beaten with a blunt instrument. All good mashed potatoes need is butter. And gravy and maybe pepper on top at the table.

                            1. re: Fnarf

                              I occasionally use buttermilk if I have it on hand. Mashed potatoes are pure comfort food and don't need much mucking about especially in a holiday meal. Cream, butter, sour cream, buttermilk, lots of good butter salt and pepper are all that are about needed. Garlic mellowed in the boiling water is good too but exotocism is just not needed.

                          2. Mix them up with salt cod and fry them. Basically, make salt cod croquettes. There are many recipes out there.

                            Yukon golds, baked then riced, then whipped with butter, cream, and truffle and/or truffle oil are also fantastic.

                            1. Try cooking yukon gold potatoes and celery root in chicken stock. Drain them (use the stock for gravy) and mash them with butter and cream. They 're simple and delicious and always get raves.

                              1. Just what you need after all the other suggestions! All of the previous ones are good.

                                Here's how we do it at our house. Cook several cloves of garlic along with the potatoes. After draining off the liquid, mash the potatoes along with the garlic adding sour cream until the desired consistency is attained. Also add butter if you wish.

                                You may wish to reserve the cooking liquid to make soup. Why discard nutrients? We use a primitive method of mashing the potatoes...with a hand-held masher. Lumps left after mashing are good. Lumps indicate that real potatoes were used. When I was in college during the Dark Ages, my fellow dorm mates and I never knew what was used for mashed potatoes...they were kinda soupy.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ChiliDude

                                  This is exactly how I make my taters usually - except I use ricotta instead of sour cream.

                                  I also use a hand masher (I pretend it's my workout!).

                                  So what kind of soup do you make out of potato-boiled-water? Anything?

                                2. Wow. I never expected so many responses. Thank you everyone! Now I have a chance to experiment before my big performance on Thanksgiving;).

                                  1. I love to do a mashed potatoe "bar." Make a pile of rich buttery, creamy, plain potatoes and you can put them into a crock pot to keep warm. Then have bowls of toppings for guests to put into (onto) them as they like. Some topping suggestions that are a real hit are:
                                    Roasted Garlic Cloves drizzled in EVOO
                                    Sour Cream
                                    Shredded Cheese (asiago- blue- swiss- the varieties are endless)
                                    Lobster pieces
                                    Roasted Corn that has been cut from the cobs
                                    Roasted Onions/and other veggies
                                    Peas- My family loves to mix in peas (fresh/frozen)
                                    The mix ins are endless... your family will love it. I have done this as the main course for dinner parties. Once the shock of it wears off my guests love the idea and eagerly await the next invite...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: MeffaBabe

                                      I love this idea! And what a fun party that could be - I'm going to have to try this out soon.