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Making Mashed Potatoes with No Ricer or Food Mill

l
lucienne78 Dec 22, 2008 05:15 PM

I am going to be making a Goat Cheese Mashed Potato Gratin for a side on Christmas but the recipe is saying that I need a ricer or a food mill and I don't have either. And I know that I just can't smash them with my potato masher since it has to be a creamy consistency verse a thicker and chunkier consistency. How would you go about this? I have a Kitchenaid but only have the whisk, hook, and paddle attachments. would any of those work?? Thanks in advance:)

  1. b
    bw2082 Dec 31, 2008 06:25 PM

    fine meshed sieve

    1. k
      KiltedCook Dec 23, 2008 11:41 AM

      I've never used a ricer/food mill and get creamy smooth all the time. You do actually have to mash, and mash again. And use plenty of butter/cream/sour cream. If you just *had* to I suppose you could use your stick blender. To me a ricer for mashed potatoes is just pretentious fiddle faddle. It's the TASTE that counts in this Personal Chef's opinion <grin>

      1 Reply
      1. re: KiltedCook
        Will Owen Dec 31, 2008 06:22 PM

        Taste is exactly why I prefer the ricer to the masher: pounding the potatoes develops starch, and while a manual masher is not as bad at this as an electric mixer it's still too easy to get'em gluey. Putting them through the ricer means you get just the pure potato flavor, plus whatever butter etcetera you put in.

        A stick blender would render them into wallpaper paste!

      2. dogthis Dec 23, 2008 10:54 AM

        Go with the box grater. Since you're reheating them in the gratin, then why not let them cool until they're warm... I wouldn't risk the KA. Dangerous business there. Good luck.

        1. i
          itryalot Dec 23, 2008 10:46 AM

          A great alternative is the mozzarella (bigger holes) side of your box grater. Used it many times. Works well and is fast. I hold the potato in my hand not with my fingers but with the palm of my hand so my hand is flat and no fingers can get sliced.
          Great success with this in a pinch!

          1. chowser Dec 23, 2008 07:25 AM

            I shred cooked potatoes on a grater when I'm making gnocchi. It's not easy because it's hot but you get the same results as the ricer. But, every time I do it, as I burn my hands, I think, get that ricer! The problem with the hand mixer is if you overdo, it's gummy.

            3 Replies
            1. re: chowser
              Will Owen Dec 23, 2008 10:02 AM

              For handling hot potatoes, the sovereign tool is RUBBER GLOVES. Even the thin semi-disposables, those cheap yellow ones, give enough insulation as long as you don't hold the potato too long, and the heavier-duty ones will almost let you fish the spuds out of a boiling pot!

              Nonetheless, I do second the motion of going out and getting a ricer. They aren't that expensive, and they last forever - I got my current one in an antique mall, and I'm sure it's at least as old as I am.

              1. re: Will Owen
                chowser Dec 23, 2008 10:37 AM

                I've thought of getting those silicone oven mitts and that would help, or even washing gloves might do the trick. I do want to get a ricer. It's not something you regularly run across and I have to make a trip to get one. The only time I think of it is when I'm in the middle of grating hot potatoes and cursing myself.

                1. re: chowser
                  Will Owen Dec 31, 2008 06:17 PM

                  I got a pair of the silicone mitts and found them useless. Yes, they did allow me to handle very hot pan handles and the like, but were so clumsy I damn near dropped the pan. Just regular washing gloves will protect you well enough from hot potatoes; I even used a pair of those yellow disposables the last time I peeled freshly-boiled potatoes, and they did the job just fine.

                  We were in some antique malls the other day, and my niece, who had been given a very fancy ricer for Christmas, saw a bunch of the nice old ones with the round vessel for something like $15 each, and murmured quietly to me that she'd rather have one of these. I had to agree.

            2. m
              mpalmer6c Dec 22, 2008 09:43 PM

              I've never had any trouble at all getting creamy mashed potatoes using only a masher. Use russets (Idahoes, Burbanks), peel, and cut up larger potatoes into smaller chunks. Cook until distintegrating a bit, and mash. But using small, non-starchy spuds, or whole russets, will give you a chunkier mash.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mpalmer6c
                k
                Kagey Dec 23, 2008 03:56 AM

                I'm with you. A proper masher should do the job with no fuss.

              2. l
                lucienne78 Dec 22, 2008 05:41 PM

                Thanks so much! I have no idea why I didn't think of the hand mixer or why my kitchen aid wouldn't be able to do the trick.

                1. Will Owen Dec 22, 2008 05:34 PM

                  Problem with the mixer is that, if you don't get it exactly right, by the time your puree is smooth it's turning to a starchy glue. Paddle attachment on a KitchenAid is probably the safest power alternative; however, I've turned out plenty of perfectly smooth potatoes with my old potato masher, the heavy-wire kind. It's work, but it's so much less likely to turn those spuds to wallpaper paste. I guess some people think that's how mashed potatoes are supposed to taste, but I find it disgusting. I'd rather have lumps than that.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Will Owen
                    c oliver Dec 22, 2008 05:38 PM

                    ACtually she's looking for "creamy" but I got lumpy ones without any problem. Slow speed and keeping an eye on it. But I will admit that had the KA not already been on the counter for something else, I would have just used the old-fashioned kind.

                    1. re: Will Owen
                      r
                      rainey Dec 22, 2008 05:54 PM

                      Righto! I wouldn't use a mixer either.

                      Cook the potatoes slightly more and use an old-fashioned masher. Anything that isn't fully puréed will fall apart when you whisk everything together with a balloon whisk by hand.

                      1. re: rainey
                        c oliver Dec 23, 2008 08:40 AM

                        I'm thinking that the KA paddle is much gentler than the beaters on a hand mixer. Mine are super chunky.

                      2. re: Will Owen
                        c oliver Dec 22, 2008 06:38 PM

                        I realized that my potatoes were originally in 2" square cubes (approx.) so when they went into the mixer bowl, they were big so didn't emulsify. I'm reheating them this minute in the slow cooker and they're still chunky. I did discover, however, on T'giving that I needed to stir them gently while reheating or they did get mushy.

                      3. c oliver Dec 22, 2008 05:24 PM

                        I just made mashed potatoes and used the paddle attachment to my KA. Also made them for T'giving. Just keep adding butter and cream til you get the consistency you want.

                        1. r
                          Rick Dec 22, 2008 05:19 PM

                          I always use hand held mixer:
                          http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-KHM7...

                          If not i'd bet that your whisk attachment would work just fine.

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