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Nov 5, 2010 11:42 AM

Food Processor Potato Puree (mashed potatoes)

I didn't want to call it mashed potatoes, one reason being that they really aren't mashed if done in a food pro - more of a puree. Second, I have heard cooks illustrated say to never put potatoes in a food pro as it turns them like wallpaper paste. I have a food mill, so I can certainly use that, but I've had potatoes that I am almost positive were pureed in a food pro - maybe there was a lot of cream and butter added to loosen it up?
Also, I have made sweet potatoes in a food pro before with no problem...Are normal potatoes different?
Not sure if I am going to make sweet potatoes or regular potatoes for Thanksgiving, but I'm just looking to avoid disaster (hyperbole), and using a food pro is certainly easier :)

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  1. Heed the warnings. A food processor will tear down the starch molecules, release amylose, which will turn the mixture gluey. Even wiki says so, so it must be right ;)

    Sweet potatoes aren't as starchy and do ok in the processor.

    1. Two Words: Kindergarten paste. I disregarded the warnings once. Couldn't even make soup out the results.

      1. My sister-in-law makes perfectly puréed potatoes that magically are not at all starchy/gluey; this is apparently a French thing. I do not really like my potatoes that finely demolished; to me, a food mill or ricer makes the best mashed potatoes possible, with the old heavy-wire hand-masher a close second. However, I think a processor with the metal blade would work much better than a mixer, which does tend to overbeat the spuds and turn them to wallpaper paste.

        Sweet potatoes are much less starchy than white potatoes, and can be whipped all day without turning to glue. For good mashed white potatoes, russets are all but mandatory, since the waxier varieties are much higher in starch. If I'm mashing White Rose or Yukon Golds, I really just "smash" them, using a hand masher to break them into lumpy fragments with lots of butter. Good with a steak dinner, but not really suitable for the festive board.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Will Owen

          i definitely would not suggest making mashed potatoes in the food pro. the wallpaper paste thing is definitely true. a food mill or ricer is the way to go.

          i actually wouldnt even suggest that, because i like to keep some texture in my mashed potatoes, so i just go at them with a normal masher or big fork (and very lightly!) thats my favorite way

        2. Awesome, thanks everyone! Might be sticking to the sweet potatoes or breaking out the food mill. Do "mashed" potatoes from a food mill sit well for about a half hour covered?

          2 Replies
          1. re: dcole

            As long as you don't go stirring them around after they're mashed and put into the bowl, this is a dish that works very well if made ahead of time and then reheated before serving. If you want you can make them early on, put them into an ovenproof serving dish, cover it with food wrap (and maybe a good sheen of butter, just to be on the safe side, heh, heh) and keep in a cool place until half an hour before serving. 20-25 minutes uncovered in a 325º oven warms them just fine. Of course this is assuming buffet service; if you're gonna pass the dish around you might want to rethink it...

            Yes, sitting half an hour won't hurt a thing. If you have any warming trays this is their time to shine.

            1. re: dcole

              Yes, use the food mill. Keep warm and cover with plastic wrap until needed.

            2. If you make mashed potatoes in the Cuisinart, prepare to scrape them off your guests' plates after dinner. I've done it. It's really nasty.