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Boy.Did I ever mess up the mashed potatoes!

RedTop Nov 23, 2012 06:28 AM

One of the small things I do to help my DW with Thanksgiving dinner is to take on the mashed potato prep. I've been doing my small part for decades. Well, this years dish was a disaster! I produced a tasteless, watery, and thin potato offering that was an epic fail.

I can't think of anything I did different with the potatoes from years past...except, I peepled them at about 6 AM and sat them in a water bath to prevent browning. About eight pounds were in that bath until about 4 PM when I put them on heat to boil them. When finished, I hand mashed the potatoes, adding about 1/8 lb salted butter cut into pats, and "about" a cup of Half & Half.

Any observations on how this dish went so terribly wrong? Can I fix the LARGE portion that remains?

  1. thymetobake Nov 23, 2012 04:00 PM

    There's all kinds of things you can do with the remains. Even after you add the potato flakes.

    Irish potato pancakes are good. So is potato flat bread. Just add some butter to the potatoes and enough flour to make an easy to work with dough. Cook on a griddle or cast iron skillet. Delicious stuff. You could also make potato soup... adding ham and cheese.

    2 Replies
    1. re: thymetobake
      RedTop Nov 24, 2012 03:17 AM

      Funny, thyme, I was thinking of potato pancakes with the leftovers even as I prepped them for Thanksgiving dinner!

      1. re: RedTop
        eclecticsynergy Nov 24, 2012 07:10 AM

        Yep, today is potato pancake day here too. Mass quantities of leftover mashed this year!

    2. tcamp Nov 23, 2012 03:22 PM

      I use Yukon Golds and have soaked them, not as long as you did, without problem. I bet it was the potato type although I didn't know that they soak up water as someone commented.

      Also, 1/8 cup butter for 8 pounds of potatoes? That seems very scant to me and perhaps is part of the boring taste problem. I added sour cream, roasted garlic, and rosemary that had cooked alongside the turkey, getting all browned in the fat.

      2 Replies
      1. re: tcamp
        RedTop Nov 24, 2012 03:08 AM

        Yup, I was truly light on the butter. At Christmas I'll do better. I was concerned that using the Half & Half would make the dish too rich.

        1. re: RedTop
          coll Nov 24, 2012 03:43 AM

          I use full fat yogurt or sour cream, and a stick of butter (for 6 or 8 potatoes), but if I wanted to thin it down I'd go with heavy cream myself! What is this "too rich"?

      2. s
        sandylc Nov 23, 2012 12:21 PM

        I haven't boiled tham in years. I think this gives the potatoes a very watery, one-dimensional flavor. We bake them, then cut them in half and rice them into cream and salt. Top with butter. Yum. The baked potatoes give them a very rich flavor that is unmatched by boiling.

        The bonus here is NO PEELING! Oh, and no extra pot on the stove.

        1. w
          walker Nov 23, 2012 12:13 PM

          Once we started to use Yukon Gold potatoes, we never went back. I think it is best to start the peeling when turkey is in the oven for 1-1.5 hrs. Ricer helps to make them perfect. 1/2 & 1/2 and butter, heated slightly before adding to potatoes.

          1. p
            Puffin3 Nov 23, 2012 09:48 AM

            Idaho's absorb water like a sponge. Notice when they're baked how light and 'mealy' they are. Thats bc they aren't holding water. Too long in the water sorry to say.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Puffin3
              dtremit Nov 23, 2012 12:29 PM

              Probably true. One trick to assist here is to return the drained potatoes to the pan and cook them "dry" for a few minutes -- evaporates a good amount of moisture.

            2. k
              kseiverd Nov 23, 2012 06:52 AM

              I'd probably add some cheese and put in oven till brown!?!

              1. s
                sal_acid Nov 23, 2012 06:51 AM

                Add more salt, garlic and bake till browned a little.

                1. coll Nov 23, 2012 06:37 AM

                  What type of potato did you use? Idaho will come out different than Yukon Golds, than russets from elsewhere, than general chef type, etc. Maybe something like that? I would add some good instant mashed to thicken them up to your liking; Idahoan is not bad.

                  Just remembered, someone on another post had the same problem with storebought mashed potatoes and baked them in a casserole dish for awhile and they came out fine.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: coll
                    RedTop Nov 23, 2012 06:44 AM

                    They were Idahos. A terrific looking bag, too. Thank you for the suggestion to add some dry, instant to the remainder.

                    1. re: RedTop
                      coll Nov 23, 2012 08:01 AM

                      I bought Idahos, but something was off with them. I thought they were cooked and they are usually so light and fluffy, but I could hardly rice half of them. Dissappointed but people still ate them. They were cheap so buyer beware! Next time I'll pay top dollar.

                    2. re: coll
                      RedTop Nov 23, 2012 09:45 AM

                      Just got back from Kroger with a pouch of Idahoan Buttery Homestyle instant mashed potatoes. So, coll, do I fix the package according to the instructions before adding them to my disaster? I'll be baking the hybrid product in the oven.

                      BTW...the selection of instant mashed potato packages at this Kroger was mind-numbing. Gad.

                      1. re: RedTop
                        coll Nov 23, 2012 10:28 AM

                        No just add it in dry slowly until you get the consistancy you want. And baking can only help.

                        1. re: coll
                          RedTop Nov 24, 2012 03:14 AM

                          Adding the dry instant did wonders for the potatoes. They came out nicely "firm" and gathered some potato flavor along the way. At Christmas, I'll be doing Yukon Gold potatoes and not soaking them before cooking. Thanks for your help.

                          1. re: RedTop
                            coll Nov 24, 2012 03:42 AM

                            Instant potatoes are also great for thickening cream soups, glad it helped.

                            You know, I got Idahos too and realized last night that mine also are very very watery. Must have had a monsoon in Idaho or something recently.

                            I used Yukon Golds for years but then decided they were TOO thick. I like that Idahos are so fluffy. I wonder how a mix would be?

                      2. re: coll
                        coastie Nov 23, 2012 01:07 PM

                        coll is right - type of potato.....sounds like a baking potato got boiled

                        1. re: coastie
                          melpy Nov 24, 2012 03:17 AM

                          I agree. I would not use that type of potato for mashed.

                          1. re: melpy
                            sandylc Nov 24, 2012 11:42 AM

                            ALWAYS russet and ALWAYS baked - never boiled. Amazingly rich and creamy.

                      3. k
                        kengk Nov 23, 2012 06:32 AM

                        You could try baking them in a casserole. Other ideas, potato patties, gnocchi, potato bread, potato soup.

                        As far as what went wrong, either letting them soak that long or not drying them after draining.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: kengk
                          RedTop Nov 23, 2012 06:45 AM

                          Wow. good thought about drying them after letting them sit so long in the water bath. Thank you.

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