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Boy.Did I ever mess up the mashed potatoes!

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?

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  1. 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

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

    2. 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

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

        1. re: RedTop

          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

          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

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

            1. re: coll

              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

                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

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

            1. re: coastie

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

              1. re: melpy

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

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

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

              1. 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

                  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.