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How do you like to make your mashed potatoes?

What is your favorite type of potato to use? Russet, yukon gold, sweet potatoes or other?
What do you like to add to your mashed potatoes?
How do you mash your potatoes? Do you use a potato masher, a ricer, blender, fork or other?

Any tips, tricks or secrets to your best and favorite mashed potatoes?

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  1. My favorite method is the Robuchon variant with rattes and butter;potatoes are steamed and go through a ricer and tamis before the dairy is applied. I get a lot of criticism for suggesting them but people down them anyway.

    5 Replies
      1. re: Joebob

        Rattes are those thin potatoes, which I guess the equivalent would be fingerlings. A tamis is a drum sieve.

        The original ratio is 1:2 butter to potato, but more recent iterations list 1:4.

        1. re: wattacetti

          Thank you for the clarification. 1:2 seems rather high cal.

          1. re: Joebob

            You're technically not supposed to eat a bathtub at a time, but a couple of tablespoons is nice to have on the plate. Except for this one pal of mine who gets double portions.

            I sort of let people decide if they want more.

      2. re: wattacetti

        His are very rich and wonderful.

        I changed my method based on making his potatoes (but rarely go through all the steps to make his - you can tell the difference but they are still a step up from my old mashed potatoes).

        I like russets - boil - put through a ricer - add lots of butter - then add the dairy and salt - no other additions.

        I read or heard somewhere that adding the dairy first or early in the process can increase the likelihood that the potatoes will get gummy, which is why you "should" add the fat first.

      3. Russets, peeled, quartered, boiled in salted water until they can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Drain off water, put back on heat to evaporate any remaining moisture. Mash with potato masher and a generous amount of garlic & herb Boursin cheese.

        This is my ultimate, favorite mashed.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nlgardener

          Love Boursin in my mashed potatoes! I use yukons though.

        2. I boil russets for 20 min. Mash with a potato masher. Then just add milk, butter, and salt until they're "right." Generally about a stick of butter for 5 lbs potatoes.

          The "secret" is to not be afraid of the salt. Potatoes take a lot of salt. All of the bad mashed potatoes I've had have been a result of not enough salt and/or gumminess due to using a mixer.

          1. Two favorites:
            Peeled, quartered steamed Russets, pushed through the steamer/ricer section of my double boiler-ish two piece pan, loaded up with butter, salt and milk.
            Or, reds unpeeled, quartered, steamed, roughly mashed with loads of fresh garlic, maybe some steamed or roasted garlic, salt, butter and sour cream.

            1. Peeled russets or yukon golds, whatever I feel like, boiled until they feel right when poked with a knife or fork and then mashed with a masher with some milk, a bit of chicken broth, a bit of butter, salt, pepper, and.... greek yogurt. Sounds weird but it works just like sour cream. Even my SO who isn't always into my "healthy" recipe tweaks likes these. I made them on Thanksgiving for my entire family and everyone liked them (I mixed them in my Kitchen Aid for that since it was a large quantity). I usually leave them plain because I only make mashed potatoes as a vehicle for saucy meats, but occasionally will add whatever fresh herbs I have on hand.

              1. Mix russets and Yukon Gold. Peel, chop, boil till fork tender in nicely salted water-don't be afraid. Drain. Add butter, half and half, s & p. Mash or blend. The key is the mix of potato types and the salt in the boiling water. Had some tonight with our Prime Rib, deelish.

                Jerseygirl111

                1. If I'm going for good ones, I boil baking potatoes whole (we don't get a whole lot of potato variety choice where I am), peel while hot, and mash them through a metal strainer with the end of a Chinese rolling pin (in lieu of a ricer). They then get mixed with butter, cream and salt.

                  Sieving/ricing them makes them light and fluffy with no lumps, but doesn't risk over processing them and making them gluey.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                    Usually just boiled russets (sometimes peeled, sometimes not) mashed with a steel masher and mixed with butter, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Sometimes I add a couple of cloves of garlic to the water and mash them in too. Occasionally I'll add a dollop of prepared horseradish.

                    For special occasions, I peel/boil/mash 5 pounds of russets, mix with 2 blocks of cream cheese, 1 cup of sour cream, salt/pepper, and then whip them up in my KitchenAid with the wire whisk. Soooo good.

                  2. Preferred variety - Desiree or Estima

                    Method - potato masher

                    Additions - absolutely none

                    1. I vary it up but I really like yukon golds and use a food mill and then add milk and butter, salt and pepper. If we are talking basic

                      1. I use russets and a hand held masher. Butter first, then heavy cream, salt and cracked mixed peppercorns. Or if I want a richer mash, I leave out the the pepper and add sour cream and finely chopped chives.

                        1. I like a lot of butter, and a lot of black pepper. I always use a masher because I prefer the mashed potatoes lumpy. I never do creamy unless someone has specifically requested them that way - and even then I put aside some lumpy mashed for myself.

                          1. I love Barefoot Contessa's Parmesan Smashed Potatoes. Red potatoes, sour cream, half & half, butter, parmesan. Definitely not low cal.

                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: valerie

                              I love smashed baby reds. I just do mine with butter, s&p, and fresh dill. Yum.

                            2. I always use Russet potatoes to boil for mashed potatoes. Peel, cut into chunks, barely covered with water, cook until a fork or knife will go easily through a chunk; drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.

                              Put back on burner, add butter, salt, pepper, warmed milk or cream (never put cold milk or cream in the just cooked potatoes), use Kitchen Aid handheld electric mixer to "mash." (The Kitchen Aid beaters do not have sharp edges which help make gluey potatoes, the beaters are thin rounds fo metal.) If the potatoes need to be thinned, use some of the reserved cooking water.

                              Mrs. Cheese is correct that potatoes need to be salted correctly.

                              1. Sometimes if I have made creamed spinach I'll swirl a heaping spoonful into the mashed potatoes.

                                But usually I add half and half along with some kind of cheese (like blue or goat) in place of butter and whip the daylights out of it until the taters are oh so creamy. No lumps if you pls.

                                Either russet or yukon.

                                1. Potatoes: Yukon gold or red skin
                                  Mashing utensil/appliance: a beater from my hand held mixer to smush them, then my handheld mixer to mix
                                  Additions: I'm dairy-free, so warm broth (Usually chicken since that's what I keep on hand), fleishman's light margarine or olive oil. Usually throw a few smashed cloves of garlic in the cooking water.

                                  1. Yukon golds, peeled and quartered, boiled in heavily salted water until easily pierced by a knife or skewer. Drained and let stand in the sieve until they start to dry (reserve potato water for gravy). Put through a ricer or food mill, then add hot half and half and melted butter.

                                    That's the classic, for special occasions. For less formal meals, I sometimes boil them unpeeled, with a couple of cloves of garlic, and smash them with a potato masher. Add milk and butter, coarse ground pepper, chopped scallions, crumbled bacon, and a little grated cheese. Maybe a little sweet corn just off the cob.