I can guarantee that the majority of you who read this blog have at one time in their lives had instant mashed potatoes. Nothing is quite as weird as pouring flakes of freeze-dried potatoes into a bowl and rehydrating with milk and butter. But hey, it was the 90’s and at the time it was “food of the future” and an easy way to help mom get dinner on the table. Then there is the complete opposite spectrum where we’ve all been subjected to the mashed potatoes that are so liquefied and gummy that they’ve basically turned into potato soup on our plate. However, there is one tool and one technique that will get your perfect mashed potatoes every time: the ricer. Truffle oil optional, but a unique addition if you’re making Chicken Chasseur.
The first thing you need to know is that there is one kind of potato that you should use for mashed potatoes and that is the Yukon gold potato. I’ve found that the starch content in these potatoes holds up well to the addition of butter and milk so that you get consistently creamy potatoes.
Once you’ve got your potatoes, you need to make sure that you don’t overcook them. Don’t peel your potatoes before you toss them in the water. About 15 minutes in mildly boiling water is enough to cook them thoroughly. You want your fork to be met with a little resistance before sliding through the flesh. If you’ve overcooked your potatoes, you will have mushier mashed potatoes and we’re not looking for that consistency here.
Finally, you need to employ the right tools in your kitchen. Forget that archaic mashing device that sits unused in your utensil holder, and go ahead and invest in a ricer. Cut your potatoes in half and set them in the barrel of the ricer, plunge the top down until the strings of potato come out of the bottom of the contraption. Make sure you have a bowl to catch it in and be careful some potatoes may be pushed out with a lot of force and not quite make it in the bowl.
After adding warmed milk and a couple of pads of butter, the last step in the process is to stir it all together with a spoon. At the end, you’ll end up with potatoes that can hold up to a thick stew and pair perfectly with any sort of hearty meat dish, particularly turkey.
You’re going to need these tools to make this recipe
- 2 pounds yukon gold potatoes skins on
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 8 ounces unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon of white truffle oil if making truffled mashed, omit if you want regular
In a large pot, cover potatoes with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and add 1 tablespoon salt.
Once to a boil, reduce heat to keep a mild boil and cook for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes have softened. Drain in a colander.
While potatoes cook, warm milk in a saucepan, careful not to scald it.
Set the ricer on the rim of a deep bowl and fill ricer halfway with potatoes. Slowly press the plunger until the potatoes are pressed through. Discard the potato skins after each use.
When all potatoes have been riced, put the cubes of butter in the potatoes and stir gently with a spoon. Add the milk in to desired creamy consistency.
If you are making truffled mashed potatoes, you will want to add the tablespoon of white truffle oil at the end.
Stir to combine, serve immediately.
Now that you’ve mastered the perfect mashed potato, you might want to think of pairing it with a hearty stew or my favorite french chicken recipe, chicken chasseur.