As we start to get into the realm of Thanksgiving, I think it is important to discuss the mashed potato. When I was a teenager, we used to come back home after dances for a girly sleepover, but would be famished. For some reason, we went through this phase where all we wanted as our late night snack was boxed mashed potatoes. Well, boxed mashed potatoes and cookie dough. And then we watched Clueless. I mean, come on, we were a pack of teenage girls.

As an quasi-adult, I tried one night to recapture the delight of those potatoes while, once again, watching Clueless. While the joy of watching Paul Rudd be adorable has not diminished, my appreciation of the boxed potato has. Along those lines, I’ve also noticed over the years that, while mashed potatoes can be the pinnacle of yumminess, they can also be gummy, bland and just kind of unappealing. This makes me sad.

In an effort to help fellow survivors of gummy, bland mashed potatoes out there, I’ve put together some tips to help ensure that you never fall into the clutches of unfortunate potatoes ever again:

1. Rinse the start off of potatoes before putting them in the pot.
2. Add the potatoes to cold water and heat everything together.
3. Salt the water!
4. Use a food mill/ricer/potato masher to mash the potatoes instead of a mixer or food processor.
5. Butter, cream (1/2 & 1/2 or milk) & salt. Absolutely essential.

Abide by these rules and you’ll be in mashed potato bliss from here on out!

 

Mashed Potatoes (1 of 11)

 

Yukon Gold Potatoes
Goat’s Milk (or cream if you can’t find/don’t like goat’s milk)
Buttermilk
Butter, unsalted
Rosemary, fresh & chopped up
Salt
Pepper

 

Special Equipment: food mill or ricer

 

 

Mashed Potatoes (2 of 11)

 

Start out by peeling your potatoes and cutting them into large chunks. By large chunks I mean large. I cut my potatoes, which were pretty large, into 6 pieces each. As you cut up the potatoes, put them in a bowl of cold water. When you’ve finished chopping, pour out the water and give the potatoes another good rinse. You want to wash off as much starch as possible.

 

Mashed Potatoes (3 of 11)

 

Run fresh water into a large pot and add the potatoes to the COLD water. Salt very liberally. (I threw a handful into the water, like one would for pasta.) Bring the water to a simmer, with the potatoes in it, and cook the potatoes until they are easily pierced with a knife and will slide right off of the blade. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl.

Mashed Potatoes (6 of 11)

 

Take out your food mill or ricer. While using an electric mixer works for making mashed potatoes, it can easily lead to over agitating the potatoes, which kind of activates the starch and can make them gummy. Thus the food mill/ricer. I used a food mill, which is just a crank that forces the potato through a small grate. You end up with pieces of potato that look like rice or noodles, but which mix up very easily.

Mashed Potatoes (7 of 11)

Once you’ve milled your potatoes, add a big chunk of butter and begin to fold it into the potatoes. Also add in the chopped rosemary (the finer, the better). At this point it becomes a game of add and taste. So add some goat’s milk and buttermilk and taste. Add some salt and pepper and then taste. Keep adding and tasting until you have the consistency and flavor that you like. And you will find that balance and it will be rich and creamy and delicious.

If goat’s and buttermilk aren’t your thing, weird, but possible, then try sour cream, cheese or even creme fraiche. However, the butter is crucial and you need some kind of milk or cream to bring it all together. And salt. Trust me, you will be straight up eating this out of the bowl.

Kick-Ass Mashed Potatoes
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • Goat's Milk (or cream if you can't find/don't like goat's milk)
  • Buttermilk
  • Butter, unsalted
  • Rosemary, fresh & chopped up
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Special Equipment: food mill or ricer
Instructions
  1. Start out by peeling your potatoes and cutting them into large chunks. By large chunks I mean large. I cut my potatoes, which were pretty large, into 6 pieces each.
  2. As you cut up the potatoes, put them in a bowl of cold water. When you've finished chopping, pour out the water and give the potatoes another good rinse. You want to wash off as much starch as possible.
  3. Run fresh water into a large pot and add the potatoes to the COLD water. Salt very liberally. (I threw a handful into the water, like one would for pasta.)
  4. Bring the water to a simmer, with the potatoes in it, and cook the potatoes until they are easily pierced with a knife and will slide right off of the blade.
  5. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl.
  6. Take out your food mill or ricer. While using an electric mixer works for making mashed potatoes, it can easily lead to over agitating the potatoes, which kind of activates the starch and can make them gummy. Thus the food mill/ricer. I used a food mill, which is just a crank that forces the potato through a small grate. You end up with pieces of potato that look like rice or noodles, but which mix up very easily.
  7. Once you've milled your potatoes, add a big chunk of butter and begin to fold it into the potatoes.
  8. Also add in the chopped rosemary (the finer, the better).
  9. At this point it becomes a game of add and taste. So add some goat's milk and buttermilk and taste. Add some salt and pepper and then taste. Keep adding and tasting until you have the consistency and flavor that you like. And you will find that balance and it will be rich and creamy and delicious.
Notes
If goat's and buttermilk aren't your thing, weird, but possible, then try sour cream, cheese or even creme fraiche. However, the butter is crucial and you need some kind of milk or cream to bring it all together. And salt. Trust me, you will straight up be eating this out of the bowl.