August 13, 2011

Simple Mashed Potatoes

Just like the way some people have trouble boiling a hard boiled egg-
potatoes aren't the simplest either.

Here is a simple fool-proof way to make basic mashed potatoes.
You can simply start with any kind of potato-
Wash it, and peel it.

After peeling the skin, dice it into small pieces (the smaller the better)
Keep in mind that you are planning to mash these little cubes up once
they are fully cooked.

The next tip is to place the diced up potatoes into a pan large enough
that the potatoes will be completely submerged in water...
BUT make sure the water is cold water!  The reason for the cold water
is that in the time that it takes the cold water to get hot and boiling...
it gives the potatoes that extra time to get comfy in the hot tub.

This is when I add the salt into the water to give the potatoes
some flavor through the boiling  process.
If I'm not too tired, I'll even add a little chicken broth
to raise the flavor even more.

Once the water starts to boil rapidly... lower the heat from high
to medium and cover the pan slightly to help keep the heat in the hot tub.
Once it's been boiling for a few minutes- take a fork (not a knife-
because the knife will just slice it rather than show it's tenderness)
and see if the fork goes through the potato nicely. 
You'll know if it's tender or still needs a little more boiling.
(The more tender the potato is... the less lumps you will have
in your mashed potatoes!)

Once the potatoes have passed the smooth-fork-tender test...
You can drain the water from the pan.

Lastly, you want to get out your masher while adding a little butter
and a splash of milk or cream. Whether to use milk or cream can be
based off of what consistency you want your mashed potatoes
to be. If you don't want then as thick... I'd go with the milk. 
Butter milk is a great alternative also!
Add very little salt if needed (you shouldn't really have to add too
much because you salted the water)

Once you get the basic mashed potatoes down...
you can add your shredded cheese in there, or your garlic
or chives or whatever floats your boat!