Introduction: Mashed Potatoes

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This mashed potato recipe is really more of a technique - a basic formula I use to make sure my mashed potatoes always turn out well. :D

The best part about this technique is that you can pack in a ton of flavor without adding chunks of other ingredients to the mashed potatoes - great for finicky eaters!

Step 1: What You'll Need:

  • 6 russet potatoes
  • 1 cup milk or cream or a mix of the two
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • garlic, dried herbs, fresh herbs of choice (I used garlic and parsley)
  • salt & pepper to taste
This is the best ratio I've found - it gives a creamy and fairly smooth mash. Increase or decrease the milk as needed. :D

You can also add more butter and a handful of parmesan cheese for super tasty mashed potatoes.

You'll also need a small strainer - that's the only special equipment required!

Step 2: Peel and Boil Your Potatoes

Peel your potatoes and cut them into small 1-2 inch chunks. Try to keep the size uniform so they all cook at the same time. Cover with cold water by a couple inches and add in a couple good pinches of salt.

Put on the stove and bring to a boil.

Depending on the size of the potatoes, they will take 20-30 minutes to cook. You'll know they're done once they can be easily pierced or crushed by a fork.

I normally set a timer for 15 minutes, test a piece, and then add more time as necessary. It's better to over-boil than under-boil.

Step 3: Add Flavor!

To add flavor and make the mashed potatoes nice and creamy, we're going to saute herbs and/or garlic in some butter and then steep that mixture in milk or cream.

I love garlic mashed potatoes, so I'm sauteing 3 minced cloves of garlic until nice and brown (this mellows the garlic a bit!) in two tablespoons of butter.

You can add in fresh or dried herbs to this mix, but beware when using very strong herbs like rosemary and thyme. You might want to add very little (1 teaspoon) or less and work your way up. Rosemary can easily overpower everything else.

Once you've sauteed your additions, pour in your cup of milk or cream and turn the heat down to lowest heat. Let this simmer together, stirring every now and then, while the potatoes boil.

Step 4: Drain and Mash the Potatoes

Once the potatoes are fork tender, strain them and return them to the stove.

Pour the milk mixture in the potatoes through a small strainer to remove the garlic or herbs and add in the additional two tablespoons of butter.

Use a potato masher, large fork or a pastry cutter to start mashing the potatoes. You can use a whisk to get them even more creamy!

Taste test and add more butter or milk, fresh herbs, cheese or salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy! :D