Over the weekend, my parents were in town. It was rounding about 11:30am, and my husband asked, “What are we going to do for lunch?” I thought for a minute, then got up to go searching in the kitchen to see if we had anything I could throw together (that wasn’t a processed meal). As I searched through the freezer and found some sweet and sour meatballs I made from scratch and stuck them in there until they were needed. Next, there were whole potatoes in the pantry and fresh broccoli in the fridge. Done. There was my menu. So, I got to work.
I’ve made mashed potatoes SO many times throughout my life, and in so many different ways. One of the techniques I learned in culinary school though was in our vegetables and starches class, because we made several batches of mashed potatoes…and throughout the other classes as well for a side dish. Especially in the meat class. As I threw everything together, I explained to my mom about the technique I learned from school. When adding your milk and butter to your mashed potatoes, heat them up FIRST. So, melt the butter and heat the milk (I always do this together in a small pot on the stove while the potatoes are cooking). When you add cold milk and cold butter to the potatoes, it brings the temperature of those hot potatoes down…but that’s not all. Adding the hot milk and melted butter to your potatoes also gives them a creamier texture, and throw some sour cream in there…you’ve got the lightness. I used to use cream cheese in my potatoes, but that made a more dense and heavy consistency. When it comes to salt though, everyone is different. So, add about how much salt and pepper you think you would like, then take a spoon and test it out to see if you think it’s salted enough. As we’re eating lunch, my parents, aunt, and hubby were going on and on about the potatoes, and we all went back for seconds. I’ve finally found a mashed potatoes recipes that I’m going to stick with…oh, experiments are so much fun. 😉
Mashed Potatoes Recipe:
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 oz. sour cream
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup milk, hot
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add potatoes. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes are tender (you’ll notice the color of the water starting to get foggy and the potatoes are slightly breaking apart around the edges). Drain water from potatoes, then mash with a potato masher as much as you can. Add butter and milk, beat with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sour cream, salt and pepper, continue mixing until reaching desired taste and consistency.
**TIP: If you like your potatoes even creamier, reserve some of the hot potato water after potatoes are done cooking. This way you don’t have to add more hot milk or melted butter to the mixture (unless you want to!).