A Conversation for Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Perfect mashed potatoes
SeedNotHerd Started conversation Sep 5, 2001
1. Choice of potato. Idaho is fine. In England we use something like a King Edward or other potatoe that tends to 'fall' i.e. disintegrate, easily.
2. 40 minutes is excessive. Cut into quarters and give 'em 15 minutes. Quartering seems to optimise the balance between cooking till tender and avoiding water take-up.
3. Purists sometimes steam potatoes whole, also to avoid water take-up, in their skins, then peel.
4. Why 'smelly' garlic? Garlic by now hopefully needs no aggressive selling. Whole unpeeled cloves in the same water produce something squishy and aromatic that you squeeze from their papery skins before mashing in.
5. 'Leeks Lucullus' includes prepared sliced leeks boiled with potatoes and then mashed in.
6. Cream, creme fraiche and butter are all OK and a matter of preference.
7. English and American recipes go for a more solid result. The French (who sometimes call our version 'massed potatoes') go for a more liquid puree, liquid being provided by say a quality chicken stock. They use a whisk rather than a heavy-duty masher.
8. Addition of grated Gruyere or Cheddar cheese seems fashionable in restaurants right now, as a hearty accompaniment to e.g. sausage of quality
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