Allow me to ask you guys a serious question: What are the holidays without a big bowl of mashed potatoes? Well, just a regular Thursday dinner.
I’m only teasing. Mashed potatoes always remind me of family; they are the starchy nostalgic equivalent of chicken noodle soup. Of all the dishes you could make for the holidays, I think this has to be the simplest. This side dish requires very few ingredients but packs a lot of buttery richness. Concerning the butter usage, I have to say the butter carries as much weight as the potatoes here. You don’t have to use the full amount of dairy products I have posted here, but you really, really should. Your family and your taste buds will crown you as regional manager of mashed potatoes.
This dish requires no garnishment, unless you want to throw some chives in.
Tip: Since one of the main ingredients is butter, I highly recommend using the nice European kind.
Buttery Mashed Potatoes
About 4 servings
4 Russet potatoes (3 if larger sized)
8oz unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk of your choice
Salt and pepper
Cut the butter into little pieces so they come up to room temperature faster. This will also help them mash with the potatoes beautifully.
Once you have peeled the potatoes, rinse and clean them in cold water. Next, cut them into quarters and place them into a large sauce pan with cold water. Make sure the potatoes are fully immersed in water and add a good amount of salt to the pan to start the seasoning early.
Bring the water to a boil and then down to a simmer. This will take a few minutes, but what you’re really doing is fully cooking the potatoes. You’ll know they are done when you can stick a knife into them easily. Once they’re done cooking, drain them thoroughly. Keep the pan you were using and just make sure it is dry by keepng it on low heat. Place the potatoes back in – the potatoes should look starchy if they are cooked all the way through.
Keeping the pan on low heat, use the masher and break up the potatoes – they don’t need to be completely mashed. This first step should simply just break down the structure. Add a quarter of the amount of butter and use the masher again until the butter has melted into the potatoes. Repeat this twice more until you have the consistency you want. I prefer mine a little chunky for textural purposes. Now, switch to a whisk and if we did our math properly, we should have about a quarter amount of butter left. Add in your seasoning and start whisking gently for about 30 seconds. Add milk and finish whisking. Once the milk becomes one with the buttery goodness, you are ready to serve this dish.
I lied. Please taste for seasoning again before serving, but don’t use this step as an excuse to sneak extra into your mouth. Add some chives because it’s green and counterbalances the butter. Right?