Monday, April 13, 2009

Best Mashed Potatoes

I have always been a fan of creamy, fluffy, decadent mashed potatoes. I'll happily eat the "skinny" mashed potatoes, too, but the key for me is that they have to melt in your mouth. And they have to have flavor.

One of my contributions to our Easter/Passover lunch yesterday was mashed potatoes. I had never actually made them before, believe it or not, but I knew I wanted to do my favorite potato dish justice. I didn't want it to be too frilly and fancy, but it had to be flavorful and interesting. And fluffy.

Not only was my first attempt at mashed potatoes a success, but I have to say they're the best mashed potatoes I've ever eaten.

A note - I highly recommend using home made stock. If you don't have any, then warm up a little more than a cup of stock-in-a-box with a bay leaf and a generous amount of pepper for about 10-15 minutes; remove the bay leaf before you add the stock to the potatoes. You want the stock to pack a punch.

Another note - I also highly recommend using a potato ricer to mash the potatoes. It's so much easier than using a masher, and you get beautifully smooth results. If you use a masher, I'd recommend peeling the potatoes for a smoother consistency.

Best Mashed Potatoes
makes 8 servings


3 pounds baby red and/or gold potatoes, washed/scrubbed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup good quality low sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste


1. Put the potatoes in a large stockpot and fill with water up to about 2 inches above the top of the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. When it comes to a boil, remove the lid. Cook for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are very easily pierced with a fork or knife.

2. Drain potatoes well. Use a ricer to mash the potatoes directly back into the pot. (If you're using a masher, return potatoes to the pot and then mash them). Put back on the stove over low heat and add the butter. Stir.

3. Slowly pour in the stock, milk, and cream, and stir to combine. Add rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. As soon as everything is combined and butter is completely melted, serve.

4. If you can't serve right away, reheat in a casserole dish in the oven at about 350 for 20 minutes.

Absolutely fluffy, gorgeous and delicious. And they are still healthier than your typical cream-filled, butter-laden mash.


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