Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Word on Mashed Potatoes

It would hardly be a proper post around here if I didn't mention we get a CSA box from Aarstiderne. We do. And along with all those dang carrots, we get potatoes every week too. Which is great, because we get to eat French fries and mashed potatoes alot, which are always a hit with the young, hip crowd that live here.

Now, have you ever had the feeling that the mashed potatoes you make could double as an adherent for wallpaper? I'm not sure the exact chemical processes that make this so, but I suspect is has to do with how you beat the potatoes, and also how much they are boiled. But here, I have a few tips for bringing the perfect mashed potato to your table.

1) This is a Heston Blumenthal tip, not exactly energy efficient, but it really gives you a perfect mashed potato. Heat potatoes up in a large pot of water. When the water starts to steam, though just before bubbling, drain the water from the potatoes. Yes, drain the water and throw it away. Most of the starches will have left your spuds by now, so add fresh water to the pot and potatoes, a sprinkling of salt, and carry on as you always have.

2) Instead of a whole serving of mashed potato, use half potatoes, and other tubers for the rest. I like using celeriac, parsnip, carrots, jerusalem artichoke, root parsley et. al. They add a different flavor, different nutrients and aren't starchy like potatoes can be.

3) I hand beat mine, with an egg beater, or even a fork sometimes. It gives a nice rustic feel to it, and doesn't beat the starches out of the potatoes and into the dish.

Anyone else have tips?


Archaeogoddess said...

I add copious amount of butter, milk and creme fraiche (did I spell that right?). I've also been known to add a can of corn and a red bell pepper (both go into the mix while it's still boiling on the stove, so they are soft). It's a recipe from Pioneer Woman, I didn't invent that m'self.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah baby - I had real cream when I got it too. And an extra pat of butter. And another one. Corn and bell pepper? Sounds good - might give it a shot next time.

Khawaga said...

I put mine through the mouli. You know, food mill. Wind-up sieve.