How To Make Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are the most requested side dish and make a classic pairing with steaks and holiday dinners. They are simple yet enhance the flavors of the meals they are served with. They are also one of my favorite foods at dinner, or anytime!
But there is something surprising, more satisfying, about mashed potatoes if you look at it as an individual component. The creaminess from the starch in the potatoes mashed into perfect consistency, and the addition of cream, butter, or milk to make it extra unique so it melts in your mouth and makes you drool just thinking about it. Surprisingly, mashed potatoes itself is a complete dish that requires no more than salt and pepper, but at the same time, there is so much potential in it that you can customize it according to your personal preference and likings.
In this article, we will talk about making perfect mashed potatoes and how adding a few delicious ingredients bring your mashed spuds up a notch on the flavor chart. One of these additional recipes will give you more ideas of what flavors to pair with your meal and let those mashed potatoes be a star on the dinner table!
What Kind Of Potatoes Are Best Mashed?
The most commonly used potatoes in mashed potatoes are Russet potatoes. The russet potatoes have a starchy texture, and they are effortless to cook in a short time whether you are baking them or boiling them. The texture makes them fluffy, but taste-wise, russets are like kind of plain.
Then we have Golden Yukon Potatoes, which are fluffier and full of that potato flavor. Yukon is ideal for mashed potatoes, but the taste development process can be tricky, especially when adding butter and milk or cream.
In my opinion it's best to mix both Russet and Golden Yukon potatoes. Russet helps build a delicious flavor profile while Golden Yukon potatoes maintain the creaminess. The recipe I have below will include both potatoes in it, but you (of course), can use any kind of potato you like.
- Peel your potatoes. Give them a nice rinse and then continue the prep by cutting your potatoes into even sized pieces so they cook at the same consistency.
- Put the cut potatoes into a sauce pan and cover them with cold water. Add a little salt to the water and put it onto the stove. Turn the gas on and start to cook your spuds. It helps make the perfect mashed potatoes if you cook them in cold water. I used to put them into a pot of boiled water, but don't do that anymore. Boil this for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes just about fall apart.
- Remove your pan from the water and drain the potatoes. Some people like to save a little bit of the water to mix in along with some milk and butter.
- Mash your potatoes with a fork, a masher, or mixer. Slowly add room-temperature or heated butter to your bowl and then slowly add room temperature or heated milk. Keep doing this to ensure you get the thickness and consistency you like best.
Different Variations of Mashed potatoes
Love potatoes? Here are some ways to make those spuds the best, most flavorful, ever. And here are a few of our favorite variations to elevate your mashed potato game:
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Garlic mashed potatoes are simple to make. All you need is a clove of roasted or sautéd Garlic, minced to mix through the mixture of butter, mashed potatoes, milk, and salt and pepper. You can add cheese to it as well.
- Cheesy Mashed Potatoes: As the name suggests, the potatoes are full of cheesy goodness. We recommend using either cream cheese or grated chuleddar, mixed right in with your milk and butter combo.
- Skin-on Mashed Potatoes: Skin-on mashed potatoes are full of vitamins. The best way to make these is to wash the skins thoroughly before cooking. We recommend boiling a few russet potatoes with skin, then mashing and seasoning with butter, cream, salt, and pepper. You will notice the earthy flavor from the skins.
- Baked Twice Mashed Potatoes: Instead of boiling the potatoes, try baking them first and scoop the potato out of the skins when they are done. Mash them with the butter and milk, and then fill the skins up with the mashed mix and bake them for another 15 to 20 minutes.
- Bacon and Cheese Mashed Potatoes: Bacon and cheese is a classic combination and so delicious in mashed potatoes. Bacon makes everything better! Just make the mashed potatoes like you usually do, add chopped bacon, and cheese and mix and serve.
- Mashed potatoes with chives or shallot toppings: You can even use toppings like shallots and chives over your regular mashed potatoes. Honestly, a simple topping can make so much difference with the flavors of the mashed potatoes. I like this combo with sour cream too. In fact, I like sour cream with all of my tater recipes.
- Experiment with your favorite flavors and find your own unique recipe!
My Grandmother always made smashed potatoes. These are mashed potatoes that haven't been whipped until they were smooth and creamy. They were a little bit lumpy. They were the best potatoes ever! Give them a try.