I always thought it would be silly to sit down and write a recipe for mashed potatoes, but I figured right before Thanksgiving would be as good a time as any. I grew up watching my grandma make them, and I guess I just continued the tradition. She made the best mashed potatoes. I know, I know...your grandma probably made the best too. I'll let you continue to live in your dream world, but my grandma really was the best. I kid, I kid! Your grandma's potatoes were probably equally delicious.
One big reason a recipe is hard to write is that uniformity is really hard with mashed potatoes, because there is no way that all of your potatoes will ever be the exact same size. I keep the same base each time for my mashed potatoes, but I just continue to add each ingredient to taste. So keep that in mind if you decide to try this recipe. You must conform it to your taste, it's a must-must. But I do have a few tips for the perfect creamy mashed potatoes. So here we go...
Tip #1: Make sure to dice your potatoes the same size as much as possible. They will cook more evenly and you won't have as many lumps. Lumps are the fallen angel of mashed potato heaven. I also have people ask me which types of potatoes to use. I always use Russets or Yukon Gold potatoes. I find that red potatoes are too gummy for my liking, but russets and yukon golds are light and fluffy!
Tip #2: Make sure to place your diced potatoes in cold water. This will help them to come up to boiling temperature gradually. Again cooking evenly = no lumps.
Tip #3: Place 1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar + 1 Tbsp olive oil in your water. I got this trick from another lovely blog, and I'm not exactly sure how or why it works, but it does. And never fear, the potatoes will not come away with one single hint of vinegar flavor. You should try this sometime, but if you don't trust me (which you should, I would never lead you in the wrong direction) try it after Thanksgiving. You know, sometime when all you have to feed is a toothless toddler who doesn't care because they just love mashed potatoes.
I know it looks murky, but don't worry!
Perfect Mashed Potatoes
Makes 8 servings
12 medium russet potatoes (about the size of your fist), peeled and diced
1 stick butter, room temp is better
1/4 cup sour cream
splash of milk
Cracked black pepper
2-4 Tbsp butter, cubed
**Note: I use unsalted butter so that I can control my salt content. Please keep this in mind, add in the extra salt gradually to taste.
Peel and dice potatoes and place in cold water. Bring water to a boil, add some kosher salt (an extra opportunity to season the potatoes). Boil until potatoes are fork tender. I let mine go until they completely fall apart with each poke of the fork. Drain potatoes and place back in the hot pot. Cook on medium for a few minutes, stirring constantly. This will help evaporate any leftover water so your potatoes don't end up runny. Runny potatoes are a big problem! Combine potatoes, butter, garlic, sour cream. salt, seasoned salt, and pepper to taste. Mix on low until large lumps are gone. Add milk until potatoes are at desired consistency. Press down cubed butter into the potatoes and sprinkle with extra seasoned salt. The butter will melt and make them extra delicious!
1 clove garlic, grated
shredded cheese, any kind
corn (because if you're like me, it gets mixed together anyway!)