Have you ever had really smooth yet thick and cream mashed potato? Do you always wonder how you can create the same at home? The following are suggestions that may help you get the best mash every time. Impress friends and family at meal time whist saving money with this delicious, healthy, low cost vegetable.
Firstly, select the right potato. Large baking potatoes will be cheap and cheerful and can offer a great taste, but for white, fluffy and tasty mash, we recommend a larger sized new potato variety such as Maris Pipers, King Edwards or Desiree.
Always clean and peel the potato completely. Yes, skins have fibre and other nutrients, but to get a nice white, velvety, fluffy and creamy mash, the skins, eyes and blemished must be completely removed. We suggest trying with 3 medium sized potatoes per person served and adjust according to portion size desired.
The trick with mash potato is to cook the right size pieces for just the right time to be soft enough to mash smoothly without being boiled to the point of losing taste. This was you can begin to mash correctly from the start. Mess the first bit up and the dish will not be prepared perfectly. Each piece should be about 55g or 2oz. An average sized medium potato cut in 4. Each potato cooks at a different rate, so we are unable to suggest temperatures and times. However, we do suggest letting the potato pieces simmer gently for approximately 35-55 minutes, testing every 5 minutes after 35 minutes. We suggest that the water used has a small amount of salt added so that the taste infuses through the potato as well as helping to control the boiling point of water and the amount that may simmer over the side of the pan.
The next bit is begin mashing before adding other things. We would suggest draining the potatoes and adding a little salt to suite your taste and nothing else at his stage. Use a large, high quality masher. We often select the heavy duty stainless steel variety. Never add milk, butter or cream at this stage – that all comes next. Once the potatoes are mashed, you can use the masher to whisk and aerate the potato to add fluff. Leave the mashed mixture for 3-5 minutes and then mash again followed by whisking again with the masher or other suitable culinary implement. This is a double mashing technique that we find very useful. When hot, potatoes continue to cook and mashing reduces the size of the lumps meaning that any harder bits continue to cook and soften so that second mashing makes those otherwise harder bits soft and fluffy too. Each of the two mashing processes should take several minutes. Mashing potato can be hard work, but just think of the calories burned!
At this stage, add a little butter. Mash again for about 30 to 60 seconds.
Add some double cream (about 10-20ml or 0.3 to 0.7 fl oz) per person served). Mash for 30 seconds.
Add some milk. Mash again for 30 to 60 seconds.
Serve immediately. Garnish with a little black pepper and some freshly chopped chives. Garnish the top rather than mixing in.
Please note that the above method is just one of many good ways to cook mashed potato. Other varieties can be used and also other things can be added such as cream cheese (perhaps instead of double cream). This recipe may not be the most applicable for those on a diet, those told to avoid salt or those told to avoid fats or dairy produce, but should be just fine for those looking for an impressive taste for a one-off treat as art of a balanced diet.