I've made mashed potatoes dozens of times, and somehow always find a little lump or two. Or 50. Or 500. I needed (desperately) a fail-proof way to make perfect mashed potatoes. And because my family LOVES cheese, I needed a recipe for perfect cheesy mashed potatoes.
Don't Use a Food Processor to Make Mashed Potatoes
Before I knew better, I figured I just needed to whip the potatoes up harder and longer.
I even threw them in the food processor once, and ended up with a gluey substance perfect for wallpapering the kitchen.
How is it that I could grow my own sour dough starter, bake bread, roll up a pumpkin roll well enough to impress Martha, break down a duck for God's sake, but be defeated by the humble russet?
It was embarrassing
Perfect Mashed Potatoes Means Using the Right Kind of Potatoes
I knew there were different kinds of potatoes out there, but never appreciated just how different they were until I started playing with Frieda's Butter Babies. They look like baby Yukon's with their yellow creamy flesh, and are so buttery you might not even miss it if you decide not to add butter. Frieda's Butter Babies come in a very fun, recognizable package, and are exclusively grown for Frieda's Specialty Produce. Frieda's sources an impressive array of produce that you should check out.
If you don't see them at your market, use Yukon gold potatoes. They're much creamier than russets.
But the BEST approach is to use a COMBINATION of equal amounts of Yukon gold and russet potatoes.
Equipment for Perfect Mashed Potatoes
You need only one thing for perfect mashed potatoes that don't have any lumps. And that's a Potato Ricer. The one I like best is pictured below. I like that it has 3 different size holes for ricing.
I like to add cheese to mashed potatoes, but it's strictly optional. I use cheddar cheese, but any melty cheese works great. If I have truffled goat cheese on hand, it's another winner in these mashed potatoes.
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Fail-Proof Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
- Add the potatoes to a well salted pot of water, cover the pot, and bring to a simmer. Cook until very tender, about 25 minutes.
- Coming the half-and-half, butter, salt and pepper in a small pot over medium heat. Bring just barely to a simmer and melt the butter.
- Push the potatoes through a potato ricer into the pot of hot milk and butter, and discard the skins from the ricer. Add the cheese to the pot and stir with a large metal spoon. Serve warm with a final flourish of freshly ground pepper, and chopped parsley, if desired.
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