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Is there anything more comforting than enjoying a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes? Whether you prefer a chunky mash or a smooth puree, making the perfect mashed potatoes is essential to a holiday meal, especially if you are trying to impress your out-of-town guests.
To make sure everything goes as planned this holiday season, we've put together some simple tips and tricks for making the ultimate mashed potatoes the whole family will love. So what does it take to make the perfect mashed potatoes? It all boils down to a few key steps:
SELECT YOUR MASH
For chunky mashed potatoes, nothing works better than a stainless steel masher. Be sure to select a potato masher with a long handle to keep your hands away from the heat. If slippery hands are a concern opt for a masher with a silicone grip. Potato mashers come in different shapes so choose one that suits your preferences. A quick rule of thumb: potato mashers with small holes will yield smoother potatoes than those with a wire shape. Here's a great recipe for Irish mashed potatoes with cabbage.
If velvety mashed potatoes are what you long for then consider investing in a food mill or potato ricer. While more expensive than a stander potato masher, both of these kitchen utensils yield smooth, fluffy potatoes perfect for mashing. The trick lies in running the potatoes through the mill or ricer while they are still warm. Try this gourmet recipe for roasted lamb and lemony potato puree.
DON'T BE AFRAID OF FAT
If you are health conscious look away now. That's because the real secret to perfect mashed potatoes is using real butter and cream - yes, cream. But you can't just dump cold cream and butter on your potato mash and expect it to be perfect.
Instead, you'll want to bring the cream and butter to a simmer in a small saucepan in the final minutes of cooking the potatoes. Once they are mashed, pour the cream and butter mixture over the potatoes and stir to combine. Adjust your seasonings and bring that bowl of perfect mashed potatoes to the table.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? Do you prefer smooth or chunky mashed potatoes? Do you have a special cooking tip you'd like to share? We'd love to know! Leave your comment below.