Here`s a few things I`ve learned about making mashed potatoes:
- Butter and milk are a must.
- Adding other things is cheating though my faves include roasted garlic, pickled jalapeno (diced) or wasabi.
- To impart flavour you can mess with the water. Adding a bunch of garlic to the boiling water (skin on if you`d like) will change the flavour of the water and thus the potatoes when complete.
- Use a ridiculous amount of water. The temperature of your water will drop drastically when you add your potatoes to it – the more water you have, the quicker it will return to a boil.
- Per above, you can also cook them in stock (chicken stock is a great trick – reserve the potato-infused stock for things like squash soup for greater use)
- I like the skins on but that`s preference.
- Cook the potatoes whole, with skins on. This was a recent revelation as I would always cube and sometimes peel first. keeping them whole prevents water absorbtion and helps you achieve a fluffier mash.
- Don`t prick them for reason above.
- You can keep them warm in a double boiler.
- Starch potatoes are best – if you have the luxury of a local potato farmer who has varieties, always ask. You may be surprised which ones they recommend.
- Partially cooked potatoes and a ricer are not your friend. I recently lost one of my all-time favourite kitchen accessories to this costly mistake.
- Heat the milk and butter prior to mashing, results in fluffer potatoes.