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How To Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving - Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

How To Make Perfect Mashed Potatoes for Thanksgiving - Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
From The Kitchn - November 15, 2017

Is there nothing more comforting and delicious than mashed potatoes?This warm, creamy, dairy-laden starch might be more of an indulgence than everyday fare these days, but even if you only have them once a year (Thanksgiving!), I say go all out and do it right.Read on for a recipe for classic mashed potatoes, with recommendations for potato type, dairy additions, and mashing methods.

The Best Mashed Potatoes Are not Mashed

Folks have been wielding the potato masher in the kitchen for generations, so if this is your preferred method, I say stick with it. I used a ricer for testing this recipe, and while I feel it results in superior potatoes (less lumps, more fluff) I actually prefer a food mill which, besides also producing less lumps and more fluff, separates the skins so no peeling is necessary. I also find it easier to use than the ricer, which is really a two-person process: one to peel, another to rice.

Do not ever use a blender or food processor to whip your potatoes! You will end up with glue and then you (and your guests) will be sad.

The Potatoes

Choosing the proper potatoes is critical.There are basically three types of potatoes:very starchy like Russets, very waxy like Red Bliss, and somewhere in the middle like Yukon Golds.First rule: Do not use the waxy, red potatoes for your mash.They just wo not break down enough (read: lumps) nor do they absorb the dairy very well.Stick with Russets and Yukon Golds.Of the two, the Russet will give you the creamiest mash, but many people prefer the flavor and golden color of Yukon Golds.It's a trade-off and totally up to you.

Boil Without Peeling

I do not peel or slice my potatoes before cooking them. The reason for this is threefold: Unpeeled and unsliced potatoes will absorb less water while being boiled, preserving the starch within the potato. Less water avoids a gluey, watery mash and allows the potatoes to absorb the dairy. Plus the potato peels contribute to the overall potato flavor. And finally, taking the peels off after cooking is quicker and easier.

Add the Butter First For Silkier Potatoes

Perfect Mashed Potatoes: Watch the Video

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