from_the_kitchen] A Guide to 13 Different Kinds of Mashed Potatoes

A Guide to 13 Different Kinds of Mashed Potatoes
Melissa, the cook on this project, discovered that she likes mashed potatoes after all.

Mashed potatoes—she thought—were bland, something to pile gravy on. By the time the project was done, she liked mashed potatoes. They weren’t boring, they could have a taste of their own, and they can be adventuresome.

How to Make Mashed Potatoes

Making basic mashed potatoes is simple. Start with good quality potatoes, potatoes that are fresh and free from bruises. Choose a heavy pot that will disperse heat well and that is large enough to hold your potatoes with ample water so that it will not boil over. Your potatoes will cook quicker if you place a lid on the pot.

Unless you are making skin-on mashed potatoes with red potatoes, peel your potatoes, cut them into chunks, and place them in the pot of water. If you leave your potatoes exposed to air, they will change color. Add salt to the water, about one teaspoon per gallon of water and potatoes.

Boil your potatoes until they are tender when poked with a fork. Two pounds of potatoes boiled on medium-high heat will take about 15 minutes after boiling starts, to cook but will vary depending on the pot, the quantity of water, size of the cut potatoes, and the stove. Drain the water from the pot.

Mash your potatoes immediately. You can use a hand masher, a hand-held electric mixer, your stand-type mixer, or a potato ricer. For creamy mashed potatoes, add milk as you beat or use one of the recipes below. Add salt and pepper and butter to taste. Beat your potatoes until light and creamy.

Note: Many recipes call for heating the milk and melting the butter before adding to the potatoes. You can easily do so in the microwave and it will help to keep your potatoes hot. We usually don’t bother if we are beating the potatoes immediately after cooking.

Place your mashed potatoes in a serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve. The plastic wrap will keep them warm. After dinner, immediately refrigerate your potatoes. They will keep covered in the refrigerator for three to five days.

1. Bacon and Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Fry bacon slices or cook them in the microwave. Use kitchen shears to snip the bacon into 1/4-inch bits. Add 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, five slices of bacon, and 1/2 cup milk or cream for each two pounds of potatoes. If you like, you can sprinkle additional shredded cheese over the top of the potatoes in the serving dish.

This was another favorite.

2. Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes
Make mashed potatoes as directed above. Beat in 4 ounces of cream cheese, two tablespoons butter, and 1/4 cup milk for each two pounds of potatoes or to taste.

3. Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Make mashed potatoes as directed above. Beat in two cloves garlic, sautéed or roasted plus 1/2 cup milk, 2/3 cup grated cheese, and 2 tablespoons butter for each two pounds of potatoes.

4. Skins-on Mashed Potatoes
Make mashed potatoes as directed above but use thin-skinned red potatoes. Beat in two cloves garlic, sautéed or roasted plus 1/2 cup milk and 3 tablespoons butter for each two pounds of potatoes.

5. Mashed Potatoes with Horseradish
Make mashed potatoes as directed above. Beat in 1/4 cup horseradish and 3/4 cup cream for every two pounds of potatoes or to taste.

This ratio of horseradish to potatoes will provide some “kick”. Our son, Nathan, worked at an upscale restaurant and he brought this recipe home.

6. Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
We like the tang of buttermilk in our potatoes married with fresh creamery butter. Use about 3/4 cup buttermilk and three tablespoons butter for each two pounds of potatoes or to taste. You will need a balance of butter to buttermilk in this recipe.

7. Mashed Potatoes with Shallots
Make mashed potatoes as directed above. Thinly slice shallots and sauté the onion in butter. Add two small shallots, 3/4 cup cream or milk, and three tablespoons butter for each two pounds of potatoes.

8. Onion Mashed Potatoes
Make mashed potatoes as directed above. Finely chop a sweet onion such as Vandalia. Sauté the onion in butter in a skillet or microwave it until tender. Add about one-half of a medium onion, 3/4 cup cream or milk, and three tablespoons butter for each two pounds of potatoes.

9. Mashed Potatoes with Chives
Make mashed potatoes as directed above. Add 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or two tablespoons dried chives, 3/4 cup cream or milk, and three tablespoons butter for each two pounds of potatoes.

10. French Onion Mashed Potatoes
Make mashed potatoes as directed above. Add 1/2 cup French onion dip, 1/2 cup milk or cream, and 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese for each two pounds of potatoes.

This was a favorite for some of the staff.

11. Mashed Potatoes with Green Onions
Make mashed potatoes as directed above. Add 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions, 3/4 cup cream or milk, and three tablespoons butter for each two pounds of potatoes.

12. Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
Make mashed potatoes as directed above. Add 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese, two tablespoons butter, and 1/2 cup milk or cream for each two pounds of potatoes. If you like, you can sprinkle additional shredded cheese over the top of the potatoes in the serving dish.

13. Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
Make mashed potatoes as directed above. Beat in 3/4 cup sour cream and two tablespoons butter for each two pounds of raw potatoes or to taste.

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