Thursday, December 07, 2006

Mashed Potatoes (Thanksgiving 2006)

From Cook's Illustrated November/December 1993

I used Russet potatoes, but found the quanity of liquid to great for the amount of potatoes. I think you need closer to 4 pounds of potatoes. It produces great mashed potatoes. I melt the butter and half and half in my crock pot and rice the potatoes directly into the crock. They stay hot and fresh for at least an hour in the crock pot, and this eliminates a lot of the last minute frenzy of Thanksgiving dinner. --Pamela

Yukon Gold, red, russet, or white potatoes can be used--each turns out a different texture. For smooth mashed potatoes, a food mill or potato ricer fitted with the finest disk is the best choice. For chunky mashed potatoes, use a potato masher and decrease the half-and-half to 3/4 cup.

Serves 4
2 pounds potatoes , scrubbed
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 cup half-and-half , warmed
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
Ground black pepper

1. Place potatoes in large saucepan and cover with 1 inch water. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender (a paring knife can be slipped into and out of center of potatoes with very little resistance), 20 to 30 minutes. Drain.

2. Set food mill or ricer over now empty but still warm saucepan. Spear potato with dinner fork, then peel back skin with paring knife. Repeat with remaining potatoes. Working in batches, cut peeled potatoes into rough chunks and drop into hopper of food mill or ricer. Process or rice potatoes into saucepan.

3. Stir in butter with wooden spoon until incorporated; gently whisk in half-and-half, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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