Be it a family meal, weekend dinner, Christmas party or even a picnic; this mashed potatoes recipe is always one of my first choices to consider for any occasion.
Today’s recipe only requires 6 ingredients, garnish included. But you won’t believe the taste! These mashed potatoes are packed to the brim with creamy and buttery flavor. You’d better grab a spoon real quick because the bowl may get empty in seconds!
Secrets to making perfect mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes are easy to make with minimal efforts, as they just call for boiling the potatoes, adding butter and milk and finally, mashing them. However, you might not always get the results you expected. But this should not scare you at all. Here are some secrets, or I should call them, ‘useful notes’ that will ensure you get the genuinely wonderful, creamy and soft mashed potatoes you deserve.
Choosing the right potatoes
To have the smoothest, fluffiest and most flavor-packed mash, always ensure to use Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, since they have amazingly high starchiness and can absorb the dairy extremely well. Additionally, they break up easily during the cooking process; thus, they end up being very light and fluffy.
Very waxy potatoes (like Red Bliss) are flavorful but have the least amount of starch and will hold in shape firmly. For this reason, they are only suitable for soups, salads or dishes that benefit from large chunks of potatoes.
Boiling with the right water
Starting off hot by placing your potatoes into a boiling pot of water is something you should avoid at all times. So, always heat the pot after covering the potatoes with cold water so that they cook evenly both on the inside and outside and at the same time.
After submerging the potatoes in water, be sure to add some salt right at the outset. The potatoes will absorb both water and salt as they cook. Therefore, this is a good opportunity to season because they will never be as tasty as such when they are only seasoned at the end.
Using the right tool
Overbeating the potatoes can break down the starches within horribly, thus making them gummy and gluggy. So I don’t recommend using a hand mixer or a food processor to mash the potatoes at all. Instead, a hand masher or a potato ricer is more ideal to make mashed potatoes. We’ll get silkier and fluffier spuds.
What is a good substitute for milk?
Classic mashed potato recipe always calls for milk, because it makes the side dish so rich and creamy. Plus, it gives it a nice structure. But if you are on a dairy-free diet, replacing milk with another ingredient is totally possible. Here are some of the good substitutes to consider:
You can use many kinds of broth to substitute for milk in mashed potatoes. But chicken broth happens to be my household’s favorite because it contains much less fat than milk. This makes mashed potatoes less creamy and lends unique flavors at the same time. The amount of broth added to the potatoes should be the same as milk.
Almond milk or soy milk
First, be sure to purchase plain or original-taste version of almond or soy milk to avoid having mashed potatoes with some unexpected extra chocolate or vanilla flavor. These plant-based milk will lend your dish a slightly earthy, nutty flavor that’s not easy to recognize. On top of that, the ratio of substitution is 1:1, meaning for whatever amount of milk the recipe calls for, you will use the same amount for almond or soy milk.
Perfect Mashed Potatoes Recipe
- 25 oz russet potato 5 medium, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp hot milk
- 1 tbsp margarine
- 1 dash pepper
- Cilantro chopped, for garnish
- Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover. Add ¾ of the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook partially covered for 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are totally soft and can easily be pierced with a fork. Drain water completely from pot.
- Remove residual moisture by shaking pot gently over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Mash potatoes with potato masher until smooth. Add margarine, pepper and the remaining salt. Continue mashing and gradually adding milk to reach your desired consistency and creaminess.
- Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve while hot.