Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Everyday Creamy Mashed Potatoes

A less decadent, homemade mashed potato recipe, intended for basic, everyday use, any day. Pictured here with my Mississippi Roast and gravy.
A less decadent, homemade mashed potato recipe, intended for basic, everyday use, any day. Pictured here with my Mississippi Roast and gravy.

Everyday Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Roasted, baked, twice-baked, butter steamed, in casseroles - no matter how you make them, we sure do love our potatoes in The South and most especially... we really love them mashed and creamy.

Served plain, with just a pat of melting butter as pictured above, made Creole style with an onion and an egg, or with green onion infused milk. Mixed with cabbage, piped into rosettes, or doused with cheese and twice baked in a casserole and loaded. We just love them all.

They are delicious when made into patties and fried to a crusty crunch on the outside, and decadent when, over the holidays we give ourselves permission to load them with plenty of heavy cream, butter and even cream cheese, and often, making them for a crowd. But, for regular everyday meals during the week and on weekends, we usually keep them a bit more tame. This is how I make my regular, any day mashed potatoes and while a bit less decadent, they are still mighty good.

Bring a large pot filled with plenty of water - at least double the volume of the potatoes - to a boil, and be sure to also generously salt it, before adding in the potatoes. If you do this, you likely will not need much, if any, additional salt. Rather than boil them whole, or even in larger chunks, I like to peel the potatoes and cut them into a smaller dice for these everyday mashed potatoes. The smaller dice makes them both quicker to cook for those weekday meals and easier to hand mash... but, it also makes them absorb more water. I'm not fond of watery potatoes, so once they are drained, I return them to the pot just briefly, over a low heat, to help drive out any excess water before mashing and adding the butter and milk.

Since we are foregoing whole milk or heavy cream for this version, using evaporated milk also helps with the creaminess, since it is a concentrated milk product that has had more than half of the water cooked out. I usually add about two tablespoons of butter to mine, though you can indulge a bit more if you like and add up to a full stick, for the extra creaminess and flavor.

Here's how to make them.

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Recipe: Everyday Creamy Mashed Potatoes

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 4 pounds of Russet potatoes (about 5 to 6 large)
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, for the water
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of butter, or to taste, softened at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon of white pepper or freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 (5 ounce) cans of evaporated milk, well shaken

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add the salt. Meanwhile, peel and cut potatoes into a large dice, add to the boiling water all at once. Boil until potatoes are fork tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Drain well. Return potatoes to the pot and heat over low for a few minutes to extract any excess water, stirring often.

Keeping the pot over a very low heat, add the butter and pepper to the potatoes and hand mash thoroughly. Begin to slowly incorporate the evaporated milk, a little at a time, gently stirring, until potatoes reach desired consistency. You won't use all of the milk. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Notes: Add a little Cajun seasoning if you like. Can also use a hand or stand mixer if you prefer not to hand mash. For a richer, more indulgent mashed potato dish, increase the butter up to a full stick. Transfer any leftover evaporated milk to a glass container for other use. May substitute whole milk.

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes: Substitute warmed buttermilk for the canned milk.

Browned Butter Mashed Potatoes: Increase butter to a full stick and melt in a skillet over medium heat until aromatic and nutty, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Set aside to cool while potatoes boil.

Skinny Version: Boil the potatoes in about 4 cups of chicken broth; drain but reserve the broth. Mash potatoes without the addition of milk and butter, by adding some of the broth back to the potatoes, until they reach the desired consistency. Season to taste. Can also substitute margarine, or a reduced fat butter replacement for the butter, as well as a lowfat, skim milk or buttermilk, to reduce calories.

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes: Add 1 cup water to the pressure cooker. Add steamer basket or trivet, and place peeled and diced potatoes into basket. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over top. Seal and set on high for 8 minutes. Quick release, drain potatoes, return to pot, add butter and mash, adding milk, a little at a time until potatoes reach desired consistency.

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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on September 26, 2012
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