mashed potato recipes, please! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 11-15-2011, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am in charge of making mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving (among other things).  I am making them for 11 people.  How many potatoes should I use??  I am clueless!!!

 

Also, how do you make your mashed tots?  What do you add to make them oh-so-yummy?  No food allergies, so anything goes!

 

TIA!!!

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#2 of 16 Old 11-15-2011, 06:10 PM
 
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I tend to use one potato per person assuming the potatoes are medium sized so adjust accordingly.  What I do is chop them into chunks and boil them in chicken broth (although veggie broth would work just as well).  I then drain them, toss them in a large bowl and put in several tablespoons of butter, milk, and then a generous dollop of mayo to make it super creamy.  I d on't have exact measurements for the milk, butter or mayo because so much depends on the amount of potatoes. Just start modestly, mix it all up, and then add more as needed.


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#3 of 16 Old 11-15-2011, 10:29 PM
 
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I also do *at least* 1 potato per person. Now that the kids are teens, I often add in 2 potatoes each for them (6 potatoes, 4 people).

 

Recipe 1 - white & fluffy

 a) Peel potatoes & quarter them

b) Boil until they can be  pierced w/ a fork

c) Drain (you can retain the liquid for soups later, or just keep a bit for mashing, or throw it all away)

d) Mash w/ liquid (a bit of the water you boiled them in? milk? cream?) -put in 1/4 cup

e) Stir w/ a fork - then add more liquid until you get the consistency you like

f) Add butter or margarine & salt  to taste

 

 

Recipe 1 -  Less fluffy - with skins (my mom & step-dad always said the skins were very nutritious)

 - scrub the potatoes VERY well

- Dice them

- boil them until they are tender to bite

- follow steps c-> f above

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#4 of 16 Old 11-15-2011, 11:09 PM
 
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I boil them unpeeled, whole, unless they are super big, in which case I halve them. They take a bit longer, but they don't absorb as much water and so turn out much creamier. I use a 5lb bag, one stick of butter, a good bit of salt, fresh ground pepper (black and/or white), a little parsley, enough milk to make them nice and soft, and as savannah smiles said "a generous dollop of mayo to make it super creamy." I beat them well on the Kitchen Aid, adding more milk as needed.


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#5 of 16 Old 11-16-2011, 07:20 AM
 
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My rule of thumb was one large potato per person and one "for the pot". Now that I have teens who love mashed potatoes, I put in 2 potatoes each for them, and one for everyone else, but I still add an extra for the pot. 

 

If you like garlic, you can add a couple of peeled garlic cloves to the potatoes in the pot while they boil. Then just mash them in along with the potatoes.  

 

Another nice addition is to use sour cream when you mash them. I usually cut back a little on the milk and butter and add about 1/4 cup of sour cream, but it's all based on texture and taste. 

 

I usually ask DH to mash, because he can do it by hand quickly and thoroughly - no lumps. I don't like using beaters or blenders because they get over-whipped and glue-y and unappetizing in a matter of seconds. Then there is no saving them. 

 

 

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#6 of 16 Old 11-16-2011, 08:06 AM
 
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I think not cutting them helps them not get gluey in the mixer. I have had that experience (one time in particular when I used the cuisinart) but I haven't at all in the many many years i have used the Kitchen Aid. It's also important not to overcook the potatoes. They should be just done, kind of light and fluffy when you crack one open. If the seem gummy, they are over cooked. Oh, one more thing...Because of varying starch levels, different types act differently. Also organic seem to act different than conventional.


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#7 of 16 Old 11-16-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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So, the first choice you have to make is the type of potatoes to use.  You don't want reds because they're not starchy enough.  But yellows (like Yukon Golds) make wonderful rich mashed potatoes, much better than russets IMO. 

 

Then decide what flavorings you want in them.  Cheese?  Garlic?  Herbs?  If you're going to be serving them with gravy, then you want something that will complement rather than clash, so stay away from flavors like blue cheese, but something like asiago or parmesan or even jack should work well.  For garlic, probably roast it first, so it's mellow and not sharp.

 

I usually assume about 1/2 a lb of potatoes per person, minimum.  I know a good sized baked potato can weigh a pound on it's own.  But you can't really have too many mashed potatoes, IMO.  I also never boil potatoes, because they absorb too much water.  I prefer to steam them for mashed - they cook quicker (less water to boil), and they're not all waterlogged afterwards.  Peel them or not as you prefer.  I like the peels on and a chunky mash, but some people like smooth uniformly colored potatoes.  That's totally personal preference.

 

As for what to stir in, butter and heavy cream give you that rich mouthfeel, but you also need something watery so they don't get greasy - that might be chicken stock, milk or water.  Cream cheese lends a richness without the added fat some other stir-ins add, some people use sour cream for the tanginess.  It's such a matter of personal preference (and what you have in the house). 

 

If you won't be having gravy for some reason, then the sky is the limit.  My personal fave for Thanksgiving is a mix of mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes with rosemary, garlic and parmesan.  It wouldn't go well with most gravies, and if your family is into the marshmallow sweet potato thing, they may not go for it, but my family loves it. 


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#8 of 16 Old 11-16-2011, 08:15 AM
 
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yeah... if it is for a fancy occasion and not for regular eating, i would personally chuck any notions of healthiness out the window and use a paula deen or southern living or pioneer woman kind of recipe-- you know, the ones that include butter and heavy cream?  mmmmm. 

i second the yukon gold potatoes- they really are the best for mashers.  how about loaded ones-- with bacon?  this one maybe? (that one is for 8 servings though...)

pioneer woman's got the thanksgiving recipe scoop on those, hers has cream cheese....


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#9 of 16 Old 11-16-2011, 08:17 AM
 
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Roasted garlic is another nice addition. When I add it to mashed potatoes I need to add several extra potatoes to the pot because everyone wants seconds!

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#10 of 16 Old 11-16-2011, 08:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jess in hawaii View Post

 

I think not cutting them helps them not get gluey in the mixer. I have had that experience (one time in particular when I used the cuisinart) but I haven't at all in the many many years i have used the Kitchen Aid. It's also important not to overcook the potatoes. They should be just done, kind of light and fluffy when you crack one open. If the seem gummy, they are over cooked. Oh, one more thing...Because of varying starch levels, different types act differently. Also organic seem to act different than conventional.


I think you are right about not overcooking them and definitely different types are better than others. The lack of variety in potatoes in my local supermarkets is a pet peeve of mine. I wish for a revival of varieties like I've seen with apples.  

 

My problem with using a mixer is that I tend to get distracted too easily. Instead of keeping an eye on the KA to prevent over-mixing, I'll decide that's the moment to check the turkey or fetch the pies from the basement or find the extra napkins in the dining room or any number of little tasks.... Then it's "ooops"! If they are done by hand, that doesn't happen. I'm sure others are waaay more successful than I am with using a beater or mixer. 

 

 

 

 

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#11 of 16 Old 11-16-2011, 05:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
 

 

My problem with using a mixer is that I tend to get distracted too easily. Instead of keeping an eye on the KA to prevent over-mixing, I'll decide that's the moment to check the turkey or fetch the pies from the basement or find the extra napkins in the dining room or any number of little tasks.... Then it's "ooops"! If they are done by hand, that doesn't happen. I'm sure others are waaay more successful than I am with using a beater or mixer. 

 

 

 

 


 

Haha! Yeah, I know that one too! It's Ok to walk away from bread dough but never turn your back on whipped cream winky.gif


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#12 of 16 Old 11-19-2011, 10:35 AM
 
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I love adding greens to mine... Frozen spinach is a perfect addition, plus I include butter, milk and a clove or a few of roasted garlic.


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#13 of 16 Old 11-20-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebirth View Post

I love adding greens to mine... Frozen spinach is a perfect addition, plus I include butter, milk and a clove or a few of roasted garlic.
 


 

Yes, definitely!  I love adding spinach to them - I just discovered this recently actually.  I saute up the (fresh) spinach with butter and garlic just like if I were going to serve it as a vegetable, then stir it into the finished potatoes.  They add a nice color, but the flavor is really subtle against the potatoes. 


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#14 of 16 Old 11-22-2011, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow!  Thank you so much for all your replies!  I have lots of great ideas now to make the best mashed tots for Thanksgiving dinner!! 

 

And, I never thought to add greens to mashed tots.  I think I will give that a try another time!  Mmmm...

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#15 of 16 Old 11-22-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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It's fine to cut them up small if you're going to use heavy whip.  I always use heavy whip.  I use heavy whip in everything.  If I could drink heavy whip and not feel like a tub o lard I'd do it! 

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#16 of 16 Old 11-24-2011, 03:57 AM
 
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I've never used a mixer for mashed potatoes. I think that gluey-ness would be a problem with that technique. I use a masher, or if making them for only one or two people, a fork.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jess in hawaii View Post

 

I think not cutting them helps them not get gluey in the mixer. I have had that experience (one time in particular when I used the cuisinart) but I haven't at all in the many many years i have used the Kitchen Aid. It's also important not to overcook the potatoes. They should be just done, kind of light and fluffy when you crack one open. If the seem gummy, they are over cooked. Oh, one more thing...Because of varying starch levels, different types act differently. Also organic seem to act different than conventional.



 

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