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Mashed Potatoes Two Ways

November 1, 2013
by Shannon Hepburn

Mashed potatoes seem essential to the Thanksgving plate. Other foods may come and go, but those potatoes are somehow a blank canvas for all the other delectable flavors and textures.  

Everyone has different ideas about what constitutes perfect mashed potatoes – as they should.  So to say that there’s a “perfect” recipe would be a fallacy. Rather, make them according to your own tastes considering these three things: type of potato, richness and consistency.  

I favor gold potatoes because they have a natural buttery and rich quality. I also prefer my potatoes on the lighter side – so I tend to use milk rather than cream. Finally,  the consistency – and this is a biggie.  I’m flexible,  I’m just as happy with an ultra-smooth texture as I am with a casual  chunky mash.  However, some folks have strong feelings about smooth vs. lumpy.  

There are many tools for mashing.  I use an old fashioned hand held masher.  For finer potatoes you may use a ricer,  a hand held electric mixer,  even a food processor will work.  

ONE BIG NOTE:  I almost always use more liquid (milk or stock) than the recipe calls for,  it will make for a lighter mash – just go slowly and add a bit at a time.

Mashed Potatoes
Serves: 6
  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • ½ cup milk (use more as needed)
  • ¼ cup butter (1/2 stick)
  • salt to taste (you may need more than you think)
  1. Place potatoes in large saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well; cool slightly. Peel and mash potatoes; place in large saucepan. Over medium heat, dry out potatoes for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, heat milk in small saucepan until warm. Stir butter into potatoes. Add warm milk and stir until completely absorbed. Add more milk as needed for desired consistency. Season with salt.


Dairy-Free Mashed Potatoes

Serves: 6
  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil (or sunflower)
  • salt to taste
  1. My son is sensitive to dairy, so I made some adjustments and came up with this simple recipe. To replace the butter, I use a neutral oil like grapeseed. I have not tried them with sunflower oil but you could give it a go. And instead of milk I use chicken stock. You could also use veg stock. I love these potatoes and don’t feel like I miss the dairy.
  2. Prepare potatoes as directed above.