Whipped, Mashed, or Riced Potatoes
• 2 pounds Yukon Gold or Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
• 2-4 tablespoons butter, divided
• ½-1 cup milk, buttermilk, skim milk, &/or potato water, heated
• Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Add enough cold water to the potatoes to cover them by 1 inch in a heavy pot. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until soft, about 20 to 30 minutes. Test by squooshing a bit of potatoes between two fingers to make sure there are no lumps. If there are, cook longer. Drain well in a colander, reserving water as needed to add to the mashed potatoes.
Add the butter to the empty pot and melt over low heat. Return potatoes to the pot over a low heat and whip, mash, or rice to incorporate the butter. If the potatoes are more watery than desired, before adding the hot liquid, cook the potatoes with the butter until some of the liquid evaporates. Add some of the hot liquid and butter and blend well. Continue adding milk, mashing or whipping constantly, until the desired consistency is reached. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Tips for the Perfect Mashed Potatoes
There are three crucial steps in achieving this ideal: 1) cooking the potatoes sufficiently, 2) adding fat to the hot potatoes to coat the starch molecules, and 3) adding hot liquid to the potatoes in a pot over the heat to let the starches swell. To finish the potatoes, select one of these methods:
• Mash or whip in the fat over low heat, then add the hot liquid using a small electric hand mixer or sturdy whisk
• Use a flat-bottomed masher or other heavy object to mash down the drained potatoes in the pan over low heat before stirring in hot liquid, and continue until desired texture
• Push the cooked potatoes through the ricer into the still hot pan with melted butter
• Substitute heavy cream, cream cheese, or mascarpone and add more butter for rich mashed potatoes
• Leave the peel on and smash potatoes in the pot with a heavy object, add roasted garlic or chopped fresh herbs