The spud originated in the South American country of Peru, were hundreds of varieties are available, but for my next cheap$kate recipe I use Idaho's finest, the russet potato. They are ideal for boiling into Mashed Potatoes. Russets stay dry enough when taking on water during slow simmering. You can also use red or white potatoes for this recipe - you may need less milk or cream to finish.
Everyone knows how to make Mashed Potatoes, right? Well, just in case you are a newbie here's one way to do them cheaply and easily.
Mashed Potatoes on their own are a bit bland. I usually make them for Thanksgiving and Christmas, when there is gravy and dressing to mix with. Or, lately it is the topping for my British-style Shepherd's Pie that's baked with a beef stew underneath. And any type of gravy are what Mashed Potatoes crave.
The ingredients are few for Mashed Potatoes, just boiled tubers, milk, butter, salt and pepper. And they all come cheaply. Butter is the most expensive ingredient, but I barely use half a stick.
I always get several pounds of russet potatoes for less than a buck. They keep for a couple of months if you store them cool, dry, and out of direct sunlight. And the price is right, my recipe calls for about a bucks worth of russet potatoes.
You can use any fat content of milk, or go all out and mix in cream.
Some cooks peel the potatoes first, but I find it's easiest to boil them so the potato skin slides off easy and you don't waste any of the flesh, which happens with a potato peeler.
I have a potato masher, but have used a regular fork - just make sure the fork's sturdy, it can bend during potato mashing. It really depends on you how fine to mash. I like to leave in smaller lumps, so I don't go overboard. Be careful if you use an electric mixer because you can whip them until they become a gooey, sticky mess. Just taste as you go -- which applies to any recipe you make.
Next time you roast a chicken, save some pan juices to make gravy (for recipes, click here, or here) and be sure to mash some potatoes to sop it up.
Mashed Potatoes - Video
Play it here. Video runs 1 minutes, 37 seconds.
My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.
Ingredients (2-3 servings)
- 4-6 medium-size potatoes - about 3 pounds. At least 2 cups total when mashed. I used russet, but okay to use any type you like, even sweet potato.
- 1/2 cup of milk or cream - Add more or less milk to suit your taste and mashed potato texture. Okay to use half and half or whipping cream.
- 2 tablespoons butter - okay to add more or less.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Clean dirt off potatoes. I boil potatoes with skin on, some cooks like to peel the potatoes first - it's up to you.
Add enough water to cover potatoes. High heat until water begins to boil. reduce heat to a low boil.
Should take about 1 hour, depending how large they are. Done when a fork easily pierces the potato. (To lessen boiling time you can cut potatoes into large cubes and boil them - should only take half an hour at the most.)
Cool off potatoes with cold water and peel them.
Add the peeled potatoes to a large bowl and add 1/2 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of butter.
Season with salt and pepper. Mash it all together. You should get about 2 cups of mashed potatoes.