Creamy Mashed PotatoesNovember 4, 2016 By Cathy — 7 Comments
Smooth and creamy, these mashed potatoes make the perfect nest for turkey gravy.
I have a thing about holidays. I don’t want to think about the next one until the current one is past (which, by the way, is not ideal for a food blogger). I’ve had to train myself to plan ahead, to start thinking about Thanksgiving recipes in September, giving myself enough time to work out the kinks before I share them with you.
But outside of this blog I am very single-minded about the seasons and holidays. Perhaps even a little rigid. I don’t want to hear Christmas music before Thanksgiving and definitely, absolutely, not before Halloween. It drives me bonkers when the Halloween catalogs start pouring in in August. And back-to-school supplies in July? Fuggedaboutit.
But in the same way that I don’t want to think about an upcoming holiday while I’m enjoying the current one, as soon as it’s over I’m instantly ready to move on. Just this week as I passed out my last piece of Halloween candy, I was done. On November 1st I packed up the ghosts, orange lights, hanging spiders and tossed the jack o’lanterns in the trash. I’ve moved on to burlap table runners, stockpiling pie crusts and freezing bags of nut crumble. My Pinterest feed is so orange that it resembles a baby that will only eat carrots and I literally dream about roasted brussels sprouts tossed with chunks of bacon.
And now that I’m officially full-Thanksgiving-steam ahead, I can’t wait to share all of my holiday favorites with you. Of course there’s the turkey (come back and see me on Monday for that recipe), but today we’re starting with a family staple: creamy mashed potatoes. I love potatoes in all forms, but on Thanksgiving it has to be classic mashed for me and mine.
Growing up, it was milk, butter, salt and a masher for our spuds. My version isn’t too far off, but for Thanksgiving I up the ante with heavy cream for richness (although whole milk will work just fine) and use a ricer in place of a masher. I know, I know, you need another kitchen tool like I need another pair of shoes. But think of the ricer like I think of my favorite Frye boots, a workhorse that never goes out of style.
A ricer makes for smooth, light, creamy and dare I say perfect mashed potatoes. It works for sweet potatoes too by the way, but if I’m being honest, I use it mainly for classic mashed. Take a look at the video below to see why I’m singing the ricer’s praises. And I hope you’re on board with me for all things Thanksgiving over the next couple weeks as I have some tasty dishes coming your way. Just promise me you won’t even think of humming a Christmas carol.
- 2½ lbs russet potatoes, peeled
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 oz unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- 3 tsp kosher salt, divided
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- *optional: minced chives for garnish
- **special equipment needed: a ricer
- Halve the potatoes lengthwise and divide each half into quarters or thirds. Take care to cut the pieces into roughly the same size so they will cook evenly.
- Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with cool water. Add 2 tsp of salt to the water.
- Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, about 15-20 mins.
- Drain into a colander and place the ricer over the pot. Fill the ricer with a few potato chunks at a time and push potatoes through the ricer into the pot. Repeat until all the potatoes are riced.
- Heat the cream and butter together until hot.
- Pour over the riced potatoes and fold until combined and smooth. Season to taste with remaining salt and pepper.