Mashed Potato Tips and Hints• Never over-beat or use a food processor. You will end up with glue.
• Before mashing by hand, use an up and down motion rather than a stirring motion to keep from breaking down the cells into a gummy paste.
• When adding milk or cream to mashed potatoes, heat milk just to the simmer, but do not boil.
• Butter should be at room temperature before adding to mashed potatoes.
• Use buttermilk instead of milk or cream. It gives a tangy, sour cream flavor with less calories and fat.
• Whipping cream adds richness to mashers. To add airiness, whip cream until stiff and fold into potatoes just before serving.
• For parties or large gatherings, make your mashed potatoes ahead of time.
• Use a crockpot to keep mashed potatoes warm and free up your stove.
• Recycle leftover mashed potatoes by placing them in a buttered baking dish and top with a mixture of buttered bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F. until warmed and top is browned, about 30 minutes.
• For calorie and fat-control, use fat-free chicken or vegetable broth in place of milk products in mashed potatoes.
• Leftover mashed potatoes make a wonderful thickener for soups, stews, and sauces.
• Most root vegetables are great candidates for potato mashing partners. Try mixing potatoes with sweet potatoes, yams, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, celery root, carrots, onions, garlic, or whatever sounds good to you. Cook and mash together.
• Likewise, your favorite herbs give mashed potatoes a gourmet touch. Add the chopped herbs to the hot mashed potatoes and gently fold in.
• Leftover mashed potatoes can be frozen in an airtight container or ziptop bag for up to ten months.
• Save the potato cooking water to add to yeast breads. The yeast feeds on the starch. Leftover mashed potatoes also make great bread.
• Substitute mashed potatoes for flour in your favorite pancake recipe for potato pancakes. Add sauteed minced minced onions or onion powder for added flavor.
• Do not store raw potatoes in the refrigerator. Cold turns the starches to sugar.
• One pound or 3 medium-sized potatoes will make 2 cups mashed potatoes.
• Potatoes should be cut into uniform slices or cubes so that all cook evenly.
• Begin cooking with potatoes completely submersed in cold salted water.
• After draining, return potatoes to pot and shake over heat to remove any remaining moisture before mashing or ricing.
• Mash potatoes to desired consistency before adding any liquids. Once you add liquid, it sets the texture.
• When leaving the skins on, be sure to cut the potatoes in smaller pieces so you don't end up with large chunks of skin.
• To add a smoky flavor to mashed potatoes, add a smoked ham hock, slice of bacon or sausage to the pot and bring to a boil. After cooking for 5 minutes, add potatoes and cook until potatoes are fork tender. Pick out the meat, drain potatoes and proceed with mashing. Save the drained liquid and meat to make soup.
• Use mashed potatoes as a decorative yet tasty touch to baked casseroles. Add a lightly beaten egg to the mashed potatoes and force through a piping bag on top of the dish before baking.
More About Mashed Potatoes• Choose the Right Potato for Mashed Potatoes
• Should Potatoes Be Peeled for Mashers?
• Should potatoes be mashed or riced?
• How to Avoid Gummy Mashed Potatoes
• Mashed Potato Cooking Tips and Hints
• Gold Potato Cooking Tips
• Mashed Potato Recipes
Mashed Potatoes Photo © 2008 Peggy Trowbridge, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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