A cooking and baking journal

Tried and True Recipe: Mashed Potatoes

Rice, noodles, bread, and potatoes are my family's usual "starch choices" for a meal. Potatoes must rank as #2 in the lineup for I seem to be always scrubbing and chopping those spuds. So for this week's tried and true recipe I thought it was high time I showed you how we make mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes can be prepared many, many different ways. Cream or milk. Skinned or skin on. Red potatoes or russets. Whipped or mashed. OK, I think you get the picture!

Tried and True Recipes (TNT) are those great, no-fail recipes you reach for again and again. I am doing a TNT series here on this blog where I will post one of my family's TNT recipes every other Sunday. See my previous posts:

TNT Recipe: Chicago Style Pizza
TNT Recipe: Favorite Brownies
TNT Recipe: Blueberry Pancakes
Tried and True Recipes Intro

For our mashed potatoes, we keep things thrifty and simple. We use milk, butter, skin-on red potatoes (usually), and salt and pepper for seasoning. When it comes to the mashing part, we grab for either the "ye old" potato masher or the hand-held electric beater, it really depends on the cook.

There are a couple things you should keep in the back of your mind when cooking up a pot of mashed potatoes. First off, when boiling your potatoes, cut the potatoes in quarters; it will make them cook a lot faster. Also, make sure your potatoes are fork tender (fall apart when you stab them with a fork), before you drain and start mashing. Mashed potatoes with chunks of raw potatoes. . . Ek. Lastly, go a little adventurous with the salt. I've noticed that you need to use more salt than you initially think when it comes to this side dish. OK, let's get to the recipe!

Simple Mashed Potatoes
Serves: 6
(Click here for printable recipe)

2-1/2 lbs., or 16 medium-sized, potatoes (I often use red skinned potatoes)
6 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Wash and clean potatoes. Leaving the skins on, cut potatoes in quarters or halves, depending upon the size. Place potatoes in a 4 quart pot and fill with water until potatoes are covered. Put on high heat and bring to boil. Boil for 30 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender, (potatoes full apart when you stab them with a fork).

Drain potatoes and return to pot. While potatoes are still piping hot, mash with potato masher. Before the potatoes are fully mashed, add butter and milk. Add more milk if the mixture looks too dry. If you want, you can use an handheld electric beater at this time to whip up your mashed potatoes. Alternatively, you can continue using your potato masher. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste.


See you in two weeks!  Next TNT recipe will be posted on the 21st.

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