To make basic mashed potatoes, start by peeling and cutting the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Rinse them under running water to remove any excess starch. Then, place the potatoes in a pot and cover them with cold water. Add a pinch of salt to the water, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’re tender when pierced with a fork. Drain the potatoes, and return them to the pot.
Once the potatoes are back in the pot, add the milk and butter. You can also use heavy cream or sour cream to add a rich, creamy flavor to the mashed potatoes. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or use a hand mixer to get a smooth and fluffy texture. Be careful not to overmix the potatoes, as this can cause them to become gluey. Season the mashed potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. For an extra burst of flavor, you can also add garlic, chives, or cheese to the mashed potatoes.
Mashed potatoes are a versatile side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses. They are particularly popular during the holidays, and are a staple at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Mashed potatoes also make a great accompaniment to grilled or roasted meats, and can be served with vegetables or salads for a complete meal. Leftover mashed potatoes can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop, and can also be used to make shepherd’s pie or potato pancakes.
Mashed potatoes can be customized to suit a range of dietary needs and preferences. For a vegan or dairy-free version, you can use plant-based milk and butter substitutes, such as almond milk and vegan margarine. You can also experiment with different types of potatoes, such as red potatoes, Yukon Golds, or sweet potatoes, to create unique variations of mashed potatoes. Whether you prefer them creamy or chunky, savory or sweet, mashed potatoes are a comforting and satisfying side dish that are sure to please everyone at the table.
- 2 pounds of potatoes (such as Russet or Yukon Gold)
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Rinse them under running water to remove any excess starch.
- Place the potatoes in a large pot, and cover them with cold water. Add a pinch of salt to the water, and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’re tender when pierced with a fork.
- Drain the potatoes, and return them to the pot.
- Add the milk and butter to the pot, and use a potato masher or a hand mixer to mash the potatoes until they’re smooth and creamy. You can also use a ricer or a food mill to get an even smoother texture.
- Season the mashed potatoes with salt and pepper to taste, and stir until well combined.
- If the mashed potatoes are too thick, you can add more milk or butter to achieve the desired consistency. If they’re too thin, you can simmer them on low heat for a few minutes to evaporate any excess liquid.
- Serve the mashed potatoes hot, garnished with chopped herbs or grated cheese, if desired.
Enjoy your delicious and comforting basic mashed potatoes!
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