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Old 11-29-2012, 02:39 PM   #21
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Chief, you're asking an impossible question. What are 'perfect' mashed potatoes? Your idea of perfect differs from mine and many of the others who have posted. I posted my method and I'm happy with the result. Are they perfect? Compared to what?

You suggest in the first paragraph of the previous post that a ricer cannot yield PMP. You also suggest PMP requires more than one variety of potato.

One of MY criteria for PMP is that they don't require a lot of fuss. They're mashed potatoes for crying out loud!
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:44 PM   #22
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One of MY criteria for PMP is that they don't require a lot of fuss.
+1 Some things just shouldn't be over-thought. <3

Russests or Yukons, butter, sour cream, milk, buttermilk (whichever or some each of two or all three), salt and pepper = perfection for us ~ and I don't peel 'em either!
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:27 PM   #23
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Sorry to have ruffled any feathers. I agree that as it is with all recipes, perfection is subjective. And as I previously posted, the information given me by all of you is superb. It gives me new variations to try. It also taught me much about which kinds of potatoes will help me achieve my goal.

A simple google search for "perfect mashed potatoes" gives many differing opinions as to what constitutes the perfect end product. And yet, there are constants. Over mixing results in something better used to put wall paper up, than to eat. Butter is a preferred flavor. Salt is an important flavor. Yellow fleshed potatoes are believed to be creamier, while russets, and potatoes like them tend to be fluffier.

What is perfect to me isn't as important as is the idea that we can all get new ideas to try, from threads like this. Andy, as I have stated before, you are one of those whose skill and knowledge I hold in high regard. Everyone else, you are equally talented, and show it by the high quality recipes and techniques you post on a regular basis.

I've said it before, and I'm saying it again; There is no better place to learn about food than on DC. And it's that desire to excel, and to share what we know that makes this place great.

Perfection, it just might be a packet of your favorite brand of instant smashed spuds. And that's ok. But then again, just as my wife's version of perfect sloppy joes is in a whole different dimension than my idea of the same dish, so to it is with mashed potatoes. Perfection is subjective. And I'm trying to discover the perfect mashed potato recipe for me. If others think it's wonderful also, so much the better. All we can ever do, and what we should always do, IMHO, is try to improve what we know, and out techniques. I'll never stop trying to do that.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:50 PM   #24
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I agree with you Chief and YOu Andy. We are all intitled to what we feel are perfect mashed spuds. I like to add mascarpone and cream cheese to mine as well as garlic that has been softened to where they can be crushed with a fork after cooking in cream, I often use yukon golds and russets together and we all love them. Then there are times when we use a box pf spuds with lots of butter and add crispy bacon to them. so what is right? to me something that makes my family say oh that was good ma.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:00 PM   #25
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I like lumps in mine. I also like the skins still on. If I plan on making lefse, I will peel the potatoes. And, the mashed potatoes get put through the ricer the next day (we use leftover mashed potatoes for lefse). I guess I'm in the "they are mashed potatoes" camp. I just like mine with milk (or buttermilk) and butter, S&P. And, I use whatever potatoes are on hand (which could be Kennebecs, Norlands, Russian Blues, or plain ol' PEI potatoes).
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:24 PM   #26
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I like lumps in mine. I also like the skins still on. If I plan on making lefse, I will peel the potatoes. And, the mashed potatoes get put through the ricer the next day (we use leftover mashed potatoes for lefse). I guess I'm in the "they are mashed potatoes" camp. I just like mine with milk (or buttermilk) and butter, S&P. And, I use whatever potatoes are on hand (which could be Kennebecs, Norlands, Russian Blues, or plain ol' PEI potatoes).
I use whatever potatoes they had at the health food store. There is seldom a much variety in what organic potatoes are available on any given trip.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:50 PM   #27
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I often make mashed potatoes with just the "potato water", no milk. I have tried adding butter, but I feel that I taste the butter more if I add it at the time of eating. Using the potato water is a trick worth knowing if you know anyone who is lactose intolerant.
My mother used the potato water to make a slurry for thickening the gravy.
Just another use for something easily discarded
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:15 PM   #28
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I often make mashed potatoes with just the "potato water", no milk. I have tried adding butter, but I feel that I taste the butter more if I add it at the time of eating. Using the potato water is a trick worth knowing if you know anyone who is lactose intolerant.
Using the potato water is a trick my first husband taught me. It makes the potatoes look whiter. I prefer 'taters from PEI or Maine. It is what I grew up with and am very reluctant to change at this age.

There is an old saying in New England.

"Hi, what do you do for a living?"

"I am a farmer."

"Oh, and what do you farm?"

"Mostly rocks, then a few potatoes."

Now you know why we have all those stone walls that are so picturesque surrounding our property.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:38 PM   #29
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One of my favourite things about cooking is how subjective it is - one person's perfect spuds are totally different from another person's. I believe that is why people love sharing their recipes & techniques so much... there is so much variety to talk about, you never know what you might learn.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:33 AM   #30
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Peel and steam the potatoes. Rinse halfway through cooking time, and put through a ricer. Don't overcook. Steam until fork-tender.

While I have not tried a combo of potatoes, I have added steamed mashed carrots & sauteed onions to the mix. Another combo I like is artichoke mashed potatoes. I add chopped artichokes, butter S&P, cream milk or half & half.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:09 PM   #31
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My perfect mashed potatoes involve blue cheese and caramelized onions, and must have potato chunks for texture. No gravy. I hate perfectly smooth mashed potatoes that come out of a ricer or food mill. That probably stems from the fact that I HATED mashed potatoes forever and only started to like them in the past couple of years, so I need the texture of rustic mashed potatoes. I guess some people call them "smashed potatoes" but I don't really discern; one's smooth and one's rustic but to me they're all just varying degrees of "mashed."
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:41 PM   #32
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Well, instant mashed potatoes are usually perfectly smooth. I say usually because I was once served mashed potatoes that had undissolved potato flakes.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:18 PM   #33
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Another vote here for russets mixed with yukon golds and the potato water. Here's my 'recipe' (actually it's really my husbands who makes the best mashed potatoes - ever)

Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender. Drain liquid and reserve.

Mash (with a masher) the taters.

Then add:
Large dollop of butter
Large dollop of Mayo - the real stuff
Dry mustard
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
Add enough of the cooking liquid back into mash to make the texture perfect.

Yum.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:38 PM   #34
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I don't even think I should comment here. I love KFC mash and gravy lol! I don't really like potatoes. When I do make mash I always warm my milk and butter before adding it too the mash. That seems to keep them from going sticky and I love adding a scant teaspoon of baking powder to the milk. It makes the mash fluffy.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:43 PM   #35
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I don't even think I should comment here. I love KFC mash and gravy lol! I don't really like potatoes. When I do make mash I always warm my milk and butter before adding it too the mash. That seems to keep them from going sticky and I love adding a scant teaspoon of baking powder to the milk. It makes the mash fluffy.
Did you know that KFC taters are instant? I once was served what was supposed to be mashed taters at KFC. I had Potato Soup. When I brought it back to the counter, the girl said that they didn't put enough instant potatoes in the mix.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:53 AM   #36
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Mashed potatoes are something that I really don't over think, I just make 'em. Which is rare for me, being a baker, I am all about precision, but when it comes to mashed potatoes I wing it.

My preferred method, red skin or yukon gold (so I don't have to peel them), cubed fairly small, boiled in salted water (good amount of salt). Drain them, put a good hunk of butter in the bottom of the pan (more than you think is healthy), return the potatoes to the pan, run the hand mixer through them adding salt and pepper as you go to taste. If they are too thick, thin them down with milk or a bit of cream. I usually go a little heavy on the liquid, because as they sit a bit they will thicken.
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:25 PM   #37
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Did you know that KFC taters are instant? I once was served what was supposed to be mashed taters at KFC. I had Potato Soup. When I brought it back to the counter, the girl said that they didn't put enough instant potatoes in the mix.
I know they use instant, I don't really like potatoes so the fake ones are perfect The gravy is great! Love KFC gravy. I always ask for more gravy than mash. I wish they would bottle it
Sometimes I order gravy on it's own and dunk soft buttered rolls in it.
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