Hey there and welcome back to our Hawley Crescent weekly blog series. How has everyone been enjoying their first back to school week?  Back to school means then beginning of NFL football (hence this week’s headline).

As stated in last week’s blog, Grilling101 is going onto the backburner until next spring. But don’t worry; we’ll be putting out a selection of weekly seasonal blogs until then. We’ll still be talking about autumn and winter foods and touching on festive events like Thanksgiving and Halloween, but we’ll also be shining the spotlight on some recipes and hints and tips revolving around indoor cooking. This’ll mostly focus on the oven and stovetop, but if you have anything specific you’d like to see us talk about, feel free to message us directly with your suggestion.

To kick-start off our new blogs, let’s talk about a staple guaranteed to find its way onto your dinner tables in the coming months: mashed potatoes.  Now I know that everyone knows how to mash potatoes, but many of us can always use a tip or two to help us improve our current technique (or to find another alternative to the way we’re already doing things well).

Mashed potatoes are exactly what they sound like: potatoes that have been mashed and grounded into a near paste-like state. Traditionally the more “floury” potatoes are used, though “waxy” potatoes can easily be substituted. The difference between the two has to do with the ratio of water and starch contents; floury potatoes have a higher starch to water ratio, and waxy potatoes are the opposite. The top potato used in mashed potatoes is the Russet, because the high starch content results in a more fluffy and airy mashed potato. Russets also make for the best baked potatoes.

There are literally thousands of different mashed potato recipes, tips and secrets out there that we could probably write ourselves an entire cook book on mashed potatoes.  Some of my favourite additives include reducing the butter (yes butter) and adding broth to flavour your mashed.  Adding garlic (chopped, powdered, dried garlic seasoning blend) and using 35{a908f3cfa73a8de8bf6f2b96e240bb7c9d3f5bad987c2ee76ba0db26a64817a2} (whipping cream) along with the butter and broth are staples in my kitchen.  I also like to vary my potatoes that I’m mashing and will often mash with the skin on to give the mashed potatoes a unique texture and flavour.

The recipe from simplyrecipes.com that we’re giving to you involves yellow fleshed potatoes. The most common of these is the Yukon Gold, which have a slightly mealy texture and delicious, almost buttery flavour. Yukon Gold are also considered the perfect all around potato to have in your pantry, as they are considered  by some to be waxy and are the best pick for all purpose potato cooking.

Perfect Mashed Potatoes Recipe

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_mashed_potatoes/

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Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into quarters
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp milk (or more)
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  • Place the peeled and cut potatoes into a medium saucepan. Add cold water to the pan until the potatoes are covered by at least an inch. Add a half teaspoon of salt to the water.
  • Turn the heat on to high, and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer, and cover. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until you can easily poke through potatoes with a fork.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter and warm the cream.
  • When the potatoes are done, drain the water and place the steaming hot potatoes into a large bowl. Pour the heated cream and melted butter over the potatoes. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher.
  • Then use a strong wooden to beat further. Add milk and beat until the mashed potatoes are smooth. Don’t over-beat the potatoes or the mashed potatoes will end up gluey.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Makes 4 servings

I hope you give this recipe a try.  It will certainly yield a nice mashed potato side dish for your family.  It’s very similar to my  go to mashed potato recipe, though I do have several different nuances and techniques that I use.  First of all, I don’t heat my cream or melt my butter before adding to the potatoes, as the heat from the potatoes will take care of this step for me.

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Secondly. and most important, I whip my potatoes, rather than mash them, in my Kitchen Aid mixer.  Of course I know how to use a potato masher, and have done so many times before, but I find that the best mashed potatoes are produced by tossing everything into the mixing bowl and whipping it up in your upright.

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They are going to come out perfectly mashed / whipped and you will have people wondering if you made these taters yourself or if they are out of a box…  Be sure to give the different variations (broth, butter, garlic and cream) a try and come up with your own version of mashed potatoes that will become your very own signature side.  You can never go wrong having yourself a killer mashed potato or two that you can always fall back on and call your very own.

 

I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog and maybe even learned a thing or two in the process.  As always,  if you have any questions or concerns don’t hesitate to email, call, Face, Tweet or Gram me.  You could possibly win yourself a $25 gift card for your efforts.  Until next week – Live Tastefully!