Do The Mashed Potatoes…

November 8, 2019

Thanksgiving. It is a mere few weeks away and our thoughts turn to that annual family dinner gathering. The dilemma is what to serve for sides along with the bronzed to perfection turkey. I think we try too hard to do the impossible. Many will search the Internet and scour food magazines to come up with something fancy and different this year. May I suggest the humble potato?

Yes, we can elevate potatoes to a new high by just adhering to a few tricks for mashed, fried or roasted potatoes. For mashed potatoes, yellow, buttery Yukon Gold is my go to spud but first the tips. Don’t boil them…microwave them whole and unpeeled. Peel them while still warm and rice them into a bowl; do not use a food processor or they will turn to glue. Or use the old-fashioned hand potato masher that in my opinion, is the best. Melt the butter and warm the milk before adding to the potatoes; it will blend better and keep the potatoes hot. Add the salt and other flavoring if you like, like cheese at the end.

For roasted potatoes: Red or Yukon Gold can do the job. Here’s the tip: peel them and cut them into thick wedges and place them in the top basket of a double boiler; fill the bottom with water and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and over medium high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until the potato surface glistens with starch. Releasing the starch will allow the wedges to brown nicely in the oven. While the potatoes are steaming, melt butter in a bake dish; transfer the wedges to the baking dish and coat them in the butter; add salt and pepper to taste. Roast uncovered in a 350F oven until the potatoes begin to brown; turn occasionally.

For fried potatoes: Red or all purpose potatoes should be microwaved as above then cooled and cut the same size for even cooking. Use a pan large enough so the potatoes are not heaped on top of each other. Be patient; do not turn them until the edges look browned. Season with salt and pepper at the end.

And those leftover mashed potatoes are great shaped into patties the next day and fried in a little butter. Spuds make everyday special.

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