Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc.

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Fieldthistle
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2005/09/16 11:13:12 (permalink)

Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc.

Hello All,
Growing up, my mother made a potato dish with every meal, except breakfast. And besides french fries, the best thing she made was mashed potatoes. My wife can't make a decent batch at all. They are either runny, lumpy, or plain bad. She's a good cook, but doesn't like mashed potatoes. My questions are:
1.Do you have a secret to good mashed potatoes?
2.What is your favorite combo to eat with mashed potatoes, because they need another food to be eaten with?
3.What type of potato makes the best mashed potato?
4.My parents made potato cakes out of leftovers, what can or do you add to make potato cakes a little more zesty or spicy?
Take Care,
Fieldthistle
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69 Replies Related Threads

    kland01s
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 11:22:05 (permalink)
    I'm not much of a mashed potato "masher", I have made then with a mixer though. While they are mixing I vary by blending in butter, garlic, green onion and sometimes horseradish. I love potato cakes and like them with a litttle green onion. We really don't eat potatoes very often and when we do, they're usually baked.
    #2
    efuery
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 11:42:57 (permalink)
    The secret to good mashed potatoes IMHO is to NOT shy away from the salt (also plenty of butter and cream [I never use anything with less fat than whole milk]) - I try to observe a low carb lifestyle so I only have mashed potatoes on the holidays which means fat and calories are not a concern on the occasions I have to enjoy potatoes.

    I like to add roasted garlic, too!

    Favorite combo to eat with the potatoes - A good, rich gravy - Who else makes a mashed potato volcano with gravy lava on their plate? C'mon, you know you do it!

    Idaho russets make the best mashed potatoes - yukon golds and the like are too waxy and turn into glue if you mash them too much

    To jazz up potato cakes: hmmm: I'd experiment with seasonend salts and ethnic herb mixes to start!
    #3
    Salustra
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 12:00:21 (permalink)
    Russets or reds for mashing. Chicken broth makes a tasty substitute for butter. I "mash" mine with electric mixer-don't let them cool off before you start smashing. (Leave skins on for reds.) Sometimes I put garlic salt in the water when cooking the potatoes, for just a hint of garlic flavor.
    Favorite entree to go with mashed potatoes - meatloaf! I always thought it was against the law to serve smashed potatoes without gravy....

    #4
    Fieldthistle
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 12:06:29 (permalink)
    Hello all,
    The suggestions so far are great. Thank you. May sound strange, but I like to mix corn in with my mashed potatoes,(after, not during the making of the mashed potatoes). Also, have been known to put a dab of mustard in the mashed potatoes and stir it into it.
    Take Care,
    Fieldthistle
    #5
    Salustra
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 12:19:03 (permalink)
    Mixing corn and mashed potatoes I like - although, I only do it with my TV dinners, for some reason... However---
    My brother-in-law puts the turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, stuffing, etc. on the plate, then drowns it ALL in gravy. It's been almost 27 years and I still can't stand to watch him eat Thanksgiving Dinner. " />
    #6
    Macdaddy
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 16:20:27 (permalink)
    When I serve Mashed Potatoes with an Asian King Salmon dish that I love, I add 1 cup blanched, pureed spinach. then right before serving add 2 T wasabi paste.
    Light green, pungent mashers go so well with this salmon.
    #7
    jettababs
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 16:48:20 (permalink)
    I put mustard in mine, too, in the form of a few good shakes of strong English mustard powder. That, some sea salt, and some real butter, and just enough milk to make them mashable, does the trick. We prefer them lumpy, so I mash them by hand in the pan, and add more butter when they go on the plate. And I agree, corn is great mixed with mashed potatoes, on the plate. Russets or those little red potatoes are best, Yukons work ok with a light hand and more butter than milk.
    #8
    dreamzpainter
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 18:47:50 (permalink)
    I dont like mashed potatoes but I do like smashed, boiled potatoe chunks, fork smashed on the plate with salt and butter, a splash of catsup ok 3 or 4 splashes. I remember gramma used a ricer on the potatoes when making mashed and lots of cream and butter
    #9
    Sandy Eggo
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 19:37:39 (permalink)
    I guess mine are whipped potatoes that fall under the mashed potato category. Your can save some time for holiday prep by peeling the russet potatoes and placing them in a large deep Tupperware container with cold water and leave them overnight. They don’t discolor this way.

    Get Chicken broth and preheat in a bowl in a pot or microwave, same with some half & half, and melt butter. Mixing warm ingredients into the potatoes saves prep time and keeps from cooling the hot potatoes.

    Take peeled russets and boil them in water until a fork will penetrate them. Remove into a colander to drain. Then add to a large mixing bowl. Add 3 equal parts of wamr stock, cream and butter then start mixing. Add white pepper (this keep the potatoes white and not flecks of black) and kosher salt. Then just mix ingredients until preferred taste and consistency. When salt can be tasted, it’s time to stop adding salt – it gets more powerful with time. Too much salt is not good.

    Mine is simple, easy and cheap. I don’t like filler, garlic taste or other stuff. Just hot mashed potatoes and then some good gravy.
    #10
    zataar
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 19:43:28 (permalink)
    A Syrian proverb: If you buy cheap meat, you'll be sorry when you come to the gravy.
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    blohatchii
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 20:06:12 (permalink)
    On a plate in front of me...

    After over 20yrs of adding garlic to my potato's I wanted something different.
    Had company so I decided to try/add something different.
    I added some premade veggy dip as I was mashing...WOW what a difference tasted great.

    I like to top my mashed with cream corn or better yet with applesauce, preferable homemade...excellent!

    Also I like to use Chef potato's
    #12
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 20:16:09 (permalink)
    I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure the beloved Alton Brown recommends red potatoes for mashing. On the other hand, you could argue for using a combination of russets and reds. I found a recipe some years back in The Chicago Tribune for the horseradish mashed potatoes they served at Oprah's restaurant (now long gone); they used a half and half ratio and they were fantastic.

    After settling on the potatoes you're going to use, you need to decide if you're going to go skins on or off. Given a choice, and assuming the spuds are relatively "eye" free, I'd go with skins on. If there are too many eyes, it's a pain to trim so I just peel the darn things.

    Cut the potatoes into uniform slices about 3/4" to 1" thick. Put them into well salted cold water and let them come up to temp as the water gets to boiling. Never put raw potatoes into already boiling water. When the potatoes fall apart easily when poked with a fork, they are ready for draining.

    After draining, I like to mash with an old fashioned "grid" style masher. They should be well mashed but still retain some coarseness so that you know they were once real potatoes and not some flakes in a box.

    As for the milk and butter; another secret from Alton Brown: warm the milk and butter separately from the potatoes before adding. Never add cold milk or solid stick butter to hot potatoes.

    Finally, the flavorings. Always start with salt and ground pepper to taste. After that, I've used everything from garlic and horseradish to mustard, caramelized leeks, and basil (not all at once, mind you).

    As for gravy, I never use the stuff unless I'm at Stroud's in KC. If you're gonna harden your arteries, you might as well do it right.

    Oh yeah, I like corn mixed in with my taters too. It started when I was a neurotic temperamental youth who couldn't have the different foods touching each other on the plate. My Mother insensitively overlapped my corn and spuds one day, throwing me into a tantrum. With some fast talking, she finally got me to shut up and at least try the stuff. It was a revelatory moment that changed me forever as a human being and an eater. She has made me crazy countless other times in my almost 50 years, but for the gift of not being afraid to mix foods to achieve new and exciting flavors, I say to Mom, "Thank you."
    #13
    Hastyman
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 21:53:44 (permalink)
    I'm a purist--I like my mashed potatoes to taste like potatoes and nothing else. I mash russets and usually just make mine with butter and milk. I can't give you measurements because every batch is different. I also like to make sure the water I cook the spuds in is nicely salty.

    Texture-wise, I like a few small lumps and an overall consistency that's a little on the loose side. Just seems more decadent if the spuds are always in danger of falling off the spoon.

    Gravy is not a must for me and I won't eat it unless it's pretty good. Pork gravy is the best.

    Many of my relatives like creamed corn on their mashed potatoes. It's not bad, but I don't get hungry for it.

    My favorite side dishes for mashed potatoes are pan-fried chicken, roast beef, and turkey breast.
    #14
    gandl20152
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/16 23:05:13 (permalink)
    I'm a dyed-in-the-wool lover of mashed potatoes & corn, too. The other thing that happened about a year ago, when I got my salad too close to the mashed potatoes: I mixed some ranch dressing in with the potatoes by accident, and it's my new favorite taste treat! Although, as my husband says, if you served me a bowl of dirt with ranch dressing on it, I'd eat it...
    Happy eats,
    gandl
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    Fieldthistle
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/17 02:54:15 (permalink)
    Hello all,
    You folks are great. I am excited to try out so many of your ideas. Keep it coming. And thanks.
    Take care,
    Fieldthistle
    #16
    dweller
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/18 16:50:01 (permalink)
    A potato ricer is by far the best way to get good mashed potatoes.
    Creme frache is good with them if you want to avoid butter.
    Doug
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    LegalLady
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/18 17:36:47 (permalink)
    Oh, maybe with lots of butter, a little garlic, cream cheese, & sour cream. Yum Yum

    Her Honor The Judge
    formerly known as
    LegalLady
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    lyn raabe
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/18 18:53:18 (permalink)
    Mashed potatoes, best comfort food ever. I like to use Russet potatoes, very well peeled. Put peeled, cubed potatoes in a pot of lightly salted, cold water, bring to a boil & simmer until fork tender. Drain well & add a very large dollop of butter & a splash of milk. The gourmet ingredient is sour cream. Add a couple of healthy spoonfuls. Mmsh with an old-fashioned, hand-held potatoe masher. Stir potatoes to get the bottom up to the top. Add more butter as desired & go lightly adding milk as needed. If you use an electric mixer you'll get a smoother product, but personally I like it a little chunky, lumpy.
    #19
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/18 19:02:12 (permalink)
    I like my mashed potatoes with some of the peel, lightly salted butter, real cream, a little sour cream, salt and lotsa pepper.

    I melt the butter so it is not cold when I add it and I like the potatoes piping hot when I serve them. I like enough pepper where I can see it in the product.

    The next day, I like to make potato pan cake or just potato cakes with onions, garlic with some egg and flour to keep it solid and brown them. They are great with a sausage gravy, bacon gravy, chicken gravy or any kind og gravy.

    I do not do them often due to the high carb level but when I do, I really pig out and enjoy them

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    GordonW
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/18 20:03:00 (permalink)
    Smashed potatos are good. Cook potatos with skins on, cut in quarters, back in the pot, and hit them with a potato masher/wooden spoon, whatever until they are in chunks, but not mashed. Loosen up with some extra virgin olive oil, flavor with salt, pepper, some chopped rosemary and some fried garlic.
    #21
    Ort. Carlton.
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/18 21:03:05 (permalink)
    Dearfolk,
    Similar to Gordon W, I like my potatoes skin-on, mashed but chunky, with a dollop of gravy in the middle. The best I know of right now can be found daily at The Royal Cafe here in Athens: theirs are downright addictive.
    Uninstantaneously, Ort. Carlton in Ready-Mixed Athens, Georgia.
    P. S. Remember: instant potatoes do not contain instant potato skin! But really bad ones do contain lumps. Ka-foo!
    #22
    Jennifer_4
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/18 21:40:15 (permalink)
    My mashed preferences:
    1. I prefer red to russet
    2. My mother used to buy a mix with bacon in it that I've neither been able to find nor duplicate. I don't remember the name but it had a very smoky bacon taste.
    3. I like "mix-ins". My ultimate, "I feel like crap comfort food", is mashed potatoes mixed with butter, mayo, ketchup, cheese, choppped hot dogs, garlic salt, and corn.
    4. For "straight" mashed my secret is Best Foods Light Mayo. Gives em a tangy flavor.
    5. Given the choice on a menu of mashed or something slightly different, I'll pick different over mashed every time.
    #23
    dweller
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/19 01:20:45 (permalink)
    Actually I usually buy frozen mash. Taste varies a lot between brands, and I've found one I like. I've found making my own gives variable results according to time of year, supermarket, etc.
    #24
    berrysweetncgurl
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/19 04:07:31 (permalink)
    Im new to this site but I have a secret to mashed potatoes...

    If you live in the south you have to know what Duke's Mayonnaise is.

    when you go to mix in butter and milk in your mashed taters add a tablespoon or two of Dukes mayo, it will make them creamier and give them a very good flavor
    #25
    lleechef
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/19 20:25:29 (permalink)
    My mashed spuds: Gotta be Idaho Russets, peeled, cooked just so, drained in a collander until they turn white. Smash 'em by hand with butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Sometimes I like them plain, sometimes with garlic or horseradish, sometimes with chipotles. Depends on what we're eating.
    For leftovers, make fish cakes! Cooked cod (or halibut or sole or striped bass or haddock) and salmon mixed with the cold mashed with a little jalepino and fried on each side work nicely! Add the fish to the mashed, a little beaten egg, some scallion.......voila! Fish cakes!
    #26
    mr chips
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/19 20:51:43 (permalink)
    I like my mashed potatoes with loads of garlic and butter. Except when I eat them with chicken fried steak when I want gravy.
    #27
    tacchino
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/19 21:06:37 (permalink)
    I think making good mashed potatoes is a real skill. I remember fondly my grandmother's; I think she only added butter, whole milk, salt and pepper, and she used russets. Her mashing technique involved using one of those old fashioned potato mashers, but I swear the results beat anything made from an electric mixer, ricer, etc. Given the time and elbow grease involved in this method, clearly most folks would rather use an electric mixer, but I believe the consistency is almost always inferior to potatoes mashed with a masher.

    By the way, the very worst mashed potatoes I ever ate were to be found in France when I lived there briefly. No matter where, in homes, in fancy restaurants, they would serve a "puree" which had the consistency of split pea soup...completely unappetizing, in my own opinion.
    #28
    Bushie
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/20 00:03:54 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by lleechef

    My mashed spuds: Gotta be Idaho Russets, peeled, cooked just so, drained in a collander until they turn white. Smash 'em by hand with butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Sometimes I like them plain, sometimes with garlic or horseradish, sometimes with chipotles. Depends on what we're eating.
    For leftovers, make fish cakes! Cooked cod (or halibut or sole or striped bass or haddock) and salmon mixed with the cold mashed with a little jalepino and fried on each side work nicely! Add the fish to the mashed, a little beaten egg, some scallion.......voila! Fish cakes!

    I was going to reply, but the Food Goddess beat me to it. Despite all the advice I've read about potatoes, I have ALWAYS used Russets. Real cream, real butter, salt and pepper, and they can be served.

    Garlic, various cheeses, and horseradish are my standard "flavorizers". I've never tried chipotle, but I'll have to do that...
    #29
    corabeth
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    RE: Mashed Potatoes-How Do You Like Them and etc. 2005/09/20 08:38:00 (permalink)
    I use Yukon Gold for mashed potatoes(I guess I mean whipped,because I use a mixer). I add only butter,cream & lots of salt. Drain the potatoes & place back on the burner, shaking the pan to get all the moisture out. Immediately, add the butter, beat to blend, then add the cream(heated). My grandparents had a dairy farm with Jersy cows, so I grew up with cooking that used butter & cream in everything.
    A favorite meal at my house is sauerkraut & weiners with mashed potatoes. Mix the potatoes into the sauerkraut & weiners. Yummy.
    #30
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