One of the greatest of all comfort foods is mashed potatoes. From the first time as a baby when you ate solid food and Mom fed you a spoonful of mashed potatoes right up to today when you eat them with meatloaf, mashed potatoes delight the taste buds. Knowing how to make mashed potatoes is not exactly rocket science. If you follow the steps below, you can make some great tasting potatoes, but if you would like some baked potatoes read how long to bake a potato.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes – Preparation
The first step to making mashed potatoes is the preparation of the potato. You can use several different varieties of potatoes such as Idaho, Russet or White potatoes to prepare mashed potatoes. Once you have selected the potatoes you are going to use you will need to get a potato peeler and remove all of the skin from the potato. Be thorough and get every last bit of skin removed so the potato is perfectly clean. Next, rinse your peeled potatoes under cold water to remove any remaining residue. To promote faster cooking, you should cut potatoes into smaller pieces about the size of a golf ball. You are now on your way to knowing how to make mashed potatoes. The next step is to get a big pot and fill it with water.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes – Cooking
Taking a pot filled about half way up with water, place the pot on the stove top and set the temperature on high so that the water will come to a boil. Place the cut up, peeled potatoes in to the pot and wait for them to reach a boil. Knowing how to make mashed potatoes also means knowing how long to leave the potatoes boiling on the stove. Generally it will take about 10-15 minutes for the potatoes to get soft enough before they are ready to be mashed. The best way to tell is to take a fork and stick one or two of the floating pieces. If the fork goes in easily and feels soft to the touch, then, the potatoes are ready. You might also be interested in Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes.
How to Make Mashed Potatoes – Mashing and Final Preparation
This final and most important step is the key as how to make mashed potatoes that everyone will just love. Turn off the stove and using a strainer, pour out the water and catch the potatoes in the strainer. Allow them to drain a little before dumping them into a large, sturdy bowl where they can be mashed. It is best to use either a stainless steel or aluminum bowl, but a wood or glass bowl is also okay.
There are several different ways you can mash your potatoes. You can mash them by hand with a hand-masher. With this type of operation, you press down on the potatoes with a tool that has a large flat surface and the potatoes are mashed into a single consistent form. You can also use another type of masher where you place potatoes in a cylinder squeeze down on the handle and the potato is forced through hundreds of little holes like small pieces of spaghetti. In this form you can then easily mash together to form your mashed potatoes. A third way to make mashed potatoes is to use an electric hand mixer. With this technique you should first add butter, water and/or milk to the bowl and then whip the entire mixture until it reaches the proper consistency.
Once your potatoes are sufficiently mashed, you will need to season them to taste. Most people like some salt and maybe some pepper in their mashed potatoes, but there is no law that says you can not add your own favorite seasonings to suit your taste.