Tuesday, 25 September 2007

The Monster Mash

Mash potatoes. I mean, it's the ultimate isn't it? They go with virtually every meal, it's pretty tough to screw up, you can make them in advance and everybody at any age loves it. No collection of recipes is complete without mashed potatoes. Make too much and it keeps pretty well until the next day. Or, fry it up and serve with eggs and bacon. Hey. It's famous for a reason.

I imagine most people and restaurants simply peel and boil their potatoes and whip with some milk, butter and season and there you have it. 1-2-3 easy as pie. However, there is an alternative.

When purchasing potatoes, ensure there is no green spots. And each type of potato is good for certain type of cooking. Potatoes are generally classified by the amount of starch it contains. New potatoes have high sugar, low starch. Good for salad and roasting. Not deep frying or mash. Mature potatoes like Yukon Gold or Russets have a high starch content and, hopefully, low sugar. Actually, sugar content often relies on the season and/or temperature. So, unless you have Shaman at your disposal, don't fret about sugar and moisture content.

One quick note: some of you may be familiar with Duchesses Potatoes. This is basically Mashed Potatoes with egg yolks. Egg yolks keeps the potatoes firmer and richer, so if you are making this recipe for Sheppard's Pie, adding an egg yolk will enable you to have better control of the potatoes when spreading over the ground meat.

Mashed Potatoes

8 Large Yukon Gold Potatoes, whole
200 ml 35% Whipping Cream
100 ml Butter, melted
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Cook potatoes on a tray until cooked through. Approximately 1 hour, or longer if potatoes are particularly large.

Scald cream and add butter and garlic. Reduce heat and keep warm.

After potatoes are cooked, cut each one into half. Carefully using a spoon, scoop out the innards of the potatoes into a large bowl. Add cream and seasonings. Using a stand or hand mixer, whip potatoes until creamy and without lumps. Do not overwhip.

Serves 6.

Variation: Everyone has their own variation on mash. My personal favourites are adding roasted garlic and goat's cheese in the last minute. I'm not so sure if there is anything that beats it.

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