When it comes to perfect mashed potatoes, the best defense is a good offense, so let’s review the basics.
- Use the right type of starchy potato that becomes soft and fluffy when cooked, such as russet or Yukon gold, instead of waxy varieties, such as red-skinned new potatoes.
- Cook the potatoes only until they are tender when pierced with a fork instead of frying them until they begin to fall apart and become moist.
- Empty the potatoes in a colander and leave them until the surface water evaporates, about 3 minutes. They stop flowing strongly, and the edges look a bit chalky. But do not leave them for so long that they get cold. Potatoes should be mashed and seasoned while hot.
- Do not mash potatoes with anything you need to plug in. This means that no mixers, food processors or mixers will make the potatoes glued. For a smooth puree, use a food grinder or potatoes. If you do not mind a more rustic texture, use a handheld potato masks or crush them with a large wooden spoon.
- Gradually add the liquid (such as milk, half and half or cream). Make sure it is hot instead of straight out of the fridge, and stir only until it is mixed. It is far easier to add more fluid than to correct a wet root.
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If the potatoes get too runny, despite these guidelines, try one of these tricks.
- Transfer the potatoes to a shallow container and place in a 325 ° F oven to dry for 10 to 15 minutes. This works better than trying to boil out excess moisture on top of the oven in a pan that you have to stir to prevent the potatoes from burning to the bottom.
- Boil several potatoes and mash them properly (see steps 2 to 4 above), but without extra liquid, and then fold them into the running part.
- Stir in dehydrated potato flakes one tablespoon at a time until you reach the right consistency. The taste and texture of instant mashed potatoes does not suit everyone, but they can save the day and can work wonders in this case.
- Whisk a little cornstarch in the hot potatoes, just one teaspoon at a time, until the potatoes thicken as desired. The potatoes must be hot. You can also use tapioca starch or potato starch, although most chefs are less likely to have these products on hand. Do not use flour; it does not lose the raw taste in the potato heat without much more cooking and stirring, which changes one problem for another.
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