We live in potato country, southeastern Idaho where potato fields stretch on like grain fields in Kansas and there are potato warehouses every half mile or so.  Potatoes are a big deal.  Just in case you don’t live in Idaho, here’s how to make mashed potatoes.

Peel the potatoes. Cut them into chunks, then cover them with cold water in a very large pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer until very tender all the way through. Drain the potatoes, then put them back into the pot over VERY low heat to evaporate any excess liquid. This will dry the potatoes.

While the potatoes are drying, heat whole milk in the microwave just until hot, not boiling. Cold milk tends to make your potatoes gluey.  A good rule of thumb is to use about 2/3 cup milk for every 2 to 3 pounds of potatoes. You can use a mixture of cream and milk, if desired. Add butter to the hot, dry potatoes, keeping them over very low heat.

For years, we added a block of slightly warmed cream cheese to our potatoes.  For us they were “Sunday potatoes” or “company potatoes.”

Mash with a hand masher until the butter is melted and the potatoes are very smooth.

If you use an electric mixer, beat the potatoes (with the pot still over low heat) as you add the hot milk, a little at a time, until the potatoes are the desired consistency. Scrape sides of the pot with a rubber spatula. Do not over beat. Stop beating when they are creamy and fluffy.

You can use a potato ricer if you desire rather than mashing the potatoes.  Interestingly, I rarely find anyone in Idaho that uses a ricer.  A ricer forces the potatoes through little holes with resulting little nodules of potatoes.  The texture is different.  Those that use ricers are often ardent about doing so feeling that mashed potatoes are too gummy.

Add salt and white pepper to taste. The white pepper is used so that they are no “unsightly” black specks in the potatoes.

Make perfect gravy with The Gravy Master.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

2 pounds red potatoes
1 pound soft butter
5 ounces Romano cheese
1 tablespoon oregano
Salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped garlic

Wash potatoes and boil until tender and soft. Place potatoes in mixer with rest of ingredients and mix on low speed until potatoes are mashed.

Recipe courtesy of RecipeGoldmine.com

Thanksgiving Potatoes

4 red potatoes
1/4 c. melted butter
1/2 c. cheddar cheese
4 oz. sour cream
Salt & pepper
1/2 c. chopped onions

Boil potatoes until soft. Drain, cool, cut into 1 inch cubes. Sauté 1/2 cup chopped onions in butter. Toss with potatoes and other ingredients. Spoon into greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbling. Can be made the day before.

Recipe courtesy of NancysKitchen.com