I’m not going to lie to you guys… this recipe is insane… its obnoxious… its crazy. But its sooooo delicious. Its basically mashed potatoes on steroids — richer and more fattening than anyone needs, but so delicious that everyone will want seconds.
Last week my friend Carmen (who did an amazing job designing this blog) texted me to ask me how to make mashed potatoes. She’s a great cook and clearly knows how to mash a potato, but she wanted to know how to make optimal mashed potatoes. She isn’t the first person to ask me that question and I doubt she’ll be the last. Mashed potatoes seem like the easiest thing in the world, but truly great mashed potatoes are actually both an art and a science. This recipe starts off with a basic mashed potato recipe so I thought I’d use this opportunity to share a couple of tips.
1) Pick the right potato. You want a potato with high starch content and low water content — that gives you the fluffiest results. The perfect potato is the Russet or the Idaho. However, you can also use Yukon Gold potatoes. Even though they are medium starch, some people prefer their flavor and I find that they give a creamier texture.
2) Start your potatoes off in a cold pot off water. Bring them up to a boil and then let them simmer till they’re done. Check on them frequently to make sure you don’t over cook them. They should be fork tender without breaking apart.
3) Make sure your potatoes are cut into uniform chunks so that they all cook the same.
4) After you drain your potatoes put them back into the pot and leave them to cook for a few minutes to dry out some more.
5) PLEASE DONT USE ANY KIND OF MECHANICAL DEVICE- A food processor or hand mixer will overwork your potatoes and break down the starch. You’ll end up with a pasty mess. I suggest getting a food mill or potato ricer — you can get good ones for about $35 and they will give you the absolutely best results. But going old school with a regular potato masher also works wonders.
6) Make sure your butter and/or cream are warm when you add them. Don’t overmix— they should just be incorporated.
- 2 pounds of potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold)
- ½ cup milk, warm
- 6 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
- 1½ cups of heavy cream, cold
- 1 cup of parmesan cheese.
- salt to taste
- Peel the potatoes and cut into uniform pieces. Put them in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow them to simmer for 10-15 minutes until they are fork-tender.
- In the mean time, whip the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks (can sit up on the end of a whisk).
- When the potatoes are tender, drain, return them to the pot and leave over low heat for 2 minutes to allow them to dry out a bit more.
- Pass the potatoes through a ricer or food mill or mash them with a hand-held masher. Add the butter, warm milk, ½ a cup of parmesan and two generous pinches of salt and stir until just incorporated. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
- Carefully fold the whipped cream into the mashed potatoes and then pour into a casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.*
- Bake the potatoes for 15 minutes. Then turn on the broiler and broil for 5 minutes.**
- When you take them out of oven, they will look puffy. Allow them to sit for 10-15 minutes until they have deflated a bit
**When the potatoes are in the oven they will expand. Depending on how high up you've filled your casserole dish you might want to set it on top of a cookie sheet in the oven to collect anything that spills over.