The ultimate comfort food, mashed potatoes remind me of the holidays, and getting together with the family. Every Thanksgiving, they are always one of my favorite dishes being served; I can’t help but have seconds of mashed potatoes, smothered in homemade gravy. Although they are elegant enough for those special occasions, they are also simple enough to accompany pretty much any meal.
My toddler absolutely loves them. In fact, they ended up being his go-to food when we went on a cruise and he was presented with lots of new foods that he either didn’t like, or didn’t want to try. The soon-to-be two year old, at the time, found comfort in something that reminded him of home.
Although mashed potatoes can readily be found in a box, homemade mashed potatoes are so much tastier. With something so easy to make, why wouldn’t you want to?
If you don’t think you’ll have time to make them when you need them, you can even make them ahead of time, covering them well and storing them in the refrigerator. You can then reheat them in the oven when you need them, adding in more milk or cream, if needed.
So, let’s get to it!
1 lb. potatoes
⅓ cup butter
¼ cup cream
Milk (to desired texture)
Pepper and nutmeg (optional)
Peel the potatoes, cut them into similar sized pieces, and place them into a saucepan.
Cover them completely with water, and heat the saucepan over the stove, until the water is boiling.
Simmer until they are soft enough to easily poke with a fork. You should be able to pull the potatoes apart if you try. If they don’t come apart, the potatoes aren’t ready yet. The amount of time will depend upon the size of your potato pieces, and the type of potato being used, but it will usually take between 15-30 minutes.
Strain the water out, and place your potatoes in a bowl.
Use a potato masher or beaters to mash the potatoes. To ensure that my mashed potatoes aren’t lumpy, I press the potatoes through a potato ricer first, but that isn’t a necessary step. Not everybody has a potato ricer, after all.
Cut your butter into small pieces, and add them, along with the cream, to the potatoes, blending all of the ingredients together.
Add in small amounts of milk, mixing with each incorporation, until you get the desired consistency.
Salt and pepper to taste. You can optionally also sprinkle a little ground nutmeg on top of your finished potatoes like they do at my favorite restaurant.