Recipe of the week: mashed potatoes

Photo via Creative Commons License.

Johndel Castillo, Editor

Thanksgiving is on its way What’s your favorite thing to eat on this amazing holiday!


  1. Use a blend of potatoes. Some people have a strong preference for starchy Russet potatoes or waxy, buttery Yukon golds. But I highly recommend using a 50/50 mixture of both! It’s actually a tip I picked up from The new york city years ago, and I’m convinced that the mixture gives you the best of both worlds.
  2. Avoid waterlogging your potatoes. Too much water is the enemy of mashed potatoes! But good news, it’s easy to avoid. Simply:
    • Cut your potatoes before boiling. I know, so many of us grew up boiling whole potatoes. But the problem is that large, whole potatoes cook unevenly. So instead, cut your potatoes into evenly sized smaller pieces for quick and even boiling.
    • Don’t overboil. Or maybe the tip should be, don’t multitask too much near the end of the potatoes’ cooking time. 😉  You want to keep a close eye on them. As soon as a dinner knife can be inserted easily into a potato with minimal resistance, they’re ready to go.
    • Pan “dry” after cooking. Then, one more step! Immediately after the potatoes have been drained, return them to the hot stockpot, and place it back on the hot burner over low heat. Hold the stockpot handles with oven mitts, and gently shake the pan for about 1 minute to release some of the steam and moisture from the potatoes. Then remove the pan from the heat and set it aside, and your potatoes will be ready to mash
  3. Don’t overmix! In general, you want to stir the liquids into your mashed potatoes until they are just combined. Otherwise if you overmix, they can crossover into gummy territory, which is no good.
  4. Season with salt along the way. We will use fine sea salt to season the potatoes both (1) in the water while they are boiling and (2) afterwards, when adding in the butter, milk and cream cheese. As always when seasoning a recipe, taste-taste-taste along the way while you are preparing the recipe, and add more salt as needed.
  5. Invest in your preferred kind of masher. It’s a worthy utensil to have in your kitchen! I own and recommend this oxo masher, especially if you like slightly chunky mashed potatoes. Or this smoother oxo masher, if you prefer smoother.