A classic side for any Southern entree! Mashed potatoes are a comfort food that’s just as easy to prepare as it is to love.
At the end of a long winter day, dinner becomes more than just a meal – it becomes a way wind down and relax. One of the most comforting side dishes is mashed potatoes.
Though mashed potatoes aren’t strictly a Southern side dish, they are a mainstay on many dinner tables in the South.
The following is a favorite basic mashed potato recipe:
Yield: 4 servings
1 1/3 lbs. potatoes (peeled or unpeeled)
1 stick of salted butter
5 tablespoons of milk
Fresh ground pepper
Boil potatoes until tender.
Drain them immediately, and then return them to the pot.
Mash potatoes with a potato masher (or fork).
Add a bit of sea salt (to taste).
Add half a stick of butter.
Using a hand mixer, slowly blend the mixture until creamy.
Top off with a few dashes of salt and pepper, cut up the remaining butter and put in potatoes, allowing the butter to melt before serving.
Add more or less butter, depending on taste.
What type of potatoes should I use?
Yukon Gold is the ultimate preference for mashing potatoes. These have lots of starch and tend to produce a creamy, hearty mashed potato.
Russet or Idaho potatoes are the next in line. A basic, all-around spud, they make consistent mashing potatoes with a mild flavor.
Use red potatoes when you’re looking for something a tad different. The end product is very creamy, but a tad bitter. Using more butter and pepper usually smoothes it out.
Margarine versus butter
Unless you have health problems that demand the use of margarine in your diet, butter is best, especially when preparing mashed potatoes.
Butter is sweet, rich flavor is never replicated with success. Not only is there a difference in flavor, the texture of whatever you’re preparing changes as well.
Not your usual mashed potatoes
Variations on this recipe include garlic-mashed potatoes, cheddar mashed potatoes, even ranch mashed potatoes.
If you’re looking for an easy way to change the usual recipe, try adding creamed cheese instead of butter, use half-and-half instead of milk, add some French onion dip, or top off your potatoes with freshly chopped chives and a dollop of sour cream.
On a diet? Lighten up the calorie and fat count by using skim milk and less butter.