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25 November 2009

Secrets To A Perfect Mash & Thanksgiving Round-Up

Mashed Potatoes

Well… It’s that time of year again! The holidays are nearing and Thanksgiving is only in a couple of days. Yet, it doesn’t feel so much like thanksgiving here, since the Brits don’t celebrate it and especially because I’m so busy with all the FBC organizing, leaving me no time to host it.

I did however manage to have my fair share of all the trimmings, in the run up and over the last several posts. But, before I round-up all the Thanksgiving recipes I’ve posted over the last month, I want to take a minute to say hello & warm welcome to all my new subscribers. I’ve noticed an immense increase in readers and subscribers over the last couple of weeks and this makes me really, really happy.

Mashed Potatoes

Ok. Fine. I’m hopeless at lying! It makes me run around my house naked, pulling spastic cartwheels while I yell at the top of my lungs: “Wahoo…They must be bonkers!”

My husband’s threatened to leave me for mickey Minnie mouse, if I keep doing it. I don’t think she’ll have him, though.

Anyway… Just want to say mucho grassy-ass for stopping by!

So, where were we… Yes, Thanksgiving round-up!

Green Bean Casserole

How about making this green bean casserole… a few of you already got busy testing it… It’s won many converts. Yes.

Roasties

Make these golden brown, crispy roasties…they make a scrumptious side.

Tiramisu

Don’t forget the cranberry sauce! (Excuse the messy photo-taken one year ago exactly. Oh, I knew me when…)

Pumpkin Pie

I’ve been told that this is the best pumpkin pie ever.

Pecan Rolls

Make Grandma’s cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving morning. It would make her proud. And, you’re tummy will sing with joy!

Mashed Potatoes

So, what makes the perfect mash?

1) Type of potatoes– do you go for high starch (low moisture) or low starch (high moisture)? I personally prefer low starch potatoes (fingerlings or Charlottes, Yukon gold (US) are in the middle) because they keep their shape well when cooked in water and I find they yield creamier results while, not necessarily the smoothest. High starch potatoes (King Edward, Maris Piper, Russets) disintegrate easily and yield really smooth, fluffy potatoes. So, it all depends on your preference.
2) Cooking the potatoes-Don’t overcook the potatoes. Do not boil but rather let them simmer. Remove them once you can easily pierce them with a knife. Make sure that you have chopped the potatoes into even sizes- so there is consistent cooking. Salting the water adds depth of flavor. Anyway potatoes and salt were made for each other- you still have to get the balance right, though.
3) Drain them well. Put them back in the pot and let any remaining water evaporate.
4) Don’t overwork the potatoes. Do not use a food processor or blender! They cut throught the cellulose starch cells and lead to gummy, glue-like, sticky, cafeteria mashed potatoes. Use a potato ricer or a potato masher- the zigzag one.
5)When adding milk, butter or cream, make sure they are warm or at room temperature.

So, let’s get to it.

Secrets To A Perfect Mash & Thanksgiving Round-Up
 
Ingredients
  • 1 kg potatoes of choice, peeled and rinsed
  • 100g butter- more or less to taste
  • 150ml milk- more or less to taste
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. Cut the potatoes into quarters- making sure they are as even as possible, in order to cook evenly.
  2. Cover them with water, add salt and bring to a boil. Quickly lower and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Test them with a knife- if it goes through them smoothly, then they are ready. Cooking time will depend on the potatoes…so you will need to test them.
  3. Drain the potatoes then return to the pot, on a low flame, and let any remaining water evaporate. It shouldn’t take longer than 30 seconds.
  4. Pass a few at a time through the ricer.
  5. Next add all the ingredients you want- butter, cream, salt, pepper, mushrooms, spring onions, etc…
  6. And using a fork, mix it all together in no more than 2 laps. Taste and season accordingly. Always remember the more you work the potatoes the more they will become like gum.
  7. Eh, voila. Your perfect mash!

 

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18 thoughts on “Secrets To A Perfect Mash & Thanksgiving Round-Up

  1. We don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving in the Philippines. We usually eat out than prepare dishes at home. But the dishes look really good. The mashed potatoes are to die for.

  2. This really is the complete ‘Thanksgiving’ Experience.
    My only concern would be the fact after eating all the amazing dishes above that i would be rooted to whatever couch was close to hand for days!… Brilliant !

    Thanking you kindly for all your wonderful and jaw dropping
    picture’s.

  3. The pumpkin pie is beautiful! I love mashed potatoes, but I actually don’t mind if they have a few chunks in them. My advice would be to be careful of going bonkers on the garlic. I love garlic, but I’ve made the mistake of including too much. Yikes!

  4. You’ve been busy! Mashed potato… the ultimate comfort food. It goes to show that a little attention to something simple pays bucketloads. I have been guilty of resorting to Smash lately (very useful for impatient toddler) but consider my wrist slapped and I must do the real thing properly.

  5. those potatoes are mouth watering! i wish i could be at your table for thanksgiving dinner, your famillies lucky!

  6. Great post, I love love love mash, it’s such a all time favourite comforting food! Incredible you still have time to post while organizing FBC. Looking forward to meeting you on Saturday! 🙂

  7. Yumm…I felt like having mashed potatoes again looking at your pics. For me the only requirement for the best potatoes: they must be Lebanese and come from the vegetable garden near our house!

  8. Ooh – I love a big creamy dollop of mash. Delectable! Great to meet you at the FBC event on Saturday, Bethany. Congratulations on organising such a great day – your hard work paid off! Hope to see you again soon.

  9. Beth chic….you rock. Rock, Rock, Rock. As does Chris….celebrate him :-). FBC was WOW………………now I know for sure I’m not crazy, not deluded, and ‘not normal’ 🙂 . I am so glad I came – excellent job you did. With lutta…XXXX

  10. All of these look splendid, but I have a hankering to try that pumpkin pie!! I have a dear friend visiting this weekend so perhaps I can experiment on her. 🙂 Thanks for taking time to share all these with us! 🙂

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