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Subject: Mashed Potatoes for Dummies
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

============================

From: Chris Neidecker 
Date: Tue, 6 Nov 2001 23:10:32 -0500
--------
Hi everybody.  I'm hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, and I've
been practicing my mashed potatoes.  They're just not up to snuff.

I bought a bag of Yukon golds and got to work.  The first batch came out
watery-tasting and grainy.  The second back came out grainy, but at least
not watery.

Here's what I did.  Can anyone help me figure out what's wrong?

1.  Peeled potatoes, cut into roughly 1" chunks.
2.  Put into big pot, covered w/ cold water.
3.  Put pot on stove, turned heat to medium high.
4.  Cooked for about 12 minutes, til fork tender.
5.  Drained potatoes and returned them to pot.
6.  Shook potatoes in pot over high heat to evaporate excess water (for the
first batch, I actually used Caprial Pence's trick of spreading them on a
cookie sheet and baking for 10 minutes at 350 to dry them...but discarded
this idea as impractical for Thanksgiving...not sure it helped, anyway).
7.  Put a cup of whole milk and some butter in the microwave to heat.
8.  Meanwhile, mashed the taters with a hand masher.
9.  Poured in the hot milk/butter and some salt.  Continued mashing.
10.  Dumped into big bowl and topped with more butter.

Did I cook them on too high a heat?  That's the only thing I can think of,
other than perhaps I got a bad sack of potatoes.  I've read that beating w/
an electric mixer can make them gluey (my mother-in-law does them that way,
and hers are gluey), but at least that way they're smooth and not grainy.
Lumps I can deal with, but that grainy consistency is awful.

Thanks!
Chris
(who has mastered sausage stuffing and apple pie, but is stumped by these
potatoes!)

============================

From: ericDONOTSPAMMEthered[at]eudoramail.com
Date: Tue, 06 Nov 2001 22:58:39 -0600
--------
You don't say how many lbs of potatoes you cooked, but a cup of milk
is enough for about 6-10 pounds, I'd say.  You probably:

1) Used the wrong kind of potatoes - use Idaho Russets only
2) Used too much milk
3) Used 2% or skim milk -- only use whole milk, half and half or
whipping cream
4) Use about 1 Tablespoon of butter for each pound of potato
5) Salt the water after it comes to a boil.
6) Salt the potatoes to taste midway during beating
7) Add some white pepper before beating

============================

From: ndooley[at]blue.weeg.uiowa.edu (Nancy Dooley)
Date: 7 Nov 2001 09:10:48 -0800
--------
> 3) Used 2% or skim milk -- only use whole milk, half and half or
> whipping cream

I think the key is the kind of potato, although one can certainly mash
Yukon Golds, they wouldn't be my choice for the "primary" mashed
potato dish at Thanksgiving dinner.

Also, I always use skim milk because that's what I have on hand - it
may affect the taste slightly (I don't like the taste of cream,
anyway), but it wouldn't affect the texture, which is what she's
complaining about.  My mashed potatoes are delicious.

============================

From: connieg999[at]aol.com (ConnieG999)
Date: 07 Nov 2001 05:12:12 GMT
--------
Chris Neidecker writes:
>I bought a bag of Yukon golds and got to work. 

Yellowfins and Yukon golds are high-moisture potatoes. Although some people do
have success with them, I would go with a higher-starch potato like Russets.

>The first batch came out watery-tasting and grainy.  The second back came out
>grainy, but at least not watery.

Because of the cellular makeup of potatoes, under- or over-mashing can cause
either gluey or grainy textures.

>6.  Shook potatoes in pot over high heat to evaporate excess water.

Why not use a colander to drain them quickly? Don't rinse.

>9.  Poured in the hot milk/butter and some salt.  Continued mashing.

Don't dump all the milk in at once. Pour in a little at a time and STOP before
it gets too runny. Every time you make mashed potatoes will be different.

> I've read that beating w/an electric mixer can make them gluey (my mother-in-law 
>does them that way, and hers are gluey)

Stop while they're still fluffy. And use the right kind of potatoes.

Here's a recipe from the Potato Board:

Perfect Mashed Potatoes  
8 servings  
Preparation Time: 20 Minutes  
Cooking Time: 20 Minutes  
 
2 2/3 pounds (8 medium) potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces 
2 teaspoons salt, divided 
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, softened 
1/2 to 1 cup hot milk or cream 

 1. In large saucepan, combine 5 cups water, potatoes and 1 1/2 teaspoons of
the salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 12 to 15
minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
2. Drain potatoes thoroughly in colander. Return to saucepan; heat over
medium-low heat 2 to 3 minutes to dry potatoes, stirring occasionally.
3. In saucepan, mash potatoes with potato masher or beat with electric hand
mixer. Stir in butter, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 cup of the hot milk.
Add additional milk, a little at a time, if necessary, for desired consistency;
beat until light and fluffy. Season to taste with additional salt, if desired.
Serve immediately.

Tips:
* Amount of milk needed will vary with type of potatoes used and personal
preference.
* Mashed potatoes are best served right away. If made ahead, keep potatoes hot
in saucepan or heatproof bowl set over pot with barely simmering water. Cover
potatoes loosely.
* Recipe can be halved to make 4 servings (about 3 cups), if desired. Cook 1
1/3 pounds peeled, cut potatoes with 5 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Prepare
as recipe directs, adding 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4-teaspoon salt and 1/4 to
2/3 cup hot milk

============================

From: Kate Connally 
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 11:05:47 -0500
--------
ConnieG999 wrote:
> Yellowfins and Yukon golds are high-moisture potatoes. Although some people do
> have success with them, I would go with a higher-starch potato like Russets.

Of course!  Russets are the only potato to use
for great mashed potatoes.  Nice and fluffy.
I peel and cut in quarters, sixths, or eighths
depending on size of original potato.  Boil
in salted water until fork tender.  Drain in
collander and return to pan.  (I don't do
that sissy thing of putting the pan on the
fire to "dry" them - tain't necessary)  "Mash"
with hand mixer adding milk (cold - no need
to heat it as there won't be enough to
significantly lower the temp. - trust me
I do this all the time and I *know* - and
why make another pan dirty) and butter
as needed until desired consistency is
achieved.  Halfway through I taste for salt
and add it if needed.  Now I always make
a huge amount - use about8-12 very large
potatoes and cook them in my big stainless
steel dutch oven, so they large quantity
hold the heat like crazy.  I guess if you
make small batches the heat loss could
be an issue.  But why would anyone even
bother to make a small batch - they're
a lot of work so you should make as much
as you can when you make them.  And don't
believe the old wives tales about not using a
mixer.  It ain't true, as 30 years of doing it my
way with a mixer and never a gummy batch
has proven.  (Possibly this myth came from
people who use other than russet potatoes.
I can see how some of the waxy varieties would
get all gummy using a mixer.  I recent bought
some white potatoes that were on sale and
I boiled them and then wanted to peel and
slice them for fried potatoes.  They were
so gummy I could barely get my fingers
apart or get the skins off the knife blade
by the time I was done peeling them!)

============================

From: Madeline 
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 11:19:01 -0600
--------
Kate Connally wrote:
> Of course!  Russets are the only potato to use
> for great mashed potatoes. 

Actually that could not be further from the truth.  While I concede that 
Yukons are definitely not the first choice, I rarely have problems 
getting them fluffy when mashing them.  But I also never buy Yukons in 
plastic either.  So mine likely have a loss of moisture content.

Now, as far as other potatoes for mashing, there are _many_ potatoes 
other than russets in the US that are great for mashing including the 
very common Vikings, BelRus, White Rose (Wisconsin Prides are terrific), 
and Norlands.  Less common but still widely available at farmers' 
markets are Itascas, Atlantics, Kennebecs and Irish Cobblers.  There are 
many others and I have not even mentioned the ones not available here in 
the US.  There are even some blue potatoes that mash well though the 
color can be an unfortunate grey. lol

Furthermore, there are many russets that do NOT mash well (eg - Rangers, 
Frontiers) so it is wise to know what you are buying.  But most Russets 
available in supermarkets are Idahos and those do mash very well.  
Centennials also mash well. 

============================

From: ericDONOTSPAMMEthered[at]eudoramail.com
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 22:46:44 -0600
--------
Madwen wrote:
>Furthermore, there are many russets that do NOT mash well (eg - Rangers, 
>Frontiers) so it is wise to know what you are buying.  But most Russets 
>available in supermarkets are Idahos and those do mash very well.  
>Centennials also mash well. 

Good point -- I had meant to say Idaho russets.  While it's true that
many other potatoes will mash nicely, the topic of this thread is
Mashed Potatoes for Dummies   So we need to keep this chimpanzee
proof.

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 08 Nov 2001 10:40:59 GMT
--------
ericDONOTSPAMMEthered@eudoramail.com writes:

>Good point -- I had meant to say Idaho russets

That makes you a spud dummy, Idaho Russets is a reDUMBancy.

============================

From: Michael Edelman 
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 08:53:45 -0500
--------
PENMART01 wrote:
> That makes you a spud dummy, Idaho Russets is a reDUMBancy.

What's really pathetic about shelly is he actually thinks he's being
witty. Pity that the  jokes that made him such a star in the second
grade just don't seem to have the same effect anymore. Doesn't stop him
from trying, though!

============================

From: cmquinn[at]mindspring.com (Charles Quinn)
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 01:14:08 GMT
--------
Kate Connally wrote:
>Of course!  Russets are the only potato to use
>for great mashed potatoes.

Red New potatoes are a nice change. Don't peel. I like to add a little fresh 
rosemary, you can also load them up with garlic too.

FWIW, better mashed are made from steamed not boiled potatoes.

============================

From: Madeline 
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 00:00:57 -0600
--------
Chris Neidecker wrote:
> I bought a bag of Yukon golds and got to work.  The first batch came out
> watery-tasting and grainy.  The second back came out grainy, but at least
> not watery.

I use Yukons frequently and I do not dice them because that way they 
absorb far too much water and cool off too fast..  I cut them in half 
when they exceed 3 or so inches.  As soon as they are done, I pour off 
the water.  The potatoes will let off some steam, drying them out.

I, too, get best results from hand mashing.  I have the butter at room 
temp but not melted in advance.  I do take the chill from the milk.  
First I mash the potatoes thoroughly with the butter, working fast,  not 
adding milk until the spuds are well crushed.  And I only add enough 
milk to make them smooth, tasting every so often so as not to add too 
much.  Season with salt and pepper and voila!   I'd guess the dicing was 
not good and that you used too much milk, perhaps heating it too much?  
Just a guess.  Don't get me wrong.  I've made some spectacular, funny 
screw-ups in the kitchen but I have not experienced grainy potatoes.... 
gummy yes. :)  Hope this might help but I am betting that there are 
other ways to get there.

============================

From: notbob 
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 06:34:44 GMT
--------
Chris Neidecker wrote:
> 7.  Put a cup of whole milk and some butter in the microwave to heat.
> 8.  Meanwhile, mashed the taters with a hand masher.
> 9.  Poured in the hot milk/butter and some salt.  Continued mashing.

Bingo!  A whole cup of milk is too much unless you are doing a whole lot
of potatoes.  

You only add enough milk to smooth the potatoes to the texture you
want.  You don't want to add too much butter, either.  Your guests will
want to put on more butter, so only put in enough to give the 'taters
some flavor and aroma.  A couple three  pats will do.  Also, it's not
necessary to warm the milk and butter.  You definately don't want to
melt the butter before adding, as it will separate.  Just add a couple
of pats at a time while mashing.  I add it cold.  My approach is to
begin mashing the potatoes and add a couple of pats of butter, mash a
few strokes, add 1 or 2 more pats, mash a couple more strokes.  I then
start adding cold milk, a couple of ounces at a time.  Mash till milk is
incorporated and then add a bit more ..mash ...add ...mash.  You should
be about where you want.

It is pefectly OK to use Yukons if you'd like.  I prefer them.  But, you
might want to start with Russets till you get the hang of perfect tater
texture, as Yukons can be tricky to get right.  Another trick to make
mashing easier is to use a masher that is a plate with square or round
holes.  Thsese are a little easier get out the lumps than the squigley
bent wire type masher.  

If you add your milk slowly, and not too much, you can make mashed
potatoes that can be run through a squirt bottle without being runny. 
Just take it a little at a time.

good luck

nb

============================

From: Chris Neidecker 
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 15:06:20 -0500
--------
notbob wrote:
> Bingo!  A whole cup of milk is too much unless you are doing a whole lot
> of potatoes.

Whoops, I don't mean that I added a whole cup of milk...I heated that much
since I didn't know how much I'd need, and I added only a little at a time.
But even doing that, I never got the right consistency.

Wow, who would've thought such a simple food could be so easy to screw up!

Thanks everyone, for your tips!

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 07 Nov 2001 20:36:49 GMT
--------
Chris Neidecker writes:
>Wow, who would've thought such a simple food could be so easy to screw up!

You be surprised, weenies screw up shoelace tieing.

============================

From: Heather 
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 00:37:03 -0500
--------
Sheldon wrote:
>You be surprised, weenies screw up shoelace tieing.

Hey weenie, ya screwed up.  it's *You'd*  be surprised.  BTW...I think
"tying" is the more today way of spelling "tieing?"

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 08 Nov 2001 10:40:59 GMT
--------
Heather writes:

>Sheldon wrote: 

>>weenies screw up shoelace tieing.

>BTW...I think "tying" is the more today way of spelling "tieing?"

Hey, Heather, you vocabulary challenged Dumb Twat. . . that woud be 'the more
*current* way'.

Btw, both forms are *equally correct*.

M-W

tie [2] (verb) tied; ty*ing or tie*ing

verb transitive

First appeared before 12th Century

 1 a : to fasten, attach, or close by means of a tie

   b : to form a knot or bow in <~ your scarf>

============================

From: stan[at]temple.edu
Date: 7 Nov 2001 12:04:15 GMT
--------
Chris Neidecker wrote:
> Hi everybody.  I'm hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, and I've
> been practicing my mashed potatoes.  They're just not up to snuff.

The way I make mashed potatoes has never failed me.

I peel some Russets. Cut the spuds in half. Boil 
the potatoes in plenty of water 'til they're tender. 
Dump the water. Next, I press the potatoes with a 
potato ricer into the pot that was used to boil the
potatoes. I do not do this over heat. I then slowly 
mix in some milk. There's no set amount. I just slowly 
pour and stir the potatoes until I get the consistency 
I want. As I stir the potatoes, I put in a pat of
butter. I taste as I go and keep adding small amounts 
of butter until it reaches the taste I want. A few
minutes prior to serving the potatoes, I put the pot
on the range and warm up the potatoes gently while
stirring them for two or three minutes. 

That's it.

============================

From: Melba's Jammin' 
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 17:22:22 -0600
--------
stan@temple wrote:
> That's it.

AHA!

============================

From: ericDONOTSPAMMEthered[at]eudoramail.com
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 22:48:56 -0600
--------
stan@temple wrote:
>Dump the water.

Never, never, NEVER dump the water -- use it for the gravy!!! 

============================

From: David Wright 
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 15:43:52 GMT
--------
ericDONOTSPAMMEthered@eudoramail.com wrote:
> Never, never, NEVER dump the water -- use it for the gravy!!! 

... or bread.

============================

From: stan[at]temple.edu
Date: 9 Nov 2001 01:29:56 GMT
--------
ericDONOTSPAMMEthered@eudoramail.com wrote:
> Never, never, NEVER dump the water -- use it for the gravy!!! 

Call me strange! Call me a radical! Call me crazy! Call me weird!
Call me Ishmeal! I am just not a big fan of gravy on mashed 
potatoes! Yup! I confess. For me, adding gravy to mashed potatoes
dilutes them. I just like the spuds plain, with a little you know
what on the side.

============================

From: ericDONOTSPAMMEthered[at]eudoramail.com
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 10:17:48 -0600
--------
stan@temple wrote:
>For me, adding gravy to mashed potatoes
>dilutes them.

Really good, thick rich gravy just oozes on top of the potatoes and
doesn't permeate the potatoes.  I agree that watery, runny gravy ruins
potatoes.

============================

From: MH 
Date: Sat, 10 Nov 2001 01:55:58 GMT
--------
stan@temple wrote:
>For me, adding gravy to mashed potatoes
>dilutes them.

I don't like water-based gravy on my mashed potatoes. I do like thick, rich
milk-gravy ladened with black pepper on my mashed taters. yummmmm......

============================

From: Arri London 
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 07:38:44 -0700
--------
Chris Neidecker wrote:
> I bought a bag of Yukon golds and got to work.  The first batch came out
> watery-tasting and grainy.  The second back came out grainy, but at least
> not watery.

Mostly you used the wrong potatoes. Yukon Gold (or at least
what passes for them around here) are useless for mashing.

Stick with the cheapo russetts or whatever they are in the
market.

============================

From: Kendall F. Stratton III 
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 09:52:52 -0500
--------
Arri London wrote:
> Mostly you used the wrong potatoes. Yukon Gold (or at least
> what passes for them around here) are useless for mashing.
>
> Stick with the cheapo russetts or whatever they are in the
> market.

Yes Sir/Ma'am... Russets (an abundant supply grown locally here) produce the
*BESTEST* mashed potatoes (IMHO).   Peel & dice the potatoes, boil for 10-15
minutes in lightly salted water, drain well, return to the pot, add the
*real* butter, kosher salt and *WHITE* pepper and then "smash 'n mash" 'til
smooth & fluffy -- SERVE IMMEDIATELY!!!

============================

From: mcc6050[at]aol.com (Mac)
Date: 07 Nov 2001 15:05:02 GMT
--------
Chris Neidecker wrote:
> I bought a bag of Yukon golds and got to work.  The first batch came out
> watery-tasting and grainy. 

> Here's what I did. 

Your technique sounds good;  I think the problem may be the potatoes.  IMO,
Russets make the very best mashed potatoes.  If you're practicing now, why not 
pick up some Russets and try them?

I use a ricer to make mashed potatoes....found an old one (maybe from the
1940's) at a yard sale and it's fabulous in mashing potatoes: no lumps, quick,
potatoes stay light & fluffy.

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 07 Nov 2001 15:37:23 GMT
--------
Mac writes:
>I use a ricer to make mashed potatoes.

No, you use a ricer to make *riced* potatoes... riced ain't mashed just like
mashed ain't riced.

============================

From: Melba's Jammin' 
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 17:21:25 -0600
--------
Sheldon wrote:
> No, you use a ricer to make *riced* potatoes... riced ain't mashed 
> just like mashed ain't riced.

See my question to Mcc6050.  What do YOU do with them, Sheldon?

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 08 Nov 2001 01:31:37 GMT
--------
Melba's Jammin'  writes:

>(PENMART01) wrote:
>
>>(Mcc6050) writes:
>> 
>> >I use a ricer to make mashed potatoes.
>> 
>> No, you use a ricer to make *riced* potatoes... riced ain't mashed 
>> just like mashed ain't riced.

>See my question to Mcc6050.  What do YOU do with them, Sheldon?

What question?  What do I do with what?

When I make mashed potatoes I mash them, with a great big ol' tater masher, the
thingie with a zig-zag wire attached to the end of a sturdy handle.  Mashed
potatoes are supposed to have some lumps, that's the whole beauty of em,
otherwise you may as well make whipped or riced... and then you may as well use
dehy potato buds (I'm dead serious).  I don't put any milk in my mashed
potatoes, no butter either.  Milk and butter in mashed potatoes is an
abomination... instead mix in sour cream, that's it's primary purpose.... um
don't mix it too much, gots to see lumps of sour cream (top with chives and/or
caviar.. or diced lox), if too dry, that's what extra sour cream on the side is
for.   I also do another version, mix in chicken schmaltz, sometimes with
gribenes, if it's too dry, what do yoose think the gravy from the brisket is
for.  There's mashed potatoes with fried chick livers, with creamed herring,
with spinach and hard egg, I got plenty more... with creamed wild 'shroom
duxelles (another fav). . . what can I tell ya, yoose Betty Crocker/Julia
Child/Jaques Pepin celebrity type cooks just don't know what good is.

============================

From: Melba's Jammin' 
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 20:47:41 -0600
--------
Question was what do you do with potatoes that you've riced?  Rice them 
into a bowl and then to table?  Or  rice them into a pan then stir in 
milk and/butter to smooth them.  Sheesh.  We having a communication 
problem here?

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 08 Nov 2001 03:04:17 GMT
--------
Barb Schaller writes:
>Question was what do you do with potatoes that you've riced?  Rice them 
>into a bowl and then to table?  Or  rice them into a pan then stir in 
>milk and/butter to smooth them.  Sheesh.  We having a communication 
>problem here?

Oh, I don't rice potatoes.  I like lumps... especially in potato k'nishes.  I
suppose for gnocci riced would work better than mashed.  Actually I prefer
"smashed" spuds, with the skins on... with sour cream or plain yougurt.

============================

From: Thierry Gerbault 
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 06:06:46 GMT
--------
Barb Schaller writes:
> Question was what do you do with potatoes that you've riced?  Rice them 
> into a bowl and then to table?  Or  rice them into a pan then stir in 
> milk and/butter to smooth them.  Sheesh.  We having a communication 
> problem here?

Barb, I rice them back into the pan they were boiled in, then whisk in 
heated cream and softened butter.

============================

From: Melba's Jammin' 
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 17:20:36 -0600
--------
I got a dumb question:  What do you do to or with the spuds after you 
rice them?  My MIL used to just rice them into a bowl -- like a pile of 
rice.  Is it common to rice them, then, say stir in some melted butter 
and hot milk so they become smooth, like "mashed or whipped" potatoes?
Inquiring Mind Wants To Know.
BTW, I was unimpressed with the Green Giant brand Yukon Gold spuds I 
bought, too.

============================

From: mcc6050[at]aol.com (Mac)
Date: 08 Nov 2001 02:56:44 GMT
--------
Barb Schaller writes:
>What do you do to or with the spuds after you 
>rice them?  My MIL used to just rice them into a bowl -- like a pile of 
>rice.  Is it common to rice them, then, say stir in some melted butter 
>and hot milk so they become smooth, like "mashed or whipped" potatoes?

Yes.  Rice potatoes into a big bowl.  Adding a bit of milk at a time, stir the
potatoes as quickly as possible.  Add butter as you wish, along with salt and
pepper.  Stop when potatoes have consistency and taste you want.

============================

From: sandynne[at]aol.com (Sandra)
Date: 08 Nov 2001 04:54:26 GMT
--------
I guess I'm an oddity, because I actually like lumps in my mashed pototoes.
When I make mashed potatoes I boil about 3 pounds of potatoes, sometimes I even
leave the peels on. I drain them well, then add a stick of butter, and about
1/2 cup of half and half (milk will do, if you don't have it, but I like the
richer flaver) then salt and pepper to taste. I use a plain old potato masher
and just mash it until it looks well mashed and all the butter is melted. This
is how my mom made it, and how I make it and neither one of us ever had a
complaint about our spuds. 

============================

From: Melba's Jammin' 
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 07:22:14 -0600
--------
Mac wrote:
> Yes.  Rice potatoes into a big bowl.  Adding a bit of milk at a time, 
> stir the potatoes as quickly as possible.  Add butter as you wish, 
> along with salt and pepper.  Stop when potatoes have consistency and 
> taste you want.

OK, then!  Thanks for the skinny.  I ask because riced spuds were 
entirely new to me, and the way she served them seemed kind of 
incomplete.  Don't know how to word it exactly right.  Just something 
different than accustomed to.

============================

From: mcc6050[at]aol.com (Mac)
Date: 08 Nov 2001 14:28:53 GMT
--------
Barb Schaller wrote:
>.  I ask because riced spuds were 
>entirely new to me, and the way she served them seemed kind of 
>incomplete.  Don't know how to word it exactly right.  Just something 
>different than accustomed to.

  Your MIL's method would have  gone over here.  Usually, the
"standard" mashed potatoes here are not dressed up a lot, prepared with just
some whole milk and salt.  Butter, more salt, pepper, are added by each diner. 
What comes thru is a very nice, fresh, potato taste.  The ricer does a great
job of keeping the mashed potatoes light.

============================

From: connieg999[at]aol.com (ConnieG999)
Date: 08 Nov 2001 14:57:39 GMT
--------
Barb Schaller wrote:
>OK, then!  Thanks for the skinny.  I ask because riced spuds were 
>entirely new to me, and the way she served them seemed kind of 
>incomplete.  Don't know how to word it exactly right.  Just something 
>different than accustomed to.

Barb, in my experience, ricing the 'taters first eliminates the lumps
completely and shortens the whipping/mashing process. After they're riced, they
can either be stirred, whipped, or fluffed with a fork, with
milk/butter/cream/cream cheese, etc.

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 08 Nov 2001 15:48:54 GMT
--------
ConnieG999 writes:
> in my experience, ricing the 'taters first eliminates the lumps
>completely and shortens the whipping/mashing process. After they're riced,
>they can either be stirred, whipped, or fluffed with a fork, with
>milk/butter/cream/cream cheese, etc.

But, but them's not MASHED potatoes. :-\

============================

From: garyokada[at]yahoo.com (GaryO)
Date: 8 Nov 2001 14:35:16 -0800
--------
Sheldon writes
> But, but them's not MASHED potatoes. :-\

Or they can be MASHED after ricing.  But the best mashed potatoes are
lumpy, everyone knows that.  That said, I occasionally rice the
potatoes before mashing.  Depends on my mood.

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 08 Nov 2001 23:04:11 GMT
--------
GaryO writes:
>Or they can be MASHED after ricing. 

Yeah, right...  do you put your socks on after you've put on your shoes too?

============================

From: connieg999[at]aol.com (ConnieG999)
Date: 09 Nov 2001 01:17:02 GMT
--------
GaryO writes:
> But the best mashed potatoes are
>lumpy, everyone knows that.

No, EVERYone doesn't. You and Sheldon can have the lumpy mashed potatoes, I'll
have mine smooth, thanks. (G)

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 09 Nov 2001 03:42:40 GMT
--------
ConnieG999 writes:
>No, EVERYone doesn't. You and Sheldon can,
>I'll have mine smooth, thanks. (G)

I got yer smooth! ;)

============================

From: stan[at]temple.edu
Date: 9 Nov 2001 01:39:18 GMT
--------
GaryO wrote:
> Or they can be MASHED after ricing.  But the best mashed potatoes are
> lumpy, everyone knows that.  That said, I occasionally rice the
> potatoes before mashing.  Depends on my mood.

Lumpy! No thanks. If lumpy mashed potatoes are your goal,
then why not just bake potatoes and them mash the potato
in the skins? That would take longer, but be less labor
and get the same type of "incomplete" result.

============================

From: ericDONOTSPAMMEthered[at]eudoramail.com
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 10:20:44 -0600
--------
The real purpose for lumpy potatoes got started in restaurants as a
way to *prove* that the homemade mashed potatoes on the menu were made
from real potatoes rather than from some dehydrated concoction, hence
the lumps.  

============================

From: stan[at]temple.edu
Date: 9 Nov 2001 01:37:20 GMT
--------
Sheldon wrote:
> But, but them's not MASHED potatoes. :-\

Mashed! Schmashed! Whipped! Whatever!

Eat, drink, be merry!

============================

From: Dora 
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 19:33:12 -0500
--------
Barb Schaller wrote:
> OK, then!  Thanks for the skinny.  I ask because riced spuds were
> entirely new to me, and the way she served them seemed kind of
> incomplete.  Don't know how to word it exactly right.  Just something
> different than accustomed to.

I've never riced potatoes.  I've never used a food mill, either, but
am thinking about getting one for apple sauce and apple butter
(haven't made those before, either).  The mill comes with three discs
in different sizes.  Could the food mill serve as a ricer, as well?

============================

From: Peter Aitken 
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 01:12:31 GMT
--------
Dora wrote:
> I've never riced potatoes.  I've never used a food mill, either, but
> am thinking about getting one for apple sauce and apple butter
> (haven't made those before, either).  The mill comes with three discs
> in different sizes.  Could the food mill serve as a ricer, as well?

Yes, definitely. A food mill is a very useful kitchen tool. In addition to
spuds I use mine regularly for tomato sauce, for soups when I do not want
the texture than a blender gives, for pureed pumpkin.squash, and so on.

============================

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 09 Nov 2001 03:13:22 GMT
--------
Dora wrote:
>Could the food mill serve as a ricer, as well?

A food mill works well with juicy stuff, not too well at all with potatoes.

If you're thinking about only buying one or the other, I were you I'd choose
the food mill, you'll get a whole lot more milage from it.  If you want spuds
with no lumps at all, like they'd be from a ricer, or the result of whipped,
you may as well use potato buds, they are actually better and a lot less
effort, cost less too.

============================

From: stan[at]temple.edu
Date: 9 Nov 2001 01:32:06 GMT
--------
Mac wrote:
> Yes.  Rice potatoes into a big bowl.  Adding a bit of milk at a time, stir the
> potatoes as quickly as possible.  Add butter as you wish, along with salt and
> pepper.  Stop when potatoes have consistency and taste you want.

The result isn't the same as mashed potatoes?
I would bet that 99.9999999999% of people who
are given a blind taste test couldn't tell the
difference between mashed potatoes and these so
called "riced potatoes."

============================

From: mcc6050[at]aol.com (Mac)
Date: 09 Nov 2001 07:57:52 GMT
--------
Stan wrote:
>>Rice potatoes into a big bowl. 
>The result isn't the same as mashed potatoes?
>I would bet that 99.9999999999% of people who
>are given a blind taste test couldn't tell the
>difference between mashed potatoes and these so
>called "riced potatoes."

Who are you arguing with?   I never said that mashed potatoes prepared with a
ricer  were different from mashed potatoes actually "mashed" with a masher.  

============================

From: pattee[at]spot.colorado.edu (Donna Pattee)
Date: 8 Nov 2001 20:59:49 GMT
--------
Barb Schaller wrote:
>I got a dumb question:  What do you do to or with the spuds after you 
>rice them?  My MIL used to just rice them into a bowl --

Rice them into a bowl and then drizzle on melted butter. Works for me . . .

============================

From: gwehrenb[at]bellsouth.net (val189)
Date: 7 Nov 2001 17:05:28 -0800
--------
Mac wrote:
> I use a ricer to make mashed potatoes....found an old one (maybe from the
> 1940's) at a yard sale and it's fabulous in mashing potatoes: no lumps, quick,
> potatoes stay light & fluffy.

I use a ricer too - best consistency I've found.  A pain to clean the
ricer, but worth the results.

FWIW, I add a clove or two of garlic when the pot's are boiing and
rice them as well.
 
I don't buy anything but Idahos.

============================

From: Melba's Jammin' 
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 07:28:22 -0600
--------
val189 wrote:
> I use a ricer too - best consistency I've found.  A pain to clean the
> ricer, but worth the results.

My ricer is probably 50 years old.  All metal.  When I'm finished using 
it, I stick it in soapy water for a couple minutes then, if necessary, 
rinse with the sink sprayer (mine's nicely forceful), wipe dry and maybe 
stick it in a warm oven to dry completely.  FWIW.
Now, digging for it in the cupboard where it's stored -- that's a pain!  
:-)

============================

From: Harry A. Demidavicius 
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 03:49:56 GMT
--------
Melba's Jammin' wrote:
>My ricer is probably 50 years old.  All metal.  When I'm finished using 
>it, I stick it in soapy water for a couple minutes then, if necessary, 
>rinse with the sink sprayer (mine's nicely forceful), wipe dry and maybe 
>stick it in a warm oven to dry completely.  FWIW.
>Now, digging for it in the cupboard where it's stored -- that's a pain!  

Damn, Melba!  Our cat Chesterfield must be 50 years old too.  He
requires the same clean up procedure.  And he's hard to find in
the cupboard where we store him also 

============================

From: Kenneth Fletcher 
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 17:29:51 GMT
--------
When I was making my vichyssoise, I had a grainy texture in there from the
potatoes.  I got some advice to try and use new (or red) potatoes instead.
It worked out wonderfully.  I was able to get rid of the grainy texture and
it tasted wonderful.

============================

From: Andy Averill 
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 15:08:35 -0600
--------
Chris Neidecker wrote:
> Hi everybody.  I'm hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, and I've
> been practicing my mashed potatoes.  They're just not up to snuff.

I've found that tossing in an extra stick of butter will cancel out any bad
results.  Your guests will rave -- just don't tell them what you did!

============================

From: Paul M. Cookę« 
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 21:24:03 GMT
--------
Chris Neidecker wrote:
> I bought a bag of Yukon golds and got to work.  The first batch came out
> watery-tasting and grainy.  The second back came out grainy, but at least
> not watery.

Yukon Gold potatoes are rather grainy to begin with.  They are not well
suited for mashed potatoes.  The best is the good old reliable Idaho Russet.
Can't beat it (well you can) and they turn out perfect every time.

============================

From: gloria p 
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 23:08:56 GMT
--------
Paul M. Cookę« wrote:
> Yukon Gold potatoes are rather grainy to begin with.  They are not well
> suited for mashed potatoes.  The best is the good old reliable Idaho Russet.
> Can't beat it (well you can) and they turn out perfect every time.

I hate to take you all on at once, but Yukon Gold or Finnish Yellows, or
whatever they are called make DELICIOUS mashed potatoes if you cook them
long enough.  The OP said he boiled the potatoes for 12 minutes which in my
house isn't ever long enough to get them cooked.

============================

From: randy 
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 23:47:11 GMT
--------
gloria p wrote:
> I hate to take you all on at once, but Yukon Gold or Finnish Yellows, or
> whatever they are called make DELICIOUS mashed potatoes if you cook them
> long enough.  The OP said he boiled the potatoes for 12 minutes which in my
> house isn't ever long enough to get them cooked.

If you are after silky smooth potatoes, use a food mill....the ONLY way to
get smooth potatoes...and use Heavy Cream instead of milk....and use plenty
of kosher salt...touche of cayenne...or white pepper...and lots of unsalted
whole butter.  these items help smooth/cream out your potatoes..

ever have great whipped potatoes in a restaurant?  we pipe ours through a
pastry bag, and the food mill/folding in cream/butter/salt/cayenne is the
best way to achieve results.

============================

From: Kendall F. Stratton III 
Date: Wed, 7 Nov 2001 19:17:16 -0500
--------
randy wrote:
> If you are after silky smooth potatoes, use a food mill....the ONLY way to
> get smooth potatoes...and use Heavy Cream instead of milk....and use plenty
> of kosher salt...touche of cayenne...or white pepper...and lots of unsalted
> whole butter.  these items help smooth/cream out your potatoes..

Sorry 'ta disagree with 'ya Randy, but we's been mashin' taters for hundreds
of years up here in "The County" without a food mill...and milk is fine -vs-
heavy cream and the same with salted -vs- unsalted butter.  The simple,
old-fashioned, manual potato masher works fine as long as the potatoes are
cooked properly.   I'm with 'ya as far as white pepper tho... using black
pepper seem to make the mashed 'taters kinda "greyish" in color.

============================

From: Big Bazza 
Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 23:47:57 +1100
--------
Kendall F. Stratton III wrote:
> I'm with 'ya as far as white pepper tho... using black
> pepper seem to make the mashed 'taters kinda "greyish" in color.

Yes but black pepper much nicer though !blow the looks ,mine never look
greyish though (well not enough to notice)

============================

From: Paul M. Cookę« 
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 19:51:26 GMT
--------
Pepper should be served at the table anyway.  Not everyone even likes pepper
after all.

============================

From: Thierry Gerbault 
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 00:55:16 GMT
--------
randy wrote:
> If you are after silky smooth potatoes, use a food mill....the ONLY way to
> get smooth potatoes...and use Heavy Cream instead of milk....and use plenty
> of kosher salt...touche of cayenne...or white pepper...and lots of unsalted
> whole butter.  these items help smooth/cream out your potatoes..

Agree totally.  A ricer also gives a result much like a food mill, but 
is probably better for smaller quantities since a food mill is virtually 
continuous feed.

============================

From: net guy 
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 02:24:40 GMT
--------
Gosh, you don't need any fancy directions to make mashed potatoes.

Just cook any old kind of potatoes, peeled and cut up until they are 
done.

Drain the water (no need to keep heating the poor things).

Put them in a container with butter (or not).  

Mash them.  I like to leave mine a little lumpy.  Just don't over do.

Add a little milk (I use cold skim) and mix by hand with a spoon (no 
mixers, please).  If too thick, add a little more milk.  

============================

From: wardna[at]aol.com (Neil)
Date: 09 Nov 2001 11:35:02 GMT
--------
You're working way too hard.  Add them to boiling, salted water; don't worry
too much about overcooking them.  Forget your "shaking over high heat" ritual;
just let 'em drain, and their own heat will evaporate enough water.

Mash them BEFORE adding milk or butter.  Then stir in butter first (so it
melts), then milk (whole, 2%, or skim--doesn't matter), salt and pepper.

Yes, fresh, hard, new potatoes work best, but really, I've never had a failure
no matter what the quality of potato was.

============================

From: Denis Marier 
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 16:24:13 GMT
--------
Neil wrote:
>You're working way too hard.  Add them to boiling, salted water;

Would cooking the potatoes in a pressure cooker for about 5 minutes alter
the taste oppose to adding them to boiling water.  I take it that a cover
has to be placed on the pot for the duration of the cooking or do we cook
them without the cover like pasta.

============================

From: Thierry Gerbault 
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 18:54:23 GMT
--------
I've never tried cooking them in a pressure cooker, but I'm sure it 
would work as long as they're not overcooked into a mush.  We never 
cover a pot of boiling potatoes.  Like pasta, they'd also be more likely 
to boil over if covered.

============================

From: sue at interport net (Curly Sue)
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 13:51:34 GMT
--------
Chris Neidecker wrote:
>6.  Shook potatoes in pot over high heat to evaporate excess water (for the
>first batch, I actually used Caprial Pence's trick of spreading them on a
>cookie sheet and baking for 10 minutes at 350 to dry them...but discarded
>this idea as impractical for Thanksgiving...not sure it helped, anyway).
>7.  Put a cup of whole milk and some butter in the microwave to heat.

A bit late but...

Of course don't bother with drying potatoes on a cookie sheet.  Dump
the butter and (less) milk into the pan after you return the drained
potatoes and turn on the heat to simmer the milk.  The butter will
melt, the milk will scald, giving a richer flavor, and mash them
adding more milk as necessary.  Then turn off the heat and beat in the
pan with an electric mixer.  The potatoes will then be *really* hot -
a plus in my book-  (and if you do add a bit too much milk, you can
dry them out by heating at that point).

"Good cooks mash their potatoes, great cooks whip them.  But smart
cooks use Brand X Instant Mashed Potatoes!"  TV commercial in the 60s.

============================

From: Damsel in dis Dress 
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 15:06:49 GMT
--------
Curly Sue wrote:
>Of course don't bother with drying potatoes on a cookie sheet.  Dump
>the butter and (less) milk into the pan after you return the drained
>potatoes and turn on the heat to simmer the milk.  The butter will
>melt, the milk will scald, giving a richer flavor, and mash them
>adding more milk as necessary.  Then turn off the heat and beat in the
>pan with an electric mixer. 

This is how Crash prefers his smooshed potatoes.  I go this route when my
tendonitis is acting up.  It's a lifesaver!

============================

Subject: Thanks for all the mashed potato help
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

============================

From: Chris Neidecker 
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2001 00:23:16 -0500
--------
After considering all the advice given to me recently, I switched to russets
and cooked them longer.  I believe I have achieved mashed potato nirvana.
Fluffy, creamy, light, no lumps.

Ahhhh.  Bring on the turkey!

Thanks to all who contributed suggestions.

Chris


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