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Subject: Mashed Potatoes
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: ktsheehy3624[at]cs.com (Ktsheehy3624)
Date: 08 Mar 2003 17:42:39 GMT
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When I was in college in Philadelphia, I was occasionally
invited to an Italian friend's family Sunday supper in South
Philly. The food was always abundant, and it was really good
family style fare. One thing the mother made was a mashed
potato dish. She was not into sharing recipes, and she also
didn't like guests hanging out in the kitchen while she was
cooking. I know she used russet type potatoes. 

I have tried without success to duplicate this dish. The wonderful 
thing about them was their almost silky, custard-like texture. I'm
sure she boiled the potatoes in the usual manner and mashed them
with milk and butter, salt and pepper. There may have been some garlic
in there, too.  I think she added a nice dose of grated Parmesan or Romano. 
She sprinkled something of the top which I've always assumed was paprika. 
She baked them in a large, lasagna style Pyrex pan. The finished product
was more damp than what I think of as typical American style "fluffy"
mashed potatoes. When I say "damp", I don't mean soupy or runny, I've
tried adding one egg yolk, two egg yolks, one egg yolk and one whole
egg, and two whole eggs.

Any suggestions?

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From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 08 Mar 2003 18:06:51 GMT
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>Any suggestions?

Dehy spuds.

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From: zxcvbob 
Date: Sat, 08 Mar 2003 12:13:49 -0600
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Ktsheehy3624 wrote:
> I have tried without success to duplicate this dish. The wonderful
> thing about them was their almost silky, custard-like texture. I'm
> sure she boiled the potatoes in the usual manner and mashed them
> with milk and butter, salt and pepper. There may have been some garlic
> in there, too.  I think she added a nice dose of grated Parmesan or Romano.

Try beating the potatoes with an electric mixer until they get pasty. 
Or beating half the potatoes with the milk and stuff until it is
completely smooth, then stir in the rest of the potatoes.  Maybe add a
tablespoon of flour to the milk and egg?

I think the "secret" had more to do with the technique than the
ingredients.

Good luck,
Bob

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From: Jill McQuown 
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2003 13:46:30 -0600
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Ktsheehy3624 wrote:
> Any suggestions?

Sounds almost like Penzey's "Twice Baked Potato Casserole".  This is made
for a crowd (8-10 people).  You can perhaps adapt it from this:

16 baking potatoes
4 Tbs. butter
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. plain yogurt
2 Tbs. milk
1-1/4 c. grated cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 tsp. sweet Paprika

Heat oven to 400F.  Pierce potatose with a fork and place in oven and bake
for about an hour.  Cut them in half to help them cool  Scoop the potatoes
out of the skins into a large bowl.  Add the butter, garlic, pepper and
salt.  Blend with an electric mixer or hand potato masher, depending on the
desired consistency.  Add the yogurt and milk and blend again.  Add 1 cup of
cheese and mix well.  Put the potatoes in a roomy casserole dish and
sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and dust with the Paprika.  [Doesn't
say this on the web site, but here you pop it in the hot oven for about 15
minutes to melt the cheese and heat everything through.]

The potatoes can be refrigerated overnight at this point.  Bring to room
temp before the second baking.  The second baking is to heat the potatoes
through and melt the cheese.  At 325F the potatoes take about 30-45 minutes
to heat through.

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From: hahabogus 
Date: Sat, 08 Mar 2003 21:00:30 GMT
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Jill McQuown wrote:
> Sounds almost like Penzey's "Twice Baked Potato Casserole".  This is
> made for a crowd (8-10 people).  You can perhaps adapt it from this:

diced bell peppers and crumbled cooked bacon also are nice in twice baked 
potatoes

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From: J Quick 
Date: Sat, 08 Mar 2003 22:13:35 GMT
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Ktsheehy3624 wrote:
> Any suggestions?

Keep the potato piping hot when adding any ingredients.  Never add cold
ingredients when mashing; bring liquid to boiling first.   The potato starch
will become smooth when combined with liquid if all is kept above 185F or
so, otherwise it won't absorb the ingredients as well.  Baking them after
mashing also gives the starch more time to fully absorb the liquid.

Mashing hot potato with boiling hot liquid is a bit tricky, which is why
most people don't do it - and why they usually don't get the smooth texture
you describe.  After smashing the big chunks using a masher, add the hot
liquid while whipping with a strong wire balloon whisk/French whip.  The
evaporation that occurs when mashing the potato will quickly lower its
temp., so this all must be done in short order.

If you let the potato cool down much and then add cold butter & milk, you
will get more of a grainy texture, even though the ingredients are
identical.  That's because the starch is mostly being mixed with the liquid,
not expanding while absorbing it.

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From: Alan Moorman[at]visi.com
Date: Sun, 18 May 2003 13:55:55 -0500
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J Quick wrote:
>If you let the potato cool down much and then add cold butter & milk, you
>will get more of a grainy texture, even though the ingredients are
>identical.  That's because the starch is mostly being mixed with the liquid,
>not expanding while absorbing it.

Since the advent of instant mashed potatoes, I've come to cherish
mashed potatoes which have that grainy texture!

In fact, I usually mash them only slightly with the masher so they are
really variegated and lumpy.

Love them that way!

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

From: rosie readandpost 
Date: Mon, 19 May 2003 14:30:20 GMT
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Alan wrote:
> In fact, I usually mash them only slightly with the masher so they are
> really variegated and lumpy.

i agree!
if i eat mashed potatoes at all, (too high in carbs)  i eat LUMPY potatoes!
:)

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From: Compmouse 
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2003 18:59:47 -0500
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I agree with the person who said you should heat your milk and butter first
instead of adding it cold. And I also agree with the person who said you
should use an electric mixer. I do both of these things when making mashed
potatoes and they come out silky smooth in texture.

Here's a recipe that I have used for mashed potatoes that came out VERY
creamy and my idea of what you described.

* Exported from MasterCook *

                        Day Before Mashed Potatoes

Recipe By     :Erin
Serving Size  : 8     Preparation Time :0:20
Categories    : Side

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  9                     potatoes -- peeled and cubed
  6             ounces  cream cheese
  1                cup  sour cream
  2          teaspoons  onion powder
  1           teaspoon  salt
     1/4      teaspoon  ground black pepper
  2        tablespoons  butter

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in potatoes, and cook
until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes.

Transfer potatoes to a large bowl, and mash until smooth. Mix in the cream
cheese, sour cream, onion powder, salt, pepper and butter. Cover, and
refrigerate 8 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium
baking dish.

Spread potato mixture into the prepared baking dish, and bake in the
preheated oven about 30 minutes.

Description:
  "This recipe helps you plan ahead by allowing you to make your mashed
potatoes in advance!"
Source:
  "All Recipes"
Internet Address:
  "http://www.allrecipes.com"
Start to Finish Time:
  "8:50"
T(Cooking Time):
  "0:30"
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 272 Calories; 16g Fat (53.3% calories
from fat); 5g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 44mg Cholesterol;
382mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Non-Fat Milk;
3 Fat.

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

From: Grizzman 
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2003 23:28:05 -0900
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mix in some sauerkraut....you'll love it!!!!

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From: cryambers[at]aol.com (Cryambers)
Date: 09 Mar 2003 15:54:31 GMT
--------
Ktsheehy3624 wrote:
>I have tried without success to duplicate this dish. The wonderful 
>thing about them was their almost silky, custard-like texture. I'm
>sure she boiled the potatoes in the usual manner and mashed them
>with milk and butter, salt and pepper. There may have been some garlic

One thing I have discovered about mashed potato dishes is that those made with
olive oil give a different texture than those made with milk and butter. If you
are sure she used milk and butter, this recipe can't be it (doesn't call for
the oven either), but you might want to try the technique and see if it's close
to giving the same result.

The potatoes come out wonderfully this way.   The recipe uses olive oil and
chicken broth rather than milk and butter, and the potatoes are whipped using
an electric mixer, instead of mashed.  

HTH,
pat


Whipped Potatoes with Olive Oil and Parmesan
Source:  Bon Appetit, Sept. 1992
(6 servings)

2 lbs. russet potatoes
3/4 cup (or more) hot canned chicken broth
6 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
Grated Parmesan cheese

Bring large pot of water to a boil.  And potatoes and cook until tender. 
Drain.  Peel potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.  Add 3/4 cup broth.  Using
electric mixer, beat potato mixture until smooth.  Gradually beat in oil and
then 3/4 cup cheese, adding more broth if very thick.  Stir in chives.  Season
with salt and pepper.  Garnish with additional grated cheese.

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

From: Scott 
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 15:03:13 GMT
--------
Just a note that if you prefer, for whatever reason, to avoid the milk 
and butter, the potatoes can be mashed with some of the water that they 
were boiled in; the result is surprisingly creamy.

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

From: Glenn 
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 21:00:39 GMT
--------
I just read an article that said you are not supposed to cook mashed
potatoes and then freeze them for later re-cooking (like in the microwave).
The article claimed there were health problems that could arise.

Has anyone else heard this?  I have a habit of preparing several items on
the weekends to be frozen and used during the following week for a quickly
prepared supper. One being mashed potatoes, mixing in au jus gravey.  I
usually prepare enough for three days, let them cool, place them into
"rubbermaid" containers, and put them in the freezer.  I usually microwave
and serve them with meat and veggies (I do some of the veggies the same way)
during the week.  The mashed potatoes actually taste better after I re-heat
them in the microwave and taste as good, or better, that freshly prepared.

If anyone has heard that this is dangerous or in anyway unhealthy, please
let me know.

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From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 10 Mar 2003 21:09:25 GMT
--------
Glenn writes:
>I just read an article that said you are not supposed to cook mashed
>potatoes and then freeze them for later re-cooking (like in the microwave).
>The article claimed there were health problems that could arise.

>If anyone has heard that this is dangerous or in anyway unhealthy, please
>let me know.

Hey, YOU read the friggin' article, YOU tell us.  
What are you, yet another flaming idiot?

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

From: zxcvbob 
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2003 15:17:31 -0600
--------
Glenn wrote:
> I just read an article that said you are not supposed to cook mashed
> potatoes and then freeze them for later re-cooking (like in the microwave).
> The article claimed there were health problems that could arise.

Your article sounds ridiculous to me, but it's hard to tell from what
little information you've given.  I suspect you are reading the statement
out of context.  Is there an online copy somewhere you can link to?

Best regards,
Bob

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

From: sportkite1[at]aol.com (Ellen)
Date: 11 Mar 2003 00:33:43 GMT
--------
Glenn wrote:

>I just read an article that said you are not supposed to cook mashed
>potatoes and then freeze them for later re-cooking (like in the microwave).
>The article claimed there were health problems that could arise.

Where was the article?

>I have a habit of preparing several items on
>the weekends to be frozen and used during the following week for a quickly
>prepared supper. 

Have you gotten sick from eating these potatoes? 

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

From: Kajikit 
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2003 18:03:46 +1100
--------
Glenn dazzled us with brilliant prose:
>I just read an article that said you are not supposed to cook mashed
>potatoes and then freeze them for later re-cooking (like in the microwave).
>The article claimed there were health problems that could arise.

I could see it being risky to leave them sitting in the refrigerator
for several days because bacteria could grow in them. But I don't see
how they could be harmful if they're frozen! You don't get sick from
eating frozen potato croquettes made in a factory, or from making
homemade fishcakes and freezing them for later use... 

As you said, you've been doing it for some time and you've yet to
suffer health consequences, so you must be doing it right!


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