Return to BigSpud Menu

Subject: Instant Mashed Potatoes
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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

From: jchristl[at]zdnetmail.com (Joe Christl)
Date: 23 Jun 2004 05:27:39 -0700
--------
Hello all.

Strange enough, I actually enjoy Instant Potatoes.  My grandmother
would make these to perfection, however I cannot.  They're coming out
pasty.  I don't know if I am following the instructions properly or
not.

I combine 1 1/2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of water, 2 Tblspns of butter,
heat in a pan, then mix in a cup of flakes.  Off with the heat and
stir.

However they seem pasty to me.  Am I not heating the mixture enough
before adding the flakes?  I wait til I see bubbles around the edge of
the pan before adding the flakes.  Or is there some other trick to
this, that I am missing?

I know many people hate these boxed potatoes, but I actually think
they're worth it, and when made right taste good too.  I would buy the
5 lb bag of regular potatoes, but I'd only get 2 or three used till
I'd start seeing eyes and wrinkles on the rest of them.  And to buy
them a few at a time is about as expensive as a 10 lb bag.

Anyway, like I said my grandma had this done to perfection, but she
took this secret to her grave.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?  Any tips you'd like to share?

Thanks,
Joe

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

From: Dora <limey113[at]yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 15:13:26 -0400
--------
I use instant potatoes if my son-in-law comes to dinner.   He can eat three
bowls all by himself.
I can't critique your recipe or method, since these often vary.   However, I
use potato pearls and when I make them:   I don't use milk, but water.  Into
the water go a good bit of cream cheese and probably 4 ounces of butter
(remember, I'm cooking in quantity), plus salt and pepper.    After the
water comes to a boil and breaks up the cream cheese and butter, I pour all
that liquid on top of the potato pearls (which are in a separate pot), stir
well then let sit for about five minutes.   It's hard to tell them from the
"real thing".   I think the actual secret is the cream cheese.

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

From: "~~~\(`._mousepotato_.\)~~~" <mousepotato[at]mail2world.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 06:10:56 GMT
--------
Dora,
What are *potato pearls*??

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

From: Dora <limey113[at]yahoo.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 11:15:58 -0400
--------
"~~~(`._mousepotato_.)~~~" wrote:
> What are *potato pearls*??

It's just the brand name given these.  (I get them from a wholesaler.)
Actually, I imagine it's because they really are like pearls, or large
grains of rice, rather than flakes.   The main difference between the two
that I found was that I have to add the boiling liquid to the pearls, rather
than the other way around, stir like crazy, let sit for five minutes and
stir again.

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

From: "~~~\(`._mousepotato_.\)~~~" <mousepotato[at]mail2world.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 20:56:08 GMT
--------
Don't have anything like that around here...: (  Closest thing that comes to
that is something called "Potato Buds" (Betty Crocker I *think*)!!  They're
not round or pearl-like though.
Thanks for the response ; )

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

From: Christine <rmarksberry[at]nospamhouston.rr.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 20:17:02 GMT
--------
Joe Christl wrote:
> Strange enough, I actually enjoy Instant Potatoes.  My grandmother
> would make these to perfection, however I cannot.  They're coming out
> pasty.  I don't know if I am following the instructions properly or
> not.

Since they are only the two of us I buy the Betty Crocker potatoes that come
in a box.  You'd be surprised at how good they are.  About $1.00 USD when on
sale.

I also keep 2-3 real potatoes on hand for use in pot roasts, etc.

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

From: Siobhan Perricone <morgannalefey[at]tds.net>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 17:05:28 -0400
--------
Joe Christl wrote:
>I combine 1 1/2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of water, 2 Tblspns of butter,
>heat in a pan, then mix in a cup of flakes.  Off with the heat and
>stir.

What kind of milk do you use? And are you using real butter?

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

From: Siobhan Perricone <morgannalefey[at]tds.net>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 14:30:44 -0400
--------
Siobhan Perricone wrote:
>What kind of milk do you use? And are you using real butter?

Well, the reason I asked this was because if you're using skim milk and
some sort of margarine, you're not going to get the same results as you
would using whole milk (or even cream) and real butter.

I use cream and a lot of butter in mine.  But I'm a dairy fat heathen :)

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

From: penmart01[at]aol.como (Sheldon)
Date: 24 Jun 2004 19:18:09 GMT
--------
Siobhan Perricone pirouettes in her FM shoes:
>Well, the reason I asked this was because if you're using skim milk and
>some sort of margarine, you're not going to get the same results as you
>would using whole milk (or even cream) and real butter.
>
>I use cream and a lot of butter in mine.  But I'm a dairy fat heathen :)

My favorite, when I want a quickie, is to mash up microwaved spuds with plain
full fat yogurt... not too creamy... gotta have those lumps, bumps, and nubs.
;)

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

From: jchristl[at]zdnetmail.com (Joe Christl)
Date: 28 Jun 2004 04:49:25 -0700
--------
Siobhan Perricone wrote:
> >What kind of milk do you use? And are you using real butter?
> 
> Well, the reason I asked this was because if you're using skim milk and
> some sort of margarine, you're not going to get the same results as you
> would using whole milk (or even cream) and real butter.

I generally use 2% milk and margarine.

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

From: MisNomer <misnomer[at]shaw.ca>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 00:11:29 GMT
--------
I only boil the water, add that to the milk and butter and salt, stir, add
flakes.

take care
Liz

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

From: Kathy Reece <kreece[at]pld.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 19:21:22 -0600
--------
Joe Christl wrote:
> I combine 1 1/2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of water, 2 Tblspns of butter,
> heat in a pan, then mix in a cup of flakes.  Off with the heat and
> stir.

You're probably stirring too much.  Just sort of fluff them with a fork.

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

From: cm_maildeterent_quinn[at]mindspring.com (Charles Quinn)
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 03:32:55 GMT
--------
Joe Christl wrote:
>However they seem pasty to me.  Am I not heating the mixture enough
>before adding the flakes?  I wait til I see bubbles around the edge of
>the pan before adding the flakes.  Or is there some other trick to
>this, that I am missing?

My guess is that you are adding the flakes too fast. Stir in some wait for 
them to absorb the water, then add more, and more till you get the consistency 
you like.

I had a roommate who said I was the master at them. My secret was patience. 
Adding slowly allows them to take up the liquid and for them to swell.

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

From: jchristl[at]zdnetmail.com (Joe Christl)
Date: 28 Jun 2004 04:54:43 -0700
--------
Charles Quinn wrote:
> My guess is that you are adding the flakes too fast. Stir in some wait for 
> them to absorb the water, then add more, and more till you get the consistency 
> you like.
> 
> I had a roommate who said I was the master at them. My secret was patience. 
> Adding slowly allows them to take up the liquid and for them to swell.

I think I am either adding the flakes too fast, or doing doing what K.
Reece  said, stirring too much.

I am going to try a combonation of this and see what happens.

Thanks all.

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

From: fmathies[at]aol.com (FMathies)
Date: 24 Jun 2004 11:52:14 GMT
--------
Charles Quinn wrote:
>I combine 1 1/2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of water, 2 Tblspns of butter,
>heat in a pan, then mix in a cup of flakes.  Off with the heat and
>stir.    

I take the pan off the heat before adding milk and then potatoes. Make sure to
cover pan after stirring .  Try it this way and see if it helps. Adding the
potaoes  while on the heat may be cooking them too fast and making them pasty.

Florence

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

From: Denise~* <denise[at]nexuscomputing.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2004 15:29:43 -0700
--------
When I used to make the instant, I found that if I gently mixed in the
flakes with one of those cheap 3 prong wooden forks, let it sit
covered &amp; then gave it a quick gentle mix with a spatula, they would
turn out much better.

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

From: Blair P. Houghton <b[at]p.h>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2004 06:38:33 GMT
--------
Joe Christl wrote:

>Strange enough, I actually enjoy Instant Potatoes.

You're not the only one.  There's something about the
structure of dehydrated spuds that makes them cook up just
like fresh.

>My grandmother
>would make these to perfection, however I cannot.  They're coming out
>pasty.  I don't know if I am following the instructions properly or
>not.

Use less fat.

>I combine 1 1/2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup of water, 2 Tblspns of butter,
>heat in a pan, then mix in a cup of flakes.  Off with the heat and
>stir.

I don't know how much spud flakes you're using.  Reverse
your proportions of milk and water, and cut your butter in
half, or use none.  Garnish with butter if you want more.

>Anyone have any thoughts on this?  Any tips you'd like to share?

I use a brand called "Idahoan" that comes in red foil packets
that makes about 3 cups each.  I just use water and a pat of
butter or margarine (whichever needs to be used up) and they're
plain great.

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

From: Kate Connally <connally[at]pitt.edu>
Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2004 12:28:03 -0400
--------
I add more potato flakes than it calls for because
I like mine fairly stiff - especially if you're going
to put gravy or a sauce on them.


Return to BigSpud Menu