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Subject: Mashed Potatos question
Newsgroups: rec.food.cooking

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From: linda[at]lewisandblackmore.com (Linda Lewis)
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 16:23:00 GMT
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My mashed potatoes taste plain and bland--unlike those at good
cafeterias. I don't want "fancy" ones, just tasty.  Here's what I do
that isn't working:  peel and boil Irish baking potatoes.  Whip with
real butter and milk til smooth.  Any ideas?
Linda in Texas

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From: debshonda[at]aol.com (DebsHonda)
Date: 1 Apr 1999 16:53:06 GMT
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sometimes I cook them in chicken or beef broth depending on the meat served. 
or I whip them with sour cream instead of butter.  You could also add a bit of
garlic  for flavor.

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From: jane hubbard 
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 1999 17:50:59 GMT
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I cook the potatoes in salted water with a split garlic clove.  After
draining the potatoes and removing the garlic, I put them through a ricer. 
Add melted butter, whipping cream and salt and pepper to taste.  These are
very rich and very wicked...

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From: Jola-Cola[at]webtv.net (Jolene Chowdhury)
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 12:28:12 -0600 (CST)
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Only once have I failed in mashed potatoes. I boiled them in their
jackets and it came out so sticky.
My mashed potatoes.
I really don't pay any attention to what kind of potato it is. I chop it
up pretty small (it really doesn't matter what size). Salt my water and
boil them, probably about 20 min. or until the water becomes a little
cloudy or you can stick a fork in them to see. Drain. I put a half of
stick of butter lots of pepper and satl and start beating them with an
electric mixer. Then  add milk as you beat.

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From: brawnybear[at]netscape.net (Mr. Bill)
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 17:10:55 GMT
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Linda...your missing ingredient is salt!  

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From: Karen O'Mara 
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 09:28:57 -0800
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Oh, buttermilk instead of regular milk is a nice alternative sometimes.
And lots of butter.

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From: BerylCamp[at]webtv.net (Beryl Campagna)
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 13:34:28 -0500 (EST)
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You are right about the salt. I guess I just took for granted that she
put salt in the water when she boiled the potatoes. I should ask Linda
did you salt the water ? If not do.Beryl

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From: Kate Connally 
Date: 2 Apr 1999 14:27:26 GMT
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Yeah, but even if you put salt in the water to boil the potatoes, you still
need more salt when you mash them.  At least, that's what I have found.
I always salt the water and then add more salt, to taste, when I'm
mashing.

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From: penmart10[at]aol.com (Sheldon)
Date: 01 Apr 1999 20:38:12 GMT
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Linda Lewis wrote:
>My mashed potatoes taste plain and bland.  Any ideas?

Blend in schmaltz with gribenes, lots!
But keep it healthful, go easy on the salt.

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From: rmi1013934[at]aol.com (Rosie)
Date: 02 Apr 1999 03:00:03 GMT
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Also, try adding an egg yolk to the hot potatoes,  makes them taste richer. 

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From: Ivan Weiss 
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 19:19:07 -0800
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Karen O'Mara wrote:
> Oh, buttermilk instead of regular milk is a nice alternative sometimes.
> And lots of butter.

Quite right. I also have used yogurt with good results.

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From: Robert Keereweer 
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 13:21:25 -0400
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Linda Lewis wrote:
: My mashed potatoes taste plain and bland--unlike those at good
: cafeterias. I don't want "fancy" ones, just tasty.  Here's what I do
: that isn't working:  peel and boil Irish baking potatoes.  Whip with
: real butter and milk til smooth.  Any ideas?
 
"Good cafeterias", now there is an oxymoron.

Add salt to the boiling water and salt 'n white pepper to taste, 
to the mashed potatoes. Try adding a little bit of minced fresh garlic and
olive oil to them also.

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From: mhorne[at]meucla.edu (Mark Horne)
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 11:01:45 -0800
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>Add salt to the boiling water and salt 'n white pepper to taste, 
>to the mashed potatoes. Try adding a little bit of minced fresh garlic and
>olive oil to them also.

Or toss a couple of whole peeled cloves in with the potatoes at the start,
then mash as usual.

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From: dipsylu[at]liquidinformation.net (Dipsy Lu)
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 1999 16:50:23 GMT
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Robert Keereweer wrote:
>Add salt to the boiling water and salt 'n white pepper to taste, 
>to the mashed potatoes. Try adding a little bit of minced fresh garlic and
>olive oil to them also.

What does the olive oil do? Add some kind of a flavor?

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From: Alan Boles 
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 12:36:28 -0800
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"Good cafeterias", don't use real potatoes they use instant tater
mix...

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From: Goomba 
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 13:24:57 -0500
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Linda, salt as has been pointed out was missing.  I like to toss in a
half of a peeled onion too to the boiling water and it gets mashed up
with the potatoes.  A pinch of nutmeg is good when mushing them up too.

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From: cjr 
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 14:46:30 -0500
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Toss in some chopped leeks.

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From: Alan Boles 
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 18:50:30 -0800
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Are Irish baking potatoes as good as red potatoes for boiling??? And
you definitely need to add  freshly ground black pepper

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From: BerylCamp[at]webtv.net (Beryl Campagna)
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 13:28:46 -0500 (EST)
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Try cream instead of milk and add white pepper. You can also try the
golden potato's. I think they have more taste .Berkl

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From: cryambers[at]aol.com (pat)
Date: 1 Apr 1999 19:48:02 GMT
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Pepper (black, white, or a combination) and garlic (crushed raw or roasted) or
horseradish or horseradish cream.  IIRC, horseradish cream is the secret to
Oprah's mashed potato recipe (the pre-diet one;-)

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From: Janet Bostwick 
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 13:31:39 -0700
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The answer may be that you are overcooking the potatoes and they are
becoming waterlogged.  I have watched a friend of mine (she complains that
her mashed potatoes are bland) cut her potatoes into very small pieces (so
that they cook faster), fill the pot with a lot of water and boil the heck
out of them.  I've always thought that would put all the taste in the water
that you drain away and leave the potatoes too watery?  Does anyone have an
opinion or fact regarding this?

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From: BerylCamp[at]webtv.net (Beryl Campagna)
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 21:12:13 -0500 (EST)
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Janet,sounds like a good base for potato soup.Throw in some onion,bacon
cream and salt and pepper and she woyld have s good 1st course.

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From: Ivan Weiss 
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 20:10:26 -0800
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Janet Bostwick wrote:
> The answer may be that you are overcooking the potatoes and they are
> becoming waterlogged.  I have watched a friend of mine (she complains that
> her mashed potatoes are bland) cut her potatoes into very small pieces (so
> that they cook faster), fill the pot with a lot of water and boil the heck
> out of them.  I've always thought that would put all the taste in the water
> that you drain away and leave the potatoes too watery? 

In my experience this is correct. I quarter mine and steam the hell out of
them, but I never cover them with water. Much more flavor this way. YMMV.

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From: stefanie freeston 
Date: Mon, 05 Apr 1999 21:37:57 +1200
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In my experience this is correct. I quarter mine and steam the hell out of

> them, but I never cover them with water. Much more flavor this way. YMMV.

I also quarter or half them. When they are ready I put the potatoes in a
colander and then back into the hot pot to let them steam off entirely.
I like nutmeg in mashed potatoes, or fried onionrings.

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From: stan[at]tempest.temple.edu (Stanley Horwitz)
Date: 1 Apr 1999 21:42:51 GMT
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Linda Lewis wrote:
> My mashed potatoes taste plain and bland--unlike those at good
> cafeterias. I don't want "fancy" ones, just tasty.  Here's what I do
> that isn't working:  peel and boil Irish baking potatoes.  Whip with
> real butter and milk til smooth.

That sounds pretty good to me other than maybe adding a bit of salt.
How do you whip the potatoes though? I suggest you use a potato ricer
or whip the potatoes entirely by hand, not with a food processor.

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From: Peter Watson 
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 1999 08:37:06 +1000
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I would like to suggest that 'baking potatoes' may be part of the
problem. Here (in Australia) we have a wide choice of potatoes to use,
some good for baking or roasting, others for chips, some for boiling and
mashing. My personal favourites are the yellow fleshed, slightly waxy,
but full of flavour potatoes. My method is to use some stock, chicken is
best and a cube is OK, throw in a whole clove of peeled garlic or two at
the beginning and cook for the last five minutes with the lid off to
reduce as much as possible stock (best if you don't have to drain at
all), add some butter and milk and mash with a masher... not a ricer and
not a blender... makes them tooooo smoooth, leave the garlic in, it will
mash up and add salt to taste with lashing of pepper (or les if you
prefer) a little chopped parsley is nice too and you can replace the
garlic with some onion.

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From: Simon Binder 
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 19:05:58 -0500
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Definately use Yukon Gold potatoes.  They are the best and they have a
beautiful golden color when mashed.  I quarter my potatoes when boling-- no
smaller.  I mash with milk, butter, and pepper.  Sometimes a little chicken
broth. And, most important, I always save the potatoe water to use to bake
bread-- there is no substitute!

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From: Barbara Mayo-Wells 
Date: 1 Apr 1999 23:45:36 GMT
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You might try baking the potatoes, rather than boiling them -- scoop them
out of their jackets and add butter while they're still piping hot.  (My
mom always used 1/4 lb of butter to 4 large baking potatoes.... but then,
she also said she could eat cardboard if it had enough butter on it.) 
While whipping, add milk until you get the right texture.  Add salt --
which may be the ingredient you're missing? -- to taste, and pepper if you
like it.

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From: Lizard 
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 16:45:03 -0800
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I like to throw in cheddar cheese & bacon bits while im mashin those suckers
up.
The sour cream idea sounds even better

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From: Fradybunch 
Date: Thu, 1 Apr 1999 21:49:36 -0500
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Cook about 5 whole cloves of garlic in with potatoes.  When tender, drain,
mix potatoes and garlic with chicken stock and butter.

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From: dipsylu[at]liquidinformation.net (Dipsy Lu)
Date: Fri, 02 Apr 1999 16:49:19 GMT
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I like to chop/dice onions and then bown them in a frying pan with
butter/margerine, then add to the potatoes.

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From: Red 
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 1999 10:28:56 +0900
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Try adding one peeled clove of garlic when boiling the potatoes.  When done
just mash as usual.

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From: mlbrunker[at]aol.comdespam (MLBRUNKER)
Date: 02 Apr 1999 17:17:47 GMT
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As far as tasting plain and bland--aren't unadorned mashed potatoes supposed
to? That hit of pure carbohydrate? And I think the cafeteria version tastes
like it came from box and was ripened over a steam-table, so don't know if this
is any help . . .

Anyway, the way we do it at my house--because it's the least bothersome method
I know --involves a microwave oven and a ricer. 

You nuke your potatoes--about 4 - 9 minutes (depending on size and number of
potatoes), then flip them a quarter-turn on all three (x,y,z) axes and nuke
them some more.  Let them set for a minute or so and squeeze them to see if
they need more cooking. (Basically, the microwave steams them inside their
jackets and the steam continues to do its thing for a little while as the
potatoes set.)  

You now have a pretty good simulacrum of baked potatoes, only much faster.
They'll also be less water-logged than the boiled kind.

Run them through a ricer (don't bother peeling, the skins won't go through the
holes) and add the usual mashed potato stuff--milk, butter, salt, pepper. 

If there's any around, you might sprinkle fresh lemon thyme on top.

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From: Elizabeth Falkner 
Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 17:03:21 GMT
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MACE.  Must put a bit of mace into mashed patooties.  About 1/4 t. (BIG
pinch) per 2 cups of patooties.  I also like Spike seasoning and LOTS of
black pepper.

My food plan calls for a 1/3 cup patooties as a serving.  Some things
are REALLY FUNNY...

Elizabeth


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