Silky Smooth Mashed Potatoes

—This post is part of my Canadian Thanksgiving series—

I’m easy when it comes to mashed potatoes – I’ve pretty much never met a mashed potato I didn’t love, from super-buttery, creamy restaurant style to my healthier, minimal butter, skins-included Smashed Potatoes.  I really am telling the truth when I say that I enjoy my healthier version just as much, but I’ve been told (by hubby of course) that most people prefer the smoother, more buttery variety.  So for our Thanksgiving meal, I tried to find a middle ground – I was not about to pour a carton of heavy cream into my potatoes, but I thought a little extra butter could be nice, and decided we could leave the skins off this time.

I ended up finding a recipe on Epicurious promising a silky texture that got fabulous reviews.  I was sold on this recipe after reading the instructions to use a food mill or potato ricer instead of a masher.  You see, over the summer, in preparation for our big move out of the city to a home with an actual back deck and grill, hubby and I signed up for a grilling class at the Institute of Culinary Education (which has great recreational classes, by the way).  The class didn’t quite give us the foundation we were looking for in how to grill, but we did make an amazing “mashed potato salad” that required cooking potatoes, skin on, simply cut in half, and then pressed through a potato ricer to remove the skin and “mash” all in one go.  This method really did produce amazingly smooth results, and I loved the idea of not having to peel raw potatoes or chop into small pieces Thanksgiving day.

These potatoes came out fabulous.  I was happy because they had what I considered a reasonable amount of butter, and called for milk instead of cream, but I don’t think even the most die-hard mashed potato fanatics could have complained that they weren’t luscious enough.  Using a ricer instead of mashing really does produce an amazing texture, and the ratio of added fat/liquid was perfect, although I think if you’re not making these for a special occasion you could easily use less butter and/or low fat milk with great results.  As I hoped, it was nice not having to peel potatoes or do more than cut them in half in advance, but I will give one warning – try to find the biggest Yukon Gold potatoes you can find – I ended up buying a 5 lb bag that had tiny little ones, and ricing each little half was a bit of a painful job (for hubby).  With bigger potatoes, it would have been half as much work!



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