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Betty's Basics: Mashed Potatoes or How to Make Mashed Potatoes

Smashing Mashed Potatoes
  • Round red or white potatoes are best for boiling and mashing; Yukon Gold and Yellow Finnish potatoes work well, too. Wash and peel potatoes before cooking.
  • Cut potatoes into same-sized pieces for even cooking and easy mashing. Bring water to a boil; reduce heat and simmer in just enough water to cover potatoes for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Drain fork-tender potatoes right away so they don't absorb the cooking water. Return potatoes to the same pan and cook over low heat for about 1 minute to dry them. Shake potatoes gently to keep from burning.
  • For the fluffiest mashed potatoes, mash potatoes with a handheld potato masher (ricer). If using an electric mixer, take care not to over mix, as excess potato starch can be released, making potatoes gummy.
  • Add milk slowly, beating constantly. Add softened butter, salt and pepper (to taste).
  • To dress up mashed potatoes, boil potatoes with six garlic cloves, or stir in horseradish to taste.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle potatoes with paprika, chopped fresh parsley, watercress, chives or green onions, grated cheese or crumbled bacon.

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