We always make mashed potatoes for the “big” meals—holidays, celebrations, and birthdays. These are usually family affairs with everyone gathering at our house. Ben, Debbie's husband, is in charge of mashed potatoes. These are not minor matters. He loads mountains of potatoes with blocks of cream cheese, cubes of butter, and maybe scoops of sour cream. If they are not moist enough, he adds milk to make silky smooth, rich, mashed potatoes.
With the holidays coming, we wanted to explore mashed potatoes. They can be anything but plain. In this issue, you will find cheesy mashed potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, mashed potatoes with the skin on, and more—thirteen in all.
Let dinner begin!
Dennis & Merri Ann Weaver
White Potatoes or Red?
It's not the color of the skin; it's the starch content that counts. You can have waxy new potatoes—low in starch and higher in sugar content—with both red and white skins. Idaho Russets, bakers, have a white skin and are high in starch and low in moisture. They mash up to a fine, smooth texture and can soak up a ton of butter. These low moisture potatoes mash up creamy smooth and, with lots of dairy, can be very rich.
New potatoes, whether red or white, are high in moisture and lower in starch. They are more difficult to break down in mashing and often contain little rice-like nodules of potatoes. They will not soak up as much butter.
By the way, we prefer waxy new potatoes for most potato salads. The dressing coats the potatoes pieces but the potatoes absorb little of the dressing and do not become soggy.
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