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*ADOPTED RECIPE* Originally one of Recipe*Zaar's famous MEAN CHEF's Recipes. Nothing has been changed or altered: The key to beautiful mashed potatoes is 1) dry cooked potatoes, 2) a ricer, 3) correct proportion of butter and half-and-half and 4) a gentle hand when incorporating the ingredients. To this master recipe you can add 1 cup grated cheese such as parmesan, roasted garlic cloves or anything else that suits your fancy. You can also cook other vegetables with the potatoes. Substitute things like celery root, parsnips, carrots or turnips for half of the potatoes.
- 2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled, eyes and blemishes removed, cut into 2 inch chunks. If using russets, they can simply be bak or 2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled, eyes and blemishes removed, cut into 2 inch chunks
- 3⁄4 teaspoon salt, total
- 4 ounces butter, softened
- 1 cup whole milk or 1 cup half-and-half, warm
- ground black pepper
- Put potatoes in a large saucepan; add cold water to cover and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Bring to boil and continue to cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Be careful not to overcook potatoes you plan to mash, because the starch cells will break down and create a sticky mash.
- Cook them just until a thin-bladed knife meets a bit of resistance.
- It is also important to drain the potatoes well after cooking to prevent gumminess.
- Drain potatoes well and return pan to low heat to dry thoroughly.
- Using a ricer, rice potatoes into pan.
- With a wooden spoon blend in butter, then warm milk or half-and-half.
- Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a big pinch of black pepper, or to taste.
- Serve immediately.