If I were completely honest, I’d tell you that really I’m not a mashed potato fan. A bite, maybe two and that’s enough for me. I’d rather have a big bowl of sauteed (or even raw) spinach. But my husband happens to love them and it makes me happy to cook food he enjoys.
We don’t have mashers often around here, but when we do I make them the right way. Yes, there’s a wrong way to mash a potato. The method I’m going to show you uses a food mill and will leave them light and fluffy instead of dense and gluey, which is what happens when you beat them with a hand-held mixer or in a stand mixer.
My apologies up front for the bad lighting in the pictures…I wasn’t about to make mashed potatoes in the middle of the day and serve them reheated to my husband. Joe’s got to come first. (I know you get that…)
My potato of choice for mashers is Yukon Gold – they’re have a natural butter-like flavor and are less starchy. You can mash any type of potato…russets, red potatoes, white. Choose whatever makes your family happiest.
Here we go…
Cover the potatoes in cold water. Leave the peel on. Otherwise they absorb water during the cooking process which will make them gluey. Bring to a boil over high heat.
The potatoes are finished cooking when they’re fork-tender. Make sure not to overcook them – you don’t want them to fall apart in the water.
Drain the potatoes and load place them in a food mill set over the pot you cooked them in. My food mill has 3 different grinding disks – fine, medium, and coarse. I like to use the medium disk for mashed potatoes. I don’t peel the potatoes because the skin comes off as they’re pushed through the food mill. We like little bits of skin in our mashers, too. That’s where the nutrients are. If you want to peel them, do so after cooking. The skin will come off easily.
Turn the handle on the food mill clockwise, scraping down the sides as necessary. If it gets jammed up, just rotate the handle counter-clockwise. Add more potatoes to the food mill until they’ve all been mashed.
Notice how the potatoes are in little pieces after being run through the food mill. This helps to create a light, fluffy texture. Add your seasoning of choice – I usually add light sour cream, a little butter, kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and milk until I get the consistency I want. Your potatoes should still be hot at this point so they butter and sour cream will melt right into them.
You can add any seasonings you choose – garlic, chives, cheese, cream cheese, scallions. (FYI – if adding garlic, add it to the cooking water and mash with the potatoes or roast it in the oven and then add to the potatoes once cooked.)
Use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to stir the ingredients together. Be gentle because too much stirring will make them dense. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Serve right from the pot (that’s what usually happens at our house) or transfer to a serving dish.
Other gluten-free potato dishes: