I could eat bowls of buttery mashed potatoes for dinner—which is probably why I don’t make them too often. (Hello, carb coma!) There are a zillion recipes out there for making mashed potatoes. Here’s how I make mine. They’re simple and creamy—and just a wee bit tangy from the addition of a little sour cream.
The secret is in the potato…or is it?
Truth be told, I like all kinds of potatoes for mashed potatoes. Call me a savage, but it’s true. (I know a lot of folks will say that this is blasphemy…that there is one—and only one—definitive type of potato that’s right for mashed potatoes.)
So, there are two basic types of potatoes: Floury and waxy. Floury potatoes are high in starch and include such old standbys as the Russet. Waxy potatoes have less starch and a thinner skin, like red and yellow potatoes.
Me? I love Russet and/or Yukon Gold potatoes.
How do you like your mashed potatoes?
I know a lot of folks who make mashed potatoes in a lot of different ways.
Some swear by starting their potatoes in cold water. Others use a ricer, not a masher—or a stand mixer, let’s not forget those folks. I know people who prefer rustic, skin-on “smashed” potatoes—and those who will wax poetic about aligot, a heavenly mixture of creme fraiche, cheese, garlic, and potatoes that’s beaten until it forms smooth ribbons.
Sigh. So many potatoes. So little time. How about you…what’s your secret?
This recipe is just a starting point. Make your mashed potatoes extra fabulous by stirring in some:
+Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
+Crumbled bacon and shredded cheddar cheese
+Minced green herbs and garlic
+Goat cheese and lavender
+Caramelized onions and chopped Fontina cheese
Perfect Mashed Potatoes
3-4 big Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
1/2 stick butter
1 Tbls. chives, chopped + more for garnish
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
ground white pepper
Serves 4 as a side dish
Cook the potatoes
Set a large pot of water to boil on the stove over high heat. While the water’s heating, peel your potatoes.
Chop your potatoes up into small-ish chunks.
When your water has come up to a boil, toss in some kosher salt and drop your potatoes into the pot. Boil uncovered for about 15 minutes, depending on the size of your potato chunks.
To test them for doneness, fish a potato chunk out of the pot and press on it with a fork. It should break apart easily, like this:
When your potatoes are cooked through, drain them.
Season your potatoes
Put the cooked potato chunks back into your empty, hot pot.
Toss in the butter and chives.
With a potato masher, smoosh the potatoes up to break them apart and mix in the butter.
Add the sour cream to the potatoes.
Pour in the cream.
Mix the sour cream and heavy cream in with a spoon until it’s well blended. Season with kosher salt and ground white pepper to taste.
Serve & enjoy!
Serve garnished with chopped chives.