Monday, May 24, 2010

Perfect Potatoes, aka, my best.

I call this one - simply amazing. Kate's perfect potatoes.

It's become a family joke that my fabled perfect potatoes are just a figment of my imagination. This statement is false, however. Max is the only one fortunate enough to have experienced them, and they are "my best". Why is this you might ask? Perhaps it is the larger quantity I suddenly need to account for when making for the entire family and my less than perfect calculating mind doesn't do it quite right; maybe it is the added pressure to have the Ta-Da outcome in anticipation for the perfect potatoes that we continue to build up at every family gathering - not helping guys. For me, it is all about the kind of potato you use. I am a fan of the waxy potatoes, those with red skins or the clearer light skin potatoes (Yukon gold) which happen to be healthier and low in starch, rather than the rough darker skin Idaho or Russet potatoes which is what my family always provides for me to cook. The natural consistency of these waxy potatoes is so smooth, and an additional bonus, you don't really have a need for using so many other ingredients... unless you just want to. Which for these mashed potatoes, we will do.

Grocery List:
4 large red skin potatoes
1 - 1 1/2 cup of sour cream (a great organic fat free sour cream works perfectly!)
1/2 stick of softened, salted butter
1 tablespoon of horseradish
Fresh chives, chopped

Additional supplies:
electric beaters/mixer
potato peeler
small boiling pot or large sauce pan

Skin your potatoes as much or as little as you prefer - while I know the nutritional value of the potato lies in the skin, I like my potatoes skin proof, which for me is a texture thing. Next, chop them into 1 inch squares and put your little tater cubes into the pot. I put the potatoes in first, then fill the water about 2 inches over the potatoes.

Boil on high for about 15 minutes or until the water runneth over creating that loud screeching noise that can't possibly be good for your stove - whichever comes first but seems to be a good indicator that they are done when that happens. When soft enough to crumble when you stick a fork through them, drain in colander.

Next, move your potatoes to an appropriate size mixing bowl. Soften the butter in the microwave for about 8 seconds, this just makes it easier to mix, then add with the sour cream. First use 1 cup of the sour cream and then add as needed while mixing, last add the horseradish. Now this can be a little potent so perhaps you would like to do the horseradish to taste, rather than the suggested measurement.

Now, I have more recently become a fan of chives. LOVE the chive. I get fresh chive stems from Whole Foods and chop it up myself, or sometimes I cheat and just add the dried chives that are in my cupboard. Either way, it adds a remarkably delicious flavor perfect for this recipe. I suggest you sprinkle away at this time and garnish your potatoes with chives. Salt and pepper to your liking and here is the TA-DA... you have my perfect potatoes. If you really want to splurge, cut 3 thin slices of butter, put them on top and set your potatoes in the oven on 300 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes. The butter will melt and form a crisp on the top. Holy moly, it's divine. Just don't add any more butter beyond that.

I prefer not to even look up what this would be on a calorie counter. Mashed potatoes have been my favorite since I can remember, a comfort food, a necessity. This is my cheat meal, my guilty pleasure. If this is my splurge, so be it, and for you, it shall be as well! I have been a mashed potato connoisseur, more recently including au gratin potatoes to the resume, but that's for another post... I've constantly worked to perfect my own version and this is that version, enjoy!

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