Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

A nice serving of the mashed potatoes. *The picture makes it look a little more yellow than it was.
Who doesn't love mashed potatoes? I know that you can easily buy a tub of them, and they're not too bad at that. However, when a huge bag of potatoes is only a few dollars, I can make mashed potatoes, mustard-roasted potatoes and baked potatoes, all for the same cost of one pre-made potato dish.  That being said, I have always loved mashed potatoes and thought it would be great to find an easy, savory recipe. Mission accomplished!

Once again I turned to Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook (In case I haven't already done so, thanks Aunt Em for the wonderful shower gift!). I would definitely put this cookbook on a wish list if you have one, or I supposed you can wait for me to post my versions of her dishes. :) John devoured these mashed potatoes and said they were the best he'd ever had. He helped himself to many servings, which is always a good sign that something you made is actually tasty. :)

*kosher salt (or regular will do just fine)
*3 pounds boiling potatoes (I interpreted this to mean about 7 or 8 of the cheap Idaho potatoes I buy in a bag - - worked out fine!)
*1/2 cup whole milk (I used skim because I wasn't going to buy a half gallon of whole milk for one recipe)
*1/4 lb (one stick) butter
*3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk, shaken (this I did buy because it lasts for about a month, unlike regular milk, and I used it for a banana bread recipe)
*1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

*In a large pot, bring 4 quarts water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 1/2 inch thick cubes (see my picture below).

*Add the cubes to the boiling water and bring the water back to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes fall apart easily when pierced with a fork.

*While the potatoes are simmering, heat the whole (or skim) milk and butter in a small saucepan making sure it doesn't boil. Set aside until the potatoes are done.

*As soon as the potatoes are tender, drain them in a colander. (I didn't follow Ina's next set of directions because I was not able, but I'm including both for you to choose from.)
**Ina's steps: Place a food mill fitted with a small disk or blade over a heat-proof bowl. Pass the potatoes through the food mill, turning the handle back and forth.
**My steps: Place potatoes back in the large pot. Use a hand mixer to mash the potatoes (I started with low speed and increased it to make the potatoes more smooth).

*Once the potatoes are mashed, stir in the hot milk-and-butter with a rubber spatula (or the hand mixer for extra smooth potatoes). Ad enough buttermilk to make the potatoes creamy (I went for the whole cup). Add 2 teaspoons salt and the pepper, or more to taste, and serve hot. :)

My cubed pre-cooked potatoes.
Mixing in the hot milk and butter. So creamy!

Dinner is served - and barely touching, per my OCD :)

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