There are a handful of recipes that I remember learning how to make as a little kid–french toast, pancakes, cookies, rice, and these easy mashed potatoes.
The first time I was ever put in charge of the “potatoes” was one Thanksgiving morning when my mom had too much to make and too little time to make it (as always seemed to be the case). Rushing from kitchen to pantry and back again, she frenzily tried to prepare the bird and organize the ingredients for each dish. I just sat there, dumbfounded, wondering how she made everything. I asked if I could help and well, “sweetie, why don’t you peel these potatoes?” was her instant command.
In a couple of hours, I had not only peeled the potatoes, but I had also made a giant 5-lb batch of mashed potatoes all by myself. Today, I make this recipe rarely as mashed potatoes always feel like a treat. However, they shouldn’t just sit in the back of a cook’s repertoire only to be brought out during Thanksgiving. Mashed potatoes accompany almost any meal I can think of when the protein is high and some decadent carbs seem necessary. Seared ahi tuna, beef wellington, or pretty much any meat or fish feeds perfectly off of this American favorite.
Mash boiled potatoes with plenty of butter, cream, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, and you’ve got a sensational side for any meal.
This recipe is a variation of the one I have been making since I was a little girl. Just like any Rebecca (Faustini) Brigman recipe, the one we used for mashed potatoes (and now, I use) involved: “Just put a stick of butter, some milk, and salt and pepper in there. Mix and adjust the spices until it tastes good.”
* 1 (5-lb) bag red or Yukon Gold potatoes, washed, peeled, and cut into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes
* 1-2 sticks of butter, to taste
* Salt and pepper, to taste
* Tony’s Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning, to taste
* 1/2 cup milk, or heavy whipping cream, to taste
* Optional Ingredients: 3-5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed; fresh rosemary, basil, or thyme, to taste
1.) Begin by prepping your vegetables: wash, peel, and quarter potatoes, cutting into 1-1 1/2 inch cubes. Place in a large pot filled 3/4 of the way with salted water.
2.) Boil potatoes over medium-high heat until a cube of potatoes smashes on a fork (around 20-30 minutes, but cooking times may vary due to the size of your potato cubes).
3.) Strain potatoes and add to an oversized/large mixing bowl. While potatoes are still hot, add 1-inch cubes of butter, milk, and your first round of salt and pepper. Using a potato masher (a whisk will also work here), mash down the potatoes until they no longer retain their shape. Mix mashed potatoes to integrate and repeat.
4.) Continue doing step three–adding butter, milk, salt, and pepper–until the potatoes are a uniform mass and the salt and pepper meets your taste preferences.
Serve with any number of dishes and enjoy!Makes 15-20 servings.
Written by: Helana Brigman