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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Two Holiday Mashed Potato Recipes

From: ArcaMax Publishing's "Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency" (11/19/2014)


1. Creamy Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

2. Reduced-Fat Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes w/Brown Butter

Notes from Wolfgang: Great mashed potatoes make your holiday spread complete! Whenever I do a cooking demonstration on TV, it always fascinates me how wild the hosts and viewers alike go over one of the simplest dishes ever: mashed potatoes. Just a single spoonful makes people close their eyes with intense pleasure.

I'm not surprised. After all, more than half a century has passed since instant mashed potatoes became a widespread supermarket product, and too many people have grown up eating something that may call itself mashed potatoes but is actually a pale imitation of the real thing. On top of that, many home cooks today never learned the basics of turning a bag of potatoes into a perfect puree -- even though the process is fairly easy.

So I'm happy to share with you not one but two easy recipes. Why two? Together, they suggest that there's more than one way to get delicious mashed potatoes. Not only that, but they also demonstrate that mashed potatoes can become a delicious canvas for other flavors to complement whatever main dish you're serving. Finally, they show that mashed potatoes don't always need lots of fat to taste great; indeed, the second recipe gets less than a third of its total calories from fat.
The first recipe, however, follows a more traditional model. It begins with baking potatoes, which cook to a fluffy consistency many people adore. They're enriched with your choice of heavy cream or milk, along with butter. I add to them up to a tablespoon of bottled prepared horseradish, which goes wonderfully with any holiday roast, whether turkey, ham, or especially beef. But you could substitute other savory flavorings such as Japanese wasabi (green horseradish) paste or caramelized onions.

For lighter mashed potatoes, I begin with the Yukon gold variety. Although their consistency is waxier than russets, they also have a naturally rich, buttery flavor that makes you feel as if you're eating something rich. I moisten them with buttermilk, which has a rich consistency but is low in fat. And I add just a little butter, which I cook until brown to contribute a deep, nutty flavor.

Whichever recipe you prepare, a few tips will help ensure success. I like to cook the potatoes in salted water, for more uniform seasoning. But don't boil the potatoes beyond the point of fork-tenderness, or you'll get watery results. I prefer to puree them with a simple hand-held ricer, which helps produce a uniformly fluffy consistency; but you could also use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, a food mill, or an old-fashioned hand-held masher. Just be sure to avoid using a food processor, which gives potatoes a gummy consistency.

Here's to your festive holiday table -- with the best mashed potatoes ever!

1. ​Creamy Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Serves 6

2 1/2 lbs (1.1​5 kg) baking potatoes, peeled and cut into even 2 inch (5 cm) chunks

1 teaspoon (5 ml)​ kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning to taste

2/3 cup (1 05 ml) heavy cream or milk, or a combination

6 to 8 tablespoons (90-120 ml)​ unsalted butter, cut into pieces

​p​inch freshly ground white pepper

​p​inch freshly grated nutmeg

2 to 3 teaspoons (10-15 ml)​ prepared horseradish


​1. ​Put the potatoes in a saucepan filled with enough cold water to cover them well. Add the 1 teaspoon

​(5 ml) ​salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer briskly until the potatoes are fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

​2. ​Meanwhile, combine the milk or cream and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat until the butter melts.

​3. ​Drain the potatoes well and return to the pot. Cover tightly and let sit undisturbed for 5 minutes.

​4. ​Press the potatoes through a ricer into a large, heatproof bowl. Use a sturdy spoon to stir in the cream and butter gradually. Continue stirring until the potatoes look light and fluffy, seasoning generously to taste with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the horseradish, and then adjust the seasonings to taste.

​4. ​Serve immediately, or keep warm by covering the bowl and setting it over pan of gently simmering water.

2. Reduced-Fat Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes w/Brown Butter

Serves 4


1 1/2 lbs ( 68​5 g) small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 2 inch (5 cm) chunks
​kosher salt
3 tablespoons (45 ml)​ unsalted butter
1/2 cup (125 ml) buttermilk
​freshly ground white pepper
​freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon (15 ml) minced fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves or chives


​1. ​Put the potatoes in a pot and add cold water to cover well. Salt the water generously to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat and simmer until just fork-tender, about 25 minutes.

​2. ​About 5 minutes before the potatoes are done, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Continue cooking, watching carefully to avoid burning, until the butter turns a light nut-brown color, 2 to 3 minutes, removing from the heat as soon as the better starts browning.

​3. ​At the same time, bring the buttermilk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat to very low and keep warm.

​4. ​As soon as the potatoes are done, drain thoroughly. Pass the potatoes through a ricer into a heatproof bowl.

​5. ​Vigorously stir the brown butter and hot buttermilk into the potatoes until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with salt and white pepper and a dash of nutmeg.

​6. ​Serve immediately, or keep warm by covering the bowl and setting it over pan of gently simmering water.

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