I know several people who are intimidated by the idea of mashed potatoes. I think that's because they're associated with holidays, and holidays are stressful, but we mustn't put that burden on this beloved dish.
The beauty of mashed potatoes is there versatility. There's not one "right" way to make them, and there are innumerable options for mix-in's. I made these with heavy cream and butter for Thanksgiving.
This particular recipe was for 10 people at Thanksgiving, so I'm changing the increments below to be for 4 people.
- 6 potatoes (or 9 red potatoes, since they're considerably smaller)
- Heavy whipping cream (or milk)
- 2 tablespoons butter
While I love the skin on potatoes, I'm going more for the Thanksgiving-type of mashed potatoes, which are skinless. So in this case, peel the potatoes and chop into 1/4's.
Put them in a pot of boiling water. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until very tender.
Grab your potato masher and mash your heart out. This will take time and a lot of movement, but be patient. Mash them to the consistency that you prefer. Some like chunky, some like smooth. If you have to have seriously smooth mashed potatoes, grab your hand mixer to work out the kinks.
Add the butter and allow to melt. Stir together.
My mom's tip: add the whipping cream (or milk) slowly. Just add a little at a time, mixing it in until you find your desired consistency.
Add salt and pepper. This, once again, is as matter of preference. I love things way too salty, but some don't. In this case, I used Lawry's seasoning salt, sea salt and fresh pepper.
Mix well until combined.