ONCE A YEAR MASHED POTATOES
The name of these potatoes really does not reflect the truth. In theory, they should be eaten only once per year, but these tubers are addictive. All winter long, this velvety mash accompanies anything from fish to fowl to four legged beast. Sometimes a culprit is caught with a spoon and the bowl eating cold leftovers in front of the refrigerator. This may sound strange, but small dollops of mashed potato makes a wonderful flatbread topping. Add some prosciutto, some spring onion, and a healthy pouring of olive oil over the entire pizza, and pop in a 500 degree oven for 2 minutes. Yummy…potatoes have fed peasants for hundreds of years, but butter and full fat cream turn these into a luxurious treat fit for consumption by queens and kings.
To get the texture perfect, a POTATO RICER is a must and and an inexpensive tool. Do not skimp on the fat in this recipe--or ordinary rather than extraordinary potatoes will end up in the bowl. Once the potatoes are refrigerated, they will thicken and dry out a bit. No worries. Just add 1/4 cup more heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of butter before reheating in the microwave. Many people prefer Yukon Gold potatoes for making mashed potatoes. Growing up in Montana, russet potatoes grew with abandon. They seem to require more fat, but rarely do they get gummy or oily. Go ahead and experiment.
6 large baking potatoes
1 cup heavy cream (plus more just in case)
3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 24 pieces
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1. Put 8 cups of cold water in a large pot.
2. Peel the potatoes and cut each potato into thirds and put into the pot. The water should cover the potatoes by 1 inch. Add water if necessary.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the potatoes and turn the stove burner to high.
4. Boil the potatoes until a knife can be easily inserted into the center of the potatoes, usually 20 minutes.
5. Put a large mesh strainer or colander in the sink. When the potatoes are finished cooking, pour them into the strainer and let drain, shaking a bit to remove excess water.
6. Add the cream to the hot pot and place over low heat on the stove.
7. Spoon the hot potatoes into the potato ricer and squeeze over the cream until all of the potatoes have gone through the ricer.
8. Mix the potatoes and add the butter two tablespoons at a time until the butter is incorporated.
9. Taste for seasoning. Add salt if necessary and finish with freshly ground black pepper.
SERVES 8 to 12