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Mashed potatoes are the perfect side dish for a romantic dinner or a family meal on Sunday, especially if you’ve also prepared the veal roast.
Making mashed potatoes is a breeze, but turning them into a premier dish is something else. There are no complicated steps to Alex’s recipe, so the result is guaranteed.
Mashed potatoes are straightforward, and few people use a recipe to prepare them. But if you want a fluffy, lump-free, and surprisingly tasty mashed potato dish, these tricks may come in handy.
First thing first; choose the ingredients carefully because the right ingredients (potatoes and herbs) will make a difference in the results.
How to choose potatoes for the mash?
At the supermarket, choose potatoes that are firm, compact, and free of sprouts.
There are many varieties of potatoes, but you need potatoes with a high starch content for the mash. Usually, yellow and russet potatoes are the best.
Where should I store potatoes?
Potatoes should be stored in a dry, dark, and ventilated place. They will keep for about two months. If you do not have a good place to store them at home, put them in the refrigerator, away from other particularly fragrant foods, such as onions, because they will absorb the onion aroma.
Do not buy green potatoes or use them if their surface area is green. This is because potatoes kept for a long time in the light develop a green color (due to chlorophyll). These solanines can give off a very bitter taste and cause stomach cramps, headaches, and diarrhea. Therefore, it is necessary to cut out the green part (because cooking does not eliminate solanines). Be careful to eliminate all the sprouts because they could contain solanines.
Should you peel potatoes before boiling?
To make smooth and tasty mashed potatoes, it is necessary to peel the potatoes carefully before cooking. Some people prefer to cook them whole and then peel them; others prefer to peel them and cut them into chunks. Choose the method you prefer, but make sure the cooking is uniform.
How long do you boil potatoes?
In general, I cook the potatoes in boiling water for about 20-30 minutes. You should check them for doneness before draining them. If you can pierce the potato with a fork without difficulty, it will be an excellent time to turn off the heat and start mashing them.
Mashed Potatoes with Sage
- 6 medium-sized potatoes
- 3-4 sage leaves
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
- 1 cup of milk
- ¼ cup of butter
- 1 tbsp of coarse salt
- ½ tsp of salt (for the milk) and as much as needed for the final puree
- Nutmeg and pepper to taste
- Wash and peel the potatoes;
- Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover with 1-inch cold water. Add the salt and bring to boil over high heat;
- Lower heat and simmer potatoes for 20 or 30 minutes;
- In the meantime, heat the milk with 1/2 tsp of salt, pepper, nutmeg, sage, and rosemary;
- When the milk begins to boil, turn off the heat (the milk should not boil);
- Use a fine-mesh strainer to remove all residue from the milk;
- When the potatoes are soft and begin to crumble, drain them and put them through a medium sieve, a potato ricer, or a masher;
- On very low heat, add butter to the potatoes. Add the milk and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate the milk into the potatoes;
- You will get a very smooth and very uniform cream;
- Adjust the salt and pepper if the mashed potato is too sweet. Serve hot and enjoy!
What if there is some mash left over?
If you have some leftovers, you can save them for the next day; but what can you do with them?
- Heat the mash in a saucepan, perhaps diluting it with a bit of hot milk and stirring firmly;
- You can make a potato souffle with cheese and ham. Take an ovenproof dish, add to the mashed potato a handful of cooked ham cut into cubes, and about 4 oz of cheese such as mozzarella or scamorza. No need to add salt or other seasonings;
- You can make potato croquettes (fried or baked). Finely chop some parsley and other aromatic herbs such as sage and thyme, add one egg to the mixture, and if you like some cheese or minced meat (maybe what you have left after making the veal roast), make small balls the size of a golf ball, breadcrumbs and fry in hot oil or bake in the oven at 350°F, for about 20 minutes.