Smashed potatoes are delicious recipe indeed! They pamper the stomach and the heart, as well. Here they are, all my tricks to make the best smashed potatoes you have ever eaten. It will get your guests’ fave!
Are the mashed potatoes healthy?
That’s a tricky questions, because the answer is: it depends! It depends on the size of the serving, on the amount of condiments, and on what you combine it with. So, I’ll start from the latter: potatoes are root vegetables, starchy tubers composed of 75% of water, the remaining 25% of starch, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin C, and other micro-elements. When digested, starch turns into glucose, a sugar which increases the glycemia; as potatoes does not contain any fibers, they have a high glycemic index. You should not have it every day, but once a week as a part of a well-balanced meal.
Potatoes are very rich in sugar, so you have to combine them with a source of protein, an abundant serving of vegetables such as a fresh crispy salads. If you match mashed potatoes with rice, or pasta the intake of sugar will rise dramatically- your mealy will be definitely difficult to digest and fattening then you will feel very sleepy.
How much is the right serving?
About 150-200 gr is the average serving which provides the carbs of the meal. When you have potatoes, you should avoid all the other sources of sugar, such as rice, pasta, bread. Are there any food preparations which contain both potatoes, and other starchy elements?. Yes, they are: in this case the serving of both potatoes and cereals must be reduced.
What kind of potatoes best fit this recipe?
Go the your greengrocer’s or at the counter of the supermarket; choose firm and compact potatoes, without sprouts, or blemishes. I usually buy potatoes in punched bags; dark paper bags trap the moisture inside and prevent you from checking the quality of the potatoes.
Serval varieties of potatoes are nowadays available on the market: red, yellow, purple skin; dark or light yellow, white, red, even blue flesh. The color depends on the quantity of carotenoids and anthocyanins, but what makes the difference when we cook them is the quantity of starch, sugar, and proteins (very few) compared to the content of water. Unfortunately, this is not stated on the nutritional facts on the package, so you will not know it until you cook them. I always ask my greengrocer’s for any advice: he always suggests me the best ones to make delicious mashed potatoes. Sometimes, a few nutritional facts are reported when you but them at the supermarket. Mashed (and roast) potatoes must very rich in starch because they get very tender and fluffy when cooked- so, they are easily mashed.
Where can I store potatoes?
In a dry, dark, airy, cool place at a temperature between 7-10 °C (45-50°F), they will be kept fresh for about 2 months. The higher the temperature is, the shorter they will be fresh- at room temperature in the kitchen cupboard, they will wither (they’ll lose water) and sprout in a very short time. You may also store them in the fridge far from strongly-scented food (onions for instance) because potatoes easily absorb odors.
Keep in mind that washed potatoes (those shiny without any traces of dust, or dirt) will go bad faster as the washing process takes away the protective cuticle and are more prone to the bacteria attack.
Do not buy potatoes whose peel looks mostly green: they have been kept under direct light for long time-green color is due to chlorophyll (it is not harmful), but also to other substances called generically solanines which give the potatoes a bitter taste and may provoke stomachache, headache, and diarrhea.
So, in case of green potatoes, you have to cut the green part away (the cooking process does not eliminate the solanines) and removes sprouts, and eyes where solanines grow easily.
Should you peel potatoes before boiling?
normally, you should boil potatoes with the peel: they are very rich in starch, without peel they would lose their consistency. More consistent potatoes (ask your greengrocer for advice, or read the nutritional facts on the package) which are usually fried, can be boiled with peel.
However, the peel keeps the starch more stable and the glycemic index lower after the cooking process.
How long do you boil potatoes?
First of all, choose potatoes which have almost the same size. A big potato takes much longer to cook than a small one: so, you will have overcooked and undercooked potatoes.
On average, they should be cooked about 20 minutes in salted boiling water. Before draining, test for their doneness: poke the potato-if you can slide a fork easily to the centre, it is done and you can go on with your recipe.
Have you overcooked potatoes? Don’t worry: you have to mashed them, they will be just a little bit more watery.
Soft creamy mashed potatoes with nutmeg
- 600 gr
“floury” potatoes rich in starch
- 100 ml milk
- 20 gr butter
- Carefully wash the medium size potatoes;
- In the meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil;
- Add some coarse salt and the potatoes;
- When the water returns to a boil, set the timer and cook for about 20 minutes. Test for the doneness with a fork;
- For a very smooth and fluffy smashed potatoes, you have to smash them when they are still very hot. Take a thick bottom pot, or a copper one and smash the potato into one by one. Use a potato ricer with the medium plate: you will remove the peel without burning your fingers;
- You have to be fast; if the potatoes cool down, they will get granulose. Heat up the milk;
- Now, put the pot with the potatoes over medium-low heat and add the butter; stir well with a wooden spoon. Add the milk little by little until the desired consistency: the more milk you add, the softer mashed potatoes will get;
- Stir to combine well, and remove form the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste (keep in mind that potatoes have a sweetish taste); go the extra mile: add a little grated nutmeg;
- Serve very hot; if you want to prepare smashed potatoes in advance, add little hot milk and heat over medium heat or in the microwave.
What makes mashed potatoes get sticky?
Sometimes your smashed potatoes are soft but sticky: well, you have used an electric beater.
When you boil potatoes, the grains of starch absorb water and get swollen; at the same time the substances (the pectine, for instance) which give the starch consistency, loosen. If we use a potato ricer, we mashed them without breaking the starch grains: this process, along with milk and butter, will result in a smooth soft cream. The electric blender damages the starch grains and the masked potatoes will be sticky and viscous.
How can I thicken my mashed potatoes?
If you like a thicker cream, reduce the quantity of milk, or cook it a little longer. Please do not add thickeners: keep this recipe simple, natural and healthy.
What can I pair mashed potatoes with?
You may combine mashed potatoes with meat, game, or fish dishes. The pair with cheese is wonderfully toothsome, but do not exaggerate with the serving of cheese. Complete your meal with some vegetables, a crispy green salad is the best option.
What can I do with left mashed potatoes?
If you have some mashed potatoes left, you can store it in the fridge for the following day (cooked potatoes can be stored in the fridge for no mere than 48 hours, then their taste will get unpleasant): what can you do with them?
- Heat mashed potatoes in a pot with little milk, and stir vigorously;
- You can prepare a soufflé with cheese and ham. Put the leftovers into an oven pan, top with diced ham, and 80-100 gr of diced stingy cheese such as mozzarella or provola. You do not have to add any other seasoning, or salt;
- You may also prepare croquettes (fries or baked). Finely chop some parsley with other aromatic herb, sage and thyme for instance, add an egg or some ground meat (you may have left some roast meat): shape the mixture into golf ball size croquettes. Dip them into breadcrumbs and fry in deep hot oil or bake them for about 20 minutes at 180°C (356°F).