Sweet, Sweet Sunday

I Don’t Even Know How to Boil Water

You probably alreadty know how to do this cooking method called boiling…most of us have been boiling stuff since we were making our own macaroni and cheese out of a box when we were teenagers…assuming that you were borb before they started making macaroni and cheese is single-serving microwavable cups.

Yet boiling is a cooking method…and our goal at this point is to learn about all of the most commonly used cooking methods…

So let’s talk about boiling for a while.

 

 

 

What is boiling?

Boiling is a moist-heat cooking method that involves immersing food in a liquid that has been heated to 212 degrees F. This hot liquid then transmits its heat to the food being cooked.

This temperature is called the boiling point…the point where the pressure of the liquid equals the pressure exerted on the liquid by the surrounding atmosphere.

As liquids boil, you will see bubbles forming and then exploding on the surface of the liquid.  These bubbles are caused by water vapor rushing to the surface.

The food that you boil should be sturdy enough to withstand the aggressive water without being damaged…because the rough agitation of the water can actually damage the food.

 

Commonly  boiled ingredients include pasta, grains, green vegetables. dried pasta, dried legumes, rice, noodles, potatoes, and eggs.

 

How long you boil the ingredient depends on several facttos—such as what the ingredient is, your personal preference,  how you were brought up….(for example, back in Mississippi we cook our peas along with some bacon practially all day before serving)…how important maintaining the food’s original color, texture, and flavor…whether or not you care if you deplete the nutrients of the ingredient…and so forth…

Ingredients an either be added to cold water and heated along with the water…ior added to the water once the water has already started boilling…depending on the characteristics, of what it is that you are cooking…(more on this later)…

 

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Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Let’s All Get Boiling Mad Together

Yeah, I know…I said that we would crawl our way up the Raw Foods Pyramid one food at a time…one tier at a time…

But…

My family will never be content to eat nutritional yeast and raw sweet potatoes for the rest of their lives.

So instead I have been getting acquainted with all the different cooking methods…what foods work best for which technique…how to use each method in creating not only meals that are healthier, but also more delicious.

I began looking at these different cooking methods by starting with what I thought were “moist cooking methods”…specifially sauteeing, pan frying, and deep frying.

Let’s consider a few characteristics that make certain cooking methods “moist” cooking methods…

  • 1. Moist-heat cooking methods involve cooking food with, or in, some type of liquid—such as steam, water, stock, or wine. Lately I have learned that many people do not consider these three methods to be “moist” cooking methods because…but, hey, we’ve already talked about it…so let’s move on and not join in on that debate.
  • 2. Moist-heat cooking methods involve using lower temperatures—ranging from 140°F to 212°F—(yeah, I know, we just talked about frying foods at 300-ish degrees…just go with it)…
  • 3. Moist-heat cooking methods soften tough fibers—such as meat protein or plant cellulose….which can be good or bad depending on the food that you are figuring out what to do with.
  • 4. Moist-heat cooking methods are typically simple and economical.
  • 5. Moist-heat cooking methods are more likely to preserve and maintain the water-soluble vitamins and other nutrients of the food, taking advantage of that food’s nutritional potential.
  • 6. Moist-heat cooking methods preserve and even add moisture to the food as it is cooking…important for cooking foods that need softening—such as hard vegetables, tough meat or dry grains and beans….
  • 7. Moist-heat cooking methods bring out more of the natural flavor in the food.

We have already looked at sauteeing, pan frying, and deep frying.

Some more common moist-heat cooking methods are…

  • boiling
  • braising
  • poaching
  • simmering
  • steaming
  • stewing

So let’s get boiling mad together in these next few posts, okay?!

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Facts to Never Forget about Frying Foods

For years I have honestly been afraid to deep fry. Seemed liike every single time I tried to fry something, I end up getting splashed with hot grease and my hysband ends up finishing the job.

I laugh and say that he cookes on top of the stove, and I cook in the oven.

But lately I have been practicing the art of deep frying, and actually enjoy it…especially considering that deep frying gives you such good, but bad for you, foods as onion rings and French fries.

1.Choose the Right Oil…It is important that you choose an oil that has a smoke point higher than the recommended frying temperature…such as canola, peanut, and soybean oil. As far as the amount of oil that you need, you will typically need one or two quarts.

2. Clear the area around your workspace….and create an assembly line…arranging things.in the following order from left to right……

  • Food to be fried
  • Batter
  • Stove with pot of hot oil
  • Wire rack with paper towels underneath to put the food on after it’s cooked.

3. Clean the Oil While Cooking...Keep the oil clean while frying by removing any breading or coating that is simply floating in the oil after taking out each batch. by using a fine mesh stainless steel strainer or spider to remove this debris…Otherwise, these will burn and make your food taste burnt.

4. Cook at a High Temperature…Your oil should be somewhere around 375 degrees before adding your food…otherwise you’ll probably end up with food that has an overcooked exterior and an under-cooked exterior…food that is heavy and  greasy, not crisp and light.

It is best to use a candy thermometer to check the temp of the oil before adding your food.

Believe it or not, it will also take more time to cook your food to cook.

Your ultimate goal is to have the hot oil instantly seal the outside and cook the inside without burning the surface.

5. Cook your food in small batches…Don’t overcrowd the pan. Make sure to let the oil rise to temperature again right after removing the first batch and adding the next batch because this will lower the temperature of the oil quickly..

Your temperature needs to be somewhere between 325 to 375°F before adding in your first batch of food…because your food is always colder than the oil

The temperature of the oil is probably the most important factor in determining how crispy the crust ends up being.

6. Cool Your Food After Cooking…Draining your food on a cooling rack will allow you to quickly absorb any extra oil from the surface. Otherwise your food will not have as much of a crunchy exterior.

Carefully Lower your food into the oil so that you don’t get splashed with hot oil. 

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect Pakora

THE VEGETABLES

Wash the veggies and then pat them dry with paper towels.

Prepping your veggies is pretty much a matter of common sense. You’re frying veggies to turn into fritters…so you want them to be fritter-friendly. Your ultoimate goal is to chop or slice or dice everything into pieces that will allow all the veggies to basically cook thoroughly and evenly all at the same time.

  • Cauliflower/Broccoli…cut the florets
  • Onions…thinly slice
  • Potatoes…your best option would be to boil and mash the potatoes in another bowl…or to use leftover boiled potatoes so the potatoes will finish at the same time as everything else
  • Spinach…finely chop

**************

THE BATTER…

Mix together staple ingredients and spices.

Staples

  • 1C gram) flour
  • ⅓C flour
  • 1Tbsp lemon juice

Spices…(you can basically “pick and choose” whatever you want, but here are some suggestions)

  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 2tsp ginger
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp paprika
  • 1/4tsp pepper
  • 1tsp chat masala
  • 1tsp fenugreek flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1Tbsp/ whole coriander seeds
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 2tsp red chili pepper flakes

Water....Slowly add water— just enough water that you no longer have dry, lumpy flour—to make a batter. Be careful not to add too much water because the vegetables will add even more water to your batter.

Your goal is to create a smooth batter that is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon….similar to the consistency of whipping cream.

 

 

Vegetables…Combine with vegetables…(these you can also “pick and choose”_…

  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1C cauliflower, florets
  • 1C spinach, finely chopped
  • 3 green onions, trimmed, finely chopped
  • 1/2C cabbage, sliced into thin long strips
  • 1/2Cpotatoes, finely chopped

Set batter aside for 10-15 minutes.

 

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COOKING

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan

Once the oil is hot, carefully lower the batter, using a standard tablespoon, into the oil. You want to do this in batches.

Fry for about five minute….until golden brown on both sides.

Set the fried pakora on paper towel as it finishes cooking. This will make them less greasy.

Keep frying till you are done with the batter.

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SERVING
Pakora are typially served with a hot cup of masala chai and a dipping sauce—such as creamy cilantro sauce, chutney,. or sweet chili sauce.
Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect Onion Rings

So our next recipe in our discussion of deep frying is how to make the perfect onion rings to serve with ‘kid-friendly foods” such as burgers…or as an appetizer…or simply because they’re so dad-gum good…(but probably not too good for you, right?)

The perfect onion rings have been double dipped in a batter that is seasoned to perfection. …the outside is crisp…while the onion itself is tender and sweet….accompanied by your favorite condiment—such as mayo, fry sauce, ranch or ketchup.

 

 

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Ingredients

2 large Vidalia onions, sliced into 1/2″ rings

Oil for frying

Batter Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • egg, lightly beaten
  •  1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 c. fine cornmeal
  • 3/4 c. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

 

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Prep

Fill your Dutch oven pan with 1″ oil. Heat, over medium heat, until  375°. Line a large plate or baking sheet with paper towels.

 

 

———————

Batter

Whisk together your dry ingredients—such as your flour, cornmeal, cornstarch, baking powder, and spices.

Whisk together your wet ingredients—such as your egg, buttermilk, and seltzer.

 

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Breading

Slice and separate the onion rings.

Dip each ring first in your dry inredients and then in your wet ingredients…as we’ve already learned in this previous post about breading.

Repeat the dipping process.

Place the finished onion rings on a cooling rack until ready to fry..

 

 

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Cooking

First make sure that your oil is hot enough.

If so, place the battered onion rings into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd your onion rings. This will keep them from cooking correctly.

Do not add salt while you are cooking your onion rings. This will help keep the batter on the onion instead of falling apart  in your frying pot. Wait and salt your onion rings after they have cooked.

Cook for about four minutes…until they turn a light golden brown color.

After they’ve finished cooking, take them out of the oil and set them out on paper towels to cool and drain. Sprinkle with salt.

Serve hot with ketchup and mayonnaise, if desired.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Meat and Taters Around the World—Sweden

Getting my five year old ready to start “real school” in the fall has reminded how there’s always one of THEM in almost any crowd…

The sibling that gets your mom the most expensive gift of any other sibling

The nerd in the class that always aces the test that most of us have just failed

The homeroom mother eight months pregnant, kid in tow, perfectly organizing the homeroom Christmas…or whatever the heck THEY acknowledge the holiday as this week…party

The relative that brings the fanciest side dish to the Thanksgiving side dish to the annual “let’s all get together and pretend like we all like each other once a year” ordeal…

Your sister in law was so proud of her mashed potatoes…until you showed up with your twice-baked potatoes…

But lo and behold…here comes THAT sibling…the one you’ve competed with and lived in the shadows of your entire life walking in fashionably late with nothing but…

HASSELBACK POTATOES

We can all thank Leif Elisson for being the overachiever in his cooking school and creating these potatoes back in 1953…when he was a chef in training at the famous restaurant at the Hasselbacken Hotel in Stockholm…an elegant hotel that first opened in 1748.

By the way the word Hasselback actually translates  “Hazel Hill.”

In fact, they can’t be possibly be as hard as they look like they would be to make if the Swedes enjoy them not only for “red calendar day” events…but also for breakfast, appetizers, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

They are basically a baked potato…so I’m not gonna go into depth as far as cooking them…already talked about that in this previous post…

These just go extra by requiring that you make a special series of deep parallel cuts along the top of the potato so that it opens into their expected fan shape….and then so that you can showboat various toppings on top.

Surprisingly these potatoes only take a little more effort than a regular baked potato…and can make such an impact when served alongside a special dinner—such as a holiday roast, date night steak, or Easter ham.

The perfect Hasselback potatoes have perfectly crispy, crunchy, and golden edges of French fries on the outside…the soft, buttery, creamy goodness of mashed potatoes on the inside….and the perfect amounts of cheddar, Parmesan cheese, fresh chives, sour cream, bacon, crumbled feta, spring onions, etc. 

 

 

*****************

PREP

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet or a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Arrange a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat to 425°F.

 

 

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SLICE

The one thing that separates a hasselback potato from a plain everyday baked potato is the way it is cut.

So settle on bringing mashed potatoes or twice-baked potatoes to the party until you master the technique.

First of all, it is important that you choose a good quality knife to cut your potatoes—one with a thin blade that is very sharp…(and have the number to the nearest CareNow clinic close at hand.)…

Slice a thin layer from the bottom of the potato to keep it from rolling around.

Place a potato between the handles of two wooden spoons or two chopsticks. This creates a “guardrail” that should help keep you from slicing the potato all the way through….the most important thing to not do whenever making this dish…(other than cooking them too long and burning both your potatoes and perhaps even your house.)

Another option to help guide you as you are making your cuts is to rest the potato in a large serving spoon.

Cut thin parallel slits about every 1/4″ across each of the potatoes, leaving 1/4″ at the bottom intact. The thinner the slices, the better the end result.

Push the knife straight down into the potato. Once your knife hits the chopsticks or edge of the spoon, stop slicing. Once again, it is important to make sure that the slices stay connected at the bottom of the potato.

Don’t worry about your slices being perfect, they will end up great regardless.

If all else fails, and you still suck at this, then order yourself a Hasselback potato cutting board…they’ll still be impressed…

Repeat with the remaining potatoes, sertting each on the prepared baking sheet once sliced.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Meat and Taters Around the World—France

Okay…I’ll admith…I have been on another of my tangents away from the main purpose of this blog—crawling my way up the Raw Foods Pyramid bit by bit—to taslking about such forbidden topics as deep frying and beef stew…

But potatoes are a vegetable, and vegetables are a major element of the Raw Foods Pyramid…

And deep frying is a cooking method…and another of our goals right now is to learn more about the dfifferent cooking methods…even though we are using the Raw Foods Pyramid as a guide…(don’t ask…just go with it).

Baeckeoffe is a hearty casserole or stew that consists of a simple mixture of lamb, beef, pork and potatoes that is typical in the French region of Alsace, which is situated on the border between Germany and France.

Legend has two reports of ho this dish originated…

First of all, many say that the housewives of this region made the dish on Mondays, the official designated “laundry day,”…(hey wait, lucky them, seems like every day around here is laundry day)… when they knew that they would have no time later that day to cook dinner and the took the dish to the baker who then sealed the pot with a flour-and-water paste and slow-baked in in the falling temperatures of his wood-fired oven after he finished baking his bread.

Others claim that the women would prepare this dish on Saturday evening and then leave it with the baker to cook on Sunday while they attended the typically lengthyLutheran church services of that day…(guess the Baptists and Methodists beat the Lutherans to Golden Carral and left them nothing on the buffet)…They would then pick up their casserole along with a loaf of bread on their way back from church…providing their family with a meal that was in line with the strict Lutheran rules of the Sabbath.

The term literally translates to the words “bake oven.”

The perfect baeckeoffe is a rich, warm, and aromatic casserole which containes the perfect combination of potatoes and vegetables, herbs, and perhaps marinated meat—such as pork, beef or mutton—that has been tightly sealed with a ring of dough, then simmered in the oven until juicy and tender.

 

Honestly this can be a rather time-consuming task…and actually a two-day ordeal…but it’s well worth it.
So here’s what to do on the day before…
Mix all your spices—such as garlic, bay leaves, juniper berries, thyme, parsley, 1-1/2tsp salt, and 1tsp pepper—with the white wine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE POTATOES

Wash and peel your potatoes. Slice about the thickness of a quarter or your thumb. Set the peeled and sliced potatoes in a bowl of cold water so that they will not turn brown.

 

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THE VEGGIES
Cut your veggies…
Artrichokes
Break the stems off and remove the hearts by using a very sharp knife to peel the bottom of the artichokes around the stem and then pullnug the large leaves away from the base of the artichoke. With the knife, remove the large leaves, slice the perimeter, and slice the small tender leaves above the choke. Remove these small leaves so that only the base of the artichoke remains and squeeze lemon juice on top to prevent browning.
Carrots
Peel and dice.

Herbs…such as fresh parsley, thyme, and rosemary
Rinse.
Leek
Trim and wash. Dice.
Lemon
Rinse in cold water. Remove the white part, keeping only the peel. Cut the peel into large squares. Bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, to make a syrup. Place the squares of preserved lemon into the syrup and let them cook for 10 minutes. Remove and drain of excess syrup.
Onion
Chop into rings.
Tomatoes
Remove the stems. Cook the tomatoes in boiling saltwater for about fifteen seconds. Then peel, and cut them into quarters, removing and discarding the seeds.—such as onions, leeks, carrots—into small pieces. and
Combine these chopped veggies with your spices in a large bowl or very large Ziploc bag.
———————
THE MEAT
Cut the meat—your choice of beef, pork, pig’s feet, oxtail
You could also leave out the meat and make this a vegetarian-friendly dish if you’d like.or lamb—
into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl or bag…(Plan on using about a third to a half pound of meat per person)…
MARINATING
Pour white wine over the top of the ingredients until covered.
Cover the bowl. R
Refrigerate overnight, stirring or flipping the bag over occasionally while marinating..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE LAYERS

Layer the ingredients into a 4″ deep Baeckoffe terrine,…oops…I forgot to pick one of those up the last time I went to Walmart, right?!)  in the following order…

  • potatoes…making sure each potato overlaps the last
  • ¼C of the vegetables
  • salt, pepper and parsley
  • 4oz meat

Repeat the layers one more time.

Then finish layering with potato and two tomato slices.

Pour wine to cover.

Salt and pepper every layer, especially the ones with the meat and the potatoes.

 

 

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THE SEAL

Now traditionally is the time to make the seal of dough to put around the edge of the dish. This helps to keep the aroma of the wine from escaping and the cooking liquid from evaporating.

To do this, mix together enough flour and water as necessary to form a firm dough.

Roll the dough out into a long rope….long enough to wrap around the casserole.

Place the lid of the casserole over the dish. Press the dough around the joint between the lid and the casserole…making sure it tightly joins the casserole dish and lid.

Brush the egg yolk over the dough.

You could also use a band of heavy aluminum foil…(much easier, right?!)

 

 

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Cooking

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook for an hour.

Lower the oven temp to 300. Bake for an hour to an hour–and-half.

 

Place the sealed dish on the center rack of the oven. Cook for three hours.

Reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Cooki for 1-1/2 hours more.

Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the meat. Cook for about five minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a bowl.

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SERVING
Serve from the same casserole dish that you baked it in…along with salad. a loaf of crusty bread, and the rest of the white wine that you used for making the marinade….assuming you still have some left and haven’t already downed it while cooking the dish

 

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect Homemade Potato Chips

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Mr. Potato Head’s Other Produce-Bin Buddies

So far we have looked at two types of potatoes—waxy potatoes such as the Russet, and all-purpose such as the Yukon Gold.
There are two more categories of potatoes that I would like to look at…waxy potatoes and sweet potatoes.
So what are the characteristics of a waxy potato?
  • fine-grained, dense flesh
  • generally smaller and rounder
  • high moisture level
  • high sugar content
  • hold their shape well during cooking
  • low in starch
  • more moisture
  • smoother texture
  • thinner skin

Waxy potatoes are best for boiling, steaming, frying,roasting, and making casseroles—such as potatoes au gratin and scalloped potatoes.

Let’s look at five different categories of waxy potatoes—fingerlings, new potatoes, red potatoes, purple potatoes, and yellow potatoes.

 

 

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1.Fingerlings…Fingerlings are basically an elongated variety of new potatoes.

  • Flesh…ranging from red orange to purple, yellow or white
  • Shape…thin, finger-like shape
  • Size…ranging from 2″ to 4″
  • Skin…thin, tender skin…colors ranging from red to orange to purple or white
  • Three varieties of fingerlings that you might find are…

LaRette

  • Flavor…nutty
  • Texture…silky

Red Thumb

  • Flesh…pink flesh
  • Skin…bright red skin

Rose Finn Apple

  • Skin…pink, often knobby skin
  • Flesh…golden buttery yellow
  • Flavor…earthy flavor

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2. New Potatoes

  • Technically, any potato picked before the height of maturity,, before its sugars have fully converted to starch.is a new potato.
  • Uses…Because new potatoes are so small, they are simply boiling whole and eating unpeeled…as in a roast…that food that we all probably hated growing up and absolutely love now that we have grown up ourselves…kinda like a rite of passage…
  • Shape…small and round
  • Skin…thin and tender..various colors
  • Taste…sweet,
  • Uses…boiling, steaming, roasting…not for baking….

 

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3. Purple Potatoes

Purple potatoes are named purple potatoes because why…gee, could it be their skin…since the other two varieties of potatoes that we will talk about are the white potato and the yellow potato…

A few of the characteristics of the purple potato…

  • Flavor…earthy, nutty flavor
  • Flesh…lavender
  • Skin…deep purple
  • Uses…grilling, roasting

One variety of purple potato that you might find available is the Purple Viking…

  • Flavor…meaty, slightly sweet and buttery
  • Flesh…white
  • Size…small
  • Skin…dark purple
  • Texture…creamy and moist texture.
  • Uses…roasting, boiling, casseroles and gratins…but not for soups….

 

 

 

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4. Red Potatoes,

Red potatoes are are typically small, smooth, and round,,,,and as you c an probably figure out, have a red skin.. These potatoes have  creamy moist texture and subtly sweet flavor.

These are the potatoes that you want to use whenever you are roasting, boiling, or steaming.

Three common varieties of new potatoes are…

  • Adirondack Red
  • Flavor…lightly sweet
  • Flesh…pink to red flesh that’s either opaque or in a starburst pattern
  • Skin…red
  • Texture…moist, meaty and waxy
  • Red Bliss
  • Flesh…creamy white
  • Skin…bright red
  • Taste…slightly bitter
  • Texture…firm, moist and waxy
  • Rose Gold
  • Skin… rose-red skin
  • Flesh…yellow
  • Taste…mild and earthy
  • Texture…firm and moist

 

 

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5. Yellow Potatoes

Our final category of potatoes is the yellow potato. Two types of yellow potato are…

  • Carola
  • Shape…oblong
  • Skin…yellow
  • Flesh…yellow
  • Flavor…strong, classic potato flavor with earthy and buttery notes
  • Texture…firm, creamy and waxy texture
  • Austrian Crescent
  • Skin…yellowish, tan smooth skin
  • Flesh…yellow flesh
Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Making the Perfect Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are to dinner fare what hash browns are to breakfast fare…and in this post, we’re gonna learn how to make the best mashed potatoes ever.

The perfect mashed potatoes are rich, super-creamy, and thick…and flavored with butter, sour cream, garlic and Parmesan cheese.

———————————————————

Which type of potatoes should I use?

The best variety of  potato to use when making mashed potatoes is Yukon Gold….(that’s why I put mashed potatoes in this section on Yukon Gold potatoes…go figure)…because they give your mashed potatoes an even creamier texture….

 

 

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Should I Cut or Peel My Potatoes? 

First of all, whether or not you peel the potatoes before cutting them is purely a matter of preference. Some people like the texture that the skin adds,while other don’t…Just remember that the skin is where all the extra nutrients and flavor.s are.

Regardless if you peel them or not, you will need to cut your potatoes into evenly-sized chunks, about an inch or so thick.  You do not want to boil whole potatoes Now transfer the potatoes  to a large stockpot full of cold water until all of the potatoes are cut and ready to go.

 

 


How do I cook my potatoes?

Place the potatoes In a 6-quart stockpot, and cover with enough cold water that the water line sits about 1″ above the potatoes. Add 1Tbsp salt. You do not want to boil or heat the water before addiong the potatoes because they might not cook evenly.

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat down to medium-low. Cook about 15min…until you can stick a knife into the middle of the potato with almost no resistance.

Draining and steaming to finish helps pull out any remaining water for a fluffy final texture. …Whether or not you cook them without peeling them first is a matter of personal preference.

So carefully drain out all of the water.

Return the drained potatoes into the hot stockpot. Set back on the stove over low heat.  Gently shake the pan for about a minute to release some of the steam and moisture from the potatoes.

Remove the pan from the heat.

Set them aside until you are actually ready to mash your potatoes….this will make sure that all the liquid is evaporated.

 

 

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Now what do I do?

Heat 1/3C salted butter, 1C milk, and 2tsp salt together either in a small saucepan or in the microwave until warm…but avoid boiling the milk.  Set aside until ready to use. This keeps the potatoes hot and absorbs better. 

Return the potatoes to the hot stockpot. Place back on the hot burner, but first turn the heat down to low.  Using two oven mitts, carefully hold the handles on the stockpot and shake it gently on the burner for about a minute to help cook off some of the remaining steam within the potatoes. 

Mash the potatoes with a potato masher, strong wooden spoon, or electric beaters until smooth, adding a little extra milk if needed…but be careful not to over beat or they will become gluey.

Add warm milk mixture, a little bit at a time, to the potatoes until they reach the desired consistency is reached.

Stir in 3 cloves garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, 1/2C sour cream, fresh herbs, onion, shredded cheddar, cooked bacon bits, chives…whatever you want.