Before you start, yeah the bowl is clear glass. Just about everything I own is either clear or white – makes life so much easier. No clashing of color – most of the time. Besides, Blue Plate Special has more to do with comfort diner food than the plate itself, right?
Last night’s supper was a wonderful family affair. Kiddo was in charge of the vegetable – a yummy, colorful dish of Roasted Baby Carrots with Nutty Browned Butter. I rocked our world with the most amazing Hunter’s Pork Chops – Heaven on a Plate. You guessed it, Hubby was in charge of the Whipped Potatoes. Okay, Kiddo actually peeled the potatoes (as of the New Year, Kiddo is between jobs, so he got the potatoes started before we got home – one less “chore” to get out of the way). But Hubby did empty the cooked potatoes into the mixing bowl of our Standing Kitchen-Aid, so that counts, right? It got a little crazy during the final moments with all three of us in the kitchen doing our thing. It all came together beautifully and we so enjoyed the fruits of our labor.
Mashed potatoes are so easy to make. Peel, or don’t peel – it’s a personal thing. If you are making “creamy” mashed potatoes, peeling is a must to avoid the lumps and get a smooth finish. There are also a few tips when it comes to mashed potatoes. If you are using a stand up mixer or whipping with a hand-held mixer, warm your mixing bowl. The last thing you want are cold mashed potatoes, and this can be avoided by having everything warm – from the mixing bowl to the serving bowl. When adding milk, butter, creams – things normally kept in the fridge, warm them before adding to the potatoes. Even something as small as a few teaspoons of jarred roasted garlic should be warmed first.
For more potato-flavored mashed potatoes, drain from cooking pot, then “dry” potatoes in the same pot over low heat. This removes any excess water. Just remember to stir the pot while the potatoes are drying.
The Blue-Plate Special: Buttery Whipped Potatoes
3 Lbs Gold Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 Cups WHOLE milk (for creamier potatoes, use Half and Half)
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 Teaspoons Sea Salt
Pepper to taste
Peel potatoes and dice into 1-inch pieces. Place in a large pot and cover with about 1 inch of cold water. You can do this ahead of time, holding the potatoes in the water until you are ready to turn up the heat. That works really well if you have a lot going on in the kitchen.
When ready, turn heat on to medium-high. Bring pot to a nice boil, reduce heat to a gentle boil, cover part way with a lid to help retain some of the steam. Cook potatoes for about 15 minutes or until fork-tender.
Carefully pour contents of pot into colander, drain potatoes well, then return potatoes to the cooking pot. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until potatoes are thoroughly dried, about 1 minute.
Meanwhile, heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking until smooth, about 3 minutes. Cover and keep warm until ready to use.
Carefully cooked potatoes into colander, drain potatoes well, then return potatoes to pot. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until potatoes are thoroughly dried, about 1 minute or so.
Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip potatoes into small pieces on low speed, about 30 seconds. Add half of the milk mixture in a steady stream until incorporated. Increase speed to high and whip until potatoes are light and fluffy and no lumps remain, about 2 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Check for creaminess – add remaining milk mixture as needed until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, giving everything one final whipping.
Transfer potatoes to a warm serving bowl. If desired, garnish with a little chopped chive or parsley for added color and serve.
Enjoy your spuds with gravy, extra melted butter (my favorite) or as is.