how to make mashed potatoes

Fast and easy way to make mashed potatoes

Whether it’s your first time or you have a lot of experience, here are some fast and easy ways on how to make mashed potatoes. You can try making them at home from scratch, or just take the instant mix if you’re in a hurry. But if you are feeling adventurous I’m advising you to try making mashed potatoes without milk or butter. That would be a great story to tell at Thanksgiving dinner !

Homemade mashed potatoes

Using starch in your diet is not always the best choice. But when it comes to making homemade mashed potatoes, the starchier the potatoes the better (Russet, Idaho or even Yukon are all great choices). I will keep it simple and stick to basic ingredients. 

For this recipe you will need:

  • Butter : add a whole lot and you don’t have to use the low fat one, it’s recommended to use the fatty one. Cause the starch in potatoes needs a lot of fat to become creamier, or you will end up with dried mashed potatoes. You can use the salty or non salty one but then just add more salt to potatoes themselves. 
  • Milk or Cream: the same thing applies as for the butter the fatter the better  

 Preparation:

  1. Peel the potatoes, put them into a pot with cold salted water and heat until boiling. After the water boils put the stove on a low heat setting and cook the potatoes for 25 to 30 minutes (depending on your stove). Check if they are cooked well by pinching them with a fork from time to time, if they get easily separated they are done.
  1. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them for at least 5 minutes and make sure that all of the water evaporates.
  1. For potato mashing you can use a hand masher or a potato ricer. I don’t recommend using a mixer or a food processor cause you wont get the same texture as you would with a hand masher. Mashed potatoes mixed by a mixer or a food processor  tend to get a gummier texture. 
  2. Next step adding butter bit by bit will make the mashed potatoes a lot creamier and you can use a lot of it too! If it’s an unsalted version of butter make sure to add a bit more salt so you don’t end up with a tasteless meal.
  1. Your final step is adding cream or milk, but you have to heat them first. Heating the cream/milk before adding them will make the absorption easier and will keep the potatoes warm. One pro tip, don’t just pour the cream/milk over the potatoes but rather go little by little so you can get the right consistency.

Seasoning and flavour ideas for mashed potatoes 

When it comes to seasoning and unusual flavors, we all have different taste buds. So I highly recommend you follow yours. I have some suggestions that go great with mashed potatoes. 

These herbs are great for seasoning:

  • thyme or sage
  • nutmagg 
  • cracked pepper
  • dried parsley and dried oregano
  • garlic or onion powder

For extra flavour you can try adding these ingredients to your mashed potatoes: 

You will be adding these ingredients a few seconds after you start mashing the potatoes. Keep on mashing until they create a great consistency with the potatoes.

Instant mashed potatoes

You don’t have much time on your hands and you need a side dish for your plate of meat such as pork roast. What goes better with that than good old mashed potatoes. There are two versions of instant mashed potatoes, potato flakes and potato pearls. Since potato pearls are commonly used in restaurants, I will give all of my attention to potato flakes. 

To make Instant mashed potatoes you will need :

  • 250 ml of water (1 cup)
  • 1 gram of salt (¼ teaspoon)
  • 21 grams of butter or margarine (1 ½ tablespoon)
  • 120 ml of milk, chicken broth, vegetable stock (½ cup)
  • 60 grams of potato flakes (1 cup) 

These ingredients are enough for 3 servings.

Preparation step by step:

  1. First step: pour 250 ml of water into a pot dish, add ¼  teaspoon of salt and 1 and half tablespoon of butter. Put the pot onto a stove and stir all of the ingredients until the water boils. Butter should melt into the mixture, but make sure you put the medium heat on, so you prevent the butter from caramelisation.
  1. After doing step one, you should turn off the stove and add 120 ml of milk(or chicken broth/vegetable stock) into the pot.
  1. Here come the potato flakes, take 60 grams of potato flakes and pour them into the pot whilst constantly styring. You should styr the potatoes very well so they can absorb the liquids. Leave the potatoes for 30-60 seconds so they can expand properly and completely hydrate.
  1. Voilla, the potatoes are done and ready to be served. Whip the potatoes and split them into smaller portions (3 servings) .

How to make mashed potatoes more creamy?

Some of the common mistakes which will prevent the mashed potatoes from becoming creamy are using cold milk or not using the proper tool for mashing. 

You should always warm up the milk before adding it to the potatoes. Also use a hand masher or a potato ricer to get the best mashing results and a creamy texture. 

But the best tip I can give you is that you should also warm up the butter before adding it to the other ingredients. This will melt the butter even faster and it will make the potatoes absorb it a lot easier. 

How to make mashed potatoes without milk or butter?

Whether you are dairy free or just trying out new ways to make mashed potatoes this should definitely be on your list. So what can you use instead of butter and milk. Olive oil and almond milk! 

The preparation process is no different than the regular prep process; you will just add almond milk and olive oil as substitutes. And I can’t stress this enough but mash mash mash, that’s the only way you will get a great texture. As before I don’t recommend any electronic gadgets for mixing the mashed potatoes. 

The best thing is that this version of mashed potatoes is dairy free, vegan and gluten free. 

Can you make mashed potatoes in the microwave?

Yes you can and here’s how to do it :

  • take peeled potatoes sliced in chunks and put them into a microwave safe bowl covered with plastic foil
  • put the bow with the potatoes into a microwave and leave it in for 9-12 minutes, check their tenderness with a fork if they are easily sliced through they are done
  • take a cup with ¾ of milk and put 4 tablespoons of butter and warm them from 30,50 seconds in the microwave. You should also pay attention to how much the butter has melted. It will give you a clue if you should warm it more or less.
  • Mash the potatoes as stated before, use a hand mixer or a potato ricer. Finally add the milk mixture and mash it with the potatoes until they become one and the texture gets creamy (no lumps).

Is it possible to make mashed potatoes in an instant pot?

Yes, of course, you can use an instant pot for making mashed potatoes and here’s how. Before we start let’s just say that you can adjust the serving size you want to make, cause I am using 6 medium sized potatoes for this explanation.  

  • After peeling and cutting the potatoes, put them into your instant pot and cover them with water.
  • The water should completely cover the potatoes, so that makes around 4 to 5 cups of water (depends also on the size of your instant pot). Last but not least ad ½ tablespoon of salt
  •  Seal the pot valve and put on manual  cooking time for about 8 minutes. Once the 8 minutes have passed and the timer sets off, turn the seal pressure off and drain the potatoes. After draining them, put them back into the instant pot but without turning it on. 

These were specific instructions for making mashed potatoes in an instant pot. To finalize this recipe follow the steps listed above.

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