Mashed potatoes? And how many other things can you associate with simple basic eating? And how many of them makes a comfort food for a nation?
Well these soft, fluffy, velvety and satin, buttery, creamy, garlic-y and smooth mashed potatoes are definitely the choicest in The USA. Though the idea of doing this with the potatoes was borrowed from their British colonizers, but over the years, Americans grew head-over-heels in love with their version of mashed potatoes. Every local diner here, serves them as a favorite side with meat loafs, baked fish or grilled veggies or with anything else their menu can boast of. In here, you eat mashed potatoes with anything and everything at any time a day! Like in few other countries, it is considered a comfort food in this part of the world too.
It is usually the “floury” potatoes that are preferred over the “starchy” ones to make them. Yukon Gold potatoes are my best choice because they are floury and light and yield a more fluffier mash then the others. Yukon’s are also great for two other reasons. One because they are common and readily available here. Two, because they have a very flimsy papery skin which can be easily mashed and blended with their contents together. Regular starchy potatoes can also be used — just that they’ll yield a slightly heavier mash that isn’t as fluffy. Moreover, after boiling the potatoes, you would need to peel off and discard the potato skin. The best mashed potatoes in America use heavy cream to “whip” the mash and aerate it — the cream provides the yummy creaminess, and the rich comforting flavor. Some people use melted butter in place of cream, but I vote cream for making this dish “less oilier” in terms of texture and taste. Cream gives a more light, blended texture and a soothing taste. However, you may also chose to use warm milk (whole or reduced fat) in place of heavy cream as an alternative, though using cream makes it taste so much better! Yet again, if you’d like to drastically cut down on the calories, you can replace heavy cream with a Vegetable or Chicken or Beef stock.
It is super easy to make and tastes extremely good and will get you addicted!
Serves 2 – 3
- 3 medium-large Yukon Gold or regular potatoes
- 0.5 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 0.5 tsp salt or more to taste
- 0.5 US cup (130 ml) Heavy whipping Cream (brought to room temperature)
- Sufficient water to boil/cook the potatoes
- 1 tbsp fresh shredded or slightly dried Chives to garnish and finish (Optional)
- 1 to 2 tbsp bacon bits (Optional)
- Wash the potatoes and divide each one into about 12-14 cubes (or roughly into 0.5 inch cubes)
- Transfer the chopped potatoes in a pot, and pour enough water to submerge the potato pieces about 1 inch below the water level.
- Place the pot over high-medium heat and let the potatoes boil nicely and soften well. (It may take about 20-30 minutes). Replenish some water in the pot if most of it gets evaporated and you see the potato pieces drying up. The potatoes will be perfectly soft when you can pass and pull out a fork/knife smoothly through the potato pieces or when you see a couple pieces cracking up.
- Once the potatoes are done, switch off the stove and strain the potatoes in a colander. Let excess water drain out. If you’re not using Yukon potatoes, you may have to let the boiled potatoes cool down a little bit in the colander and peel and discard the skin.
- Transfer the potatoes back into the pot and use a fork to mash them all up nicely.
- Pour in the heavy cream and add salt, ground pepper and garlic powder. Add most of the bacon bits (reserve some for garnish). Use the fork or whisker to whip and mix them nicely into a homogeneous smooth mash.
- Serve warm, seasoned with a generous sprinkle of shredded chives and the reserved bacon bits. Enjoy your day with the comfort of creamy garlic mashed potatoes!
TIP: If the potatoes are too starchy, add a little milk or water and whisk to make the mash softer, lighter, smoother and fluffier. However, be careful not to add more liquid than required, else the mashed potatoes would collapse and become too creamy.