So basic, I almost forgot about these, but there are a few things to say about variations on this theme. I’ve recently made a change in my approach of cutting down on the butter.
|Russet potatoes |
When I first made mashed potatoes, butter and salt was all I used. Next, low fat cream cheese replaced half the butter and that worked well for many years because the cream cheese added a tangy taste that I liked. Then came the KitchenAid mixer experiment where it became apparent that you could get a really pasty texture on the potatoes. For some reason, I saw that as an improvement rather than a flaw. Now that texture reminds me of the “instant potatoes” of my childhood; that’s probably why I liked it.
Within the past few years I’ve gone back to mashing the potatoes by hand and replacing the cream cheese with mascarpone, a cheese tasting very buttery with fewer calories than butter. When I’m really in the mood I might add freshly grated parmigiano and pretend I’m in Italy.
Peel the potatoes. Allow 1 medium russet per serving, then boil in a pot large enough to allow all potatoes to be covered by the water. Remove from the heat when easily pierced with a fork. Drain, place in a bowl or back into the pot and mash. Add a small amount of milk to smooth them out, then add butter (I use half a cube for 8 potatoes), half a carton of mascarpone cheese, garlic powder and salt. Use a very light hand as it is easier to add than to reduce these ingredients. Taste and adjust for salt. That’s it.