Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mama's Mashed Potatoes!

 
 
My mother is known for a lot of her cooking and baking skills.   According to my son, his Nana's mashed potatoes are just better than anyone else's.  I wanted to say, "What are mine, chopped liver?"  However, I know he speaks the truth.  Without a doubt, Mama can mash a mean potato.  All of her grandchildren love mashed potatoes, so needless to say when we have family meals, mashed potatoes are usually on the menu.   All of these grandchildren are in their twenties now, but their Nana still cooks their special dishes. 
 
There is a secret to Mama's mashed potatoes and how light and fluffy and airy they are.  She is a sneaky little woman at times, because I didn't even know she put this secret ingredient in her mashed potatoes until recently.  My own mother held out on me!  Now you will know the secret.  A starchy type potato mashes best. Russets or Idaho or even a Yukon Gold that is higher in starch and lower in moisture work well. The waxy varieties do not break down and mash as well. 
 
Here is what you will need for these amazing mashed potatoes:
 
6 medium potatoes, cubed and boiled until tender
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper  (optional)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup half and half cream, warmed slightly
 
Drain the boiled potatoes until all water is removed.  I put mine back in the warm pot after I drain them in a colander and let them sit a minute to evaporate any water still on them.  The drier, the better.  Leaving too much water on the potatoes ruins a lot of mashed potatoes.
 
Add the salt, pepper (if using), baking powder, butter and half and half and beat with an electric mixer just until they are light and fluffy and lumps are gone.  Don't over beat them, because that is what turns your mashed potatoes to that gluey texture.
 
The baking powder is the secret ingredient.  It reacts with the warm potatoes and the cream and this is what gives them the extra lightness and fluffiness.  Also, the half and half cream is another key.  It has just the right amount of fat.  Heavy cream tends to have too much fat and whole milk, not enough, but half and half is just right   
 

Add a pat of butter and serve!



42 comments:

  1. I am going to try this the last time my mashed potatoes were the consistancy of elmers glue.

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    1. The glue comes from over beating. Leave off the electric mixer and mash with an old fashioned masher. :)

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  2. This is how I make mine...soooo good.

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  3. Mother and grandmother made them the same way, but without the baking powder. The 1/2 and 1/2 makes a world of difference too. Will have to give your mom's trick a try!

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    1. I use sour cream, butter and a little milk if needed.

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    2. Canned milk is wonderful in mashed potatoes. It makes them so light and fluffy

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  4. My secret ingredient is sour cream.

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    1. My husband uses that too. Yummo!

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    2. My husband uses that too. Very good. :)

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    3. i use sour cream also

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    4. Learning something every day!

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    5. My Mom always used canned milk in her potatoes.

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  5. My grandmother used to use evaporated milk and butter. I still remember the taste. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

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    1. My mother and grandmother used evaporated milk and butter too....Really delicious! Forgot about it until now, so thanks for the reminder!!

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  6. I use mayo they light and fluffy.can't taste it .

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    1. Me too! A dollap of mayo makes a world of difference. I'm going to try this too.

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  7. My dearly missed sister-in-law taught me that if you heat the milk and butter before adding them to the potatoes they would come out much fluffier also. They wouldn't be so slick and slimey or a gluey texture. Just really nice and fluffy and you don't even have to add the baking powder.

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  8. Mom used mayonnaise in hers. (That works with instant potatoes gets rid of the cardboard flavor.) Sour cream is good I have tried that. I will give the 1/2 and 1/2 a try this week

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  9. I use evaporated milk in mine

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    1. My Mother always used cream and mayo in hers, they were light and fluffy, too. She added butter always.

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  10. That's exactly they way my mom makes them. They are the best!

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  11. That's the way I was taught. Southern cooking!

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  12. I add a little sweet condensed milk and I have used evaporated milk too

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    1. Really? I've never heard of using condensed milk, does it make the potatoes sweet? I have only used it in desserts. Interesting...........I can't even imagine mashed potatoes with this.

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  13. YOU CAN ADD A RAW EGG AND MASH IT UP WITH THE POTATOES, THE HEAT WILL COOK IT, AND IT WILL FLUFF UP NICELY AND ADD A RICHNESS AS WELL.

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  14. These sound great. I always used cream in mine and they did pretty good. I also found that the type of potatoes make a big difference too. I only use Idaho or russets. The others turn out gooey...like lumpy glue. I like the idea of the baking powder and half and half.

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  15. I just made these for dinner and they were so good!!! Best mashed potatoes I've ever had!!!! I will always make them this way!!!!

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  16. Philly cream cheese added also makes awesome mashed potatoes

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  17. I have used a little buttermilk when I ran short of mayo (Dukes, of course) for the sour taste.

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  18. I am so glad for the tips! I made mashed potatoes last night and they were horrible! Gummy, Yuk! I will definitely try this.

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  19. I have started using whipping cream, very good , but I will be trying this recipe

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  20. I use the hot water the potatoes were boiled in with lots of butter. Light and fluffy and not pasty at all! Nothing but real potatoes with butter salt and pepper!

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  21. I use cream cheese, butter or margarine, yukon gold potatoes, salt and pepper to taste. My husband absolutely loves them.

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  22. i put raw garlic chopped in potatoes as i beat them

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  23. My sister always uses cream cheese and they are good, but...I like the butter and milk....just have to mash them good. Will have to try the baking powder

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  24. try putting buttermilk in them soooo goood!!!

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  25. It sounds weird, but my grandmother's trick was to add powdered coffee creamer and an insane amount of real butter. Makes amazing mashed potatoes! Even when I cheat and make instant, I still add coffee creamer- only Coffee Mate tho!

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  26. I like putting cheese and bacon bits in mine.....yummy!

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  27. Mash them by hand with potatoe masher. Like mine with the lumps. Butter and whole milk are good. Will have to try the mayonnaise sounds good.

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  28. I use cream cheese instead of butter or margarine and a little warm milk.

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