November is here, which means we can start planning for all the amazing holiday parties coming down the road in the next two months. It’s food and parties and food and friends and food and family and food and celebrations and food. It’s my favorite time of year. When turkeys show up on the cover of every magazine, I’m in heaven.
You’re going to need to have mashed potatoes on your table with every celebratory meal. Part of me thinks this should be a no-brainer, but the combination of my intense love for mashed potatoes and the frequency with which I’ve been forced to eat sub-standard versions makes me think it’s worth sharing my point of view. If your mashed potatoes have ever turned out watery or gummy or otherwise awful, I’m here to save the day.
First off, I always use Yukon Gold potatoes. They have a thin skin, so you don’t need to peel them. This saves time and adds texture. They’re also less starchy than russets and not as starchy as red potatoes, so they give you the perfect combination of smooth and chunky. I don’t like geriatric mashed potatoes.
You also have to go heavy on the seasonings. These mashed potatoes are good enough to eat without gravy, but only if you have fun with your spice cabinet. And plenty of butter definitely contributes to these mashed potatoes being ridiculously awesome.
I know people think mashed potatoes are a supporting character on the holiday table, but that’s no reason to not make them as completely awesome as you can. Why cast Miley Cyrus when you can get Jennifer Lawrence? Make your mashed potatoes from scratch, follow a few simple instructions, and put a star on your table next to your turkey.
Mashed Potatoes are ridiculously awesome, and they’re going to get you through the next two months like a champ.
- 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- Up to 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Chop your clean potatoes in half then quarters (8 pieces in all) and add them to a large pot. Pour cold water over the potatoes, just enough to cover. Add a fat pinch of salt for a bit of flavor, put a lid on your pot, and place it over high heat. Boil your potatoes until they're fork tender, about 20 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pot, off the heat.
- Add the remaining ingredients, adding just a splash of milk at a time, and use a masher, the type with the s-shaped curves, to smash your potatoes. Leave a few chunks. They add character. Don't over mix, or your mashed potatoes will get gummy.
- Stir and taste for seasonings. If your mixture is too stiff, you can add a bit more milk. Don't be afraid to look through your spices and add whatever strikes your fancy. Get ready for compliments.