Sunday, August 13, 2006

Mashed Potato Maker?

Now I've seen everything. Westinghouse seems to think that there's a need for an appliance whose sole purpose is to steam and then mash vegetables. Or, perhaps they found there really isn't a need because it's being sold for $19.99 on Smart Bargains. No wonder.

If you'd like to make fantastic mashed potatoes, don't bother buying fancy mixers or mashers. Just buy a basic hand masher, like this one at Sur La Table.

Choose good quality potatoes. I like Newman's Own Organic. Both the Russet and the Red potatoes have excellent flavor and texture when mashed. After peeling the potatoes, cut them into equal sized cubes or slices so they cook evenly and at the same rate. Then cover them with cold water in a saucepan. Salt generously with kosher salt. One teapsoon for every two potatoes should be a good ratio. We usually make 4 potatoes and use 2 teaspoons kosher salt. You can add more if needed during the mashing process.

Cover the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well and return to pot. Place on very low heat with lid off and allow excess moisture to evaporate while mashing by hand. Add as little or as much butter as you like. We use a little extra butter for special occasions, but normally use just a couple of pats on a weeknight. Just make sure you're using REAL butter. After the butter is incorporated, add milk as needed and mix in until the potato mixture is fluffy and lump-free, that is unless you like nurdles, as they are called in our house. Salt to taste and add freshly ground white pepper as desired. Most importantly, and because it seems everyone is particular about how they like their mashers, practice this recipe a few times so you can tweak it and make them just as you like them. You'll find you can easily make your favorite mashed potatoes without any fancy contraptions.


Anonymous said...

I saw this on a TV show several years ago. A woman whose husband wanted mashed potatoes every single day had invented this mashed potato maker machine and was presenting it to Hammacher-Shlemmer for some contest they were having. I think she won and they were going to produce it. maybe they sold the rights to Westinghouse?

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

It's a great device to be honest. I had one for a great many years and used it at least once a week.
It mixes everything up for you, just cut up some spuds add water and let it steam them. When it's done throw in some butter and milk and let it mix it up for you.

All of it can be quickly rinsed and thrown in the dishwasher

No bubbling over of the hot potato water on my stove to clean up later

It's huge so takes up a lot of room in split sinks to rinse, and a lot of room in the dishwasher.

Wish I could still find one somewhere, I gave mine to a goodwill shop when I moved last Sept but forgot and have been scouring my house every time it's mashed potato day to see if it's lurking in a box in the garage, I really miss it.